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Sir Lawrence Parsons, whose family was later ennobled as the Earls of Rosse, built this massive castle in the 1620s on the site of the Offaly stronghold of the O’Carrolls, the local clan described as ‘a hospitable, fierce, yellow-haired race’. The Earls of Rosse live...

‘Switzerland in miniature’ is how the English writer William Thackeray described Glenariff in 1872. Of all the Antrim glens, this is the best known. It contains a state-owned forest park and the village of Waterfoot, also called Glenariff. The village is known for its traditional...

Once one of the richest Abbeys in Southern Scotland, Kelso Abbey was built by the Tironensians, an order founded at Tiron in Picardy and brought to the Borders around 1113 by David I. English raids in the 16th century reduced it to ruins, though what...

Between Coachford and Macroom and ancient bridge spans one of the loveliest reaches of the River Lee, and on a rock in the river stand the ruins of Carrigadrohid, once a stronghold of the MacCarthy clan. The name translates as ‘the rock of the bridge’. A...

A formidable fortress dominating the Sound of Mull. The seat of the Clan Maclean, this is one of the oldest inhabited castles in Scotland – the central keep was built in 1360. It was bought and restored in 1911 by war hero Sir Fitzroy Maclean...

St Brendan the Navigator was born at Fenit, and from there he is said to have set sail for America over 1400 years ago. Fenit is now a fishing port and is renowned for its oyster beds. From Fenit a scenic route by Barrow through...

Jura lies off the coast of Argyll, long, dark and low like a vast Viking longship, its billowing sail the distinctive triple peaks of the Paps of Jura. A magnificently wild and lonely island, it’s the perfect place to get away from it all –...

Five irregularly spaced drum towers linked by massive walls are all that remain of the castle that King John built early 13th century to keep the peace in Thomond (as the area was then called) between the Norman settlers and the O’Brien clan, Kings and...

The narrow, one-way streets of Clare’s busy county town still have a medieval feel to them. Ennis grew up around a friary founded in the 13th century when wandering Franciscans were befriended by the O’Brien King of Thomond. A famous school flourished in the shadow...

Gatehouse of Fleet is an attractive little town stretched along a sloping main street, in the middle of which sits an unusual castellated clock tower. The town lies on the banks of the Water of Fleet, completely off the beaten track, and is surrounded by...