With its lanes of thatched-roof, old-Irish bungalows fronted by flowering gardens, lovely little Adare is beloved by a certain subset of Irish grannies as the prettiest village in Ireland. It’s easy to see why: An hour south of Shannon Airport on the river Maigue, the town has charm to spare (although it’s quite touristy these days). Adare’s crown jewel is east of the town center, where the 19th-century Adare Manor lies with its pergola-covered stone walls, turrets, and gables on 840 acres of manicured gardens and wild woodlands.
Designed in grand Gothic Revival style and completed in 1862, the manor took 30 years to build—and provided valuable industry for villagers during the potato famine years. Inside, it’s a castle with some quirks: 365 stained-glass windows and 52 chimneys, for instance, for each day and week of the year. Rooms have four-poster or carved-mahogany beds, sitting areas, and semi-chintzy drapes.