Malahide, County Dublin

South-West of this seaside town is the stately, greystone Malahide Castle, home of the Talbot family from 1185 to 1973, when the last Lord Talbot de Malahide died. Its core is 14th century, though the turrets and battlements are later additions. Inside are rooms furnished with period furniture, including the striking Great Hall with a Minstrels’ Gallery, which dates from 1475 when the Lord of Malahide was made Admiral of Malahide and the Adjoining Seas.

Also impressive is the Oak Room, a dark room with ornate 16th and 17th century carved panelling and ogee-arched windows. The rooms are hung with portraits from the National Gallery of Ireland, including works by Joshua Reynolds and Nathaniel Hone.

The Talbot Botanic Gardens, spread over 20 acres, were created by Lord Talbot between 1948 and 1973 and contain several thousand species of plants, particularly from Australasia.

Malahide Castle is a must see attraction on your tours of Ireland.