Fancy giving your other half the royal treatment?
A miniature medieval castle in North Cork can be yours to play kings and/or queens in for an entire weekend… and if you ask us, it’s the perfect spot for a romantic getaway or a magical proposal.
Annes Grove Gate Lodge was designed in 1853 to impress important visitors to the main house – Annesgrove House and Gardens.
And boy, is it impressive…
Once the vast country pile of the Annesley family, the last members of whom left in 2017, the property is now run by the Irish Landmark Trust, a non-profit organisation that gives new life to interesting and unusual buildings that are in need of conservation.
While the main house and 30 acres of world-class exotic gardens are currently being transformed into a tourist attraction by the OPW, the Gate Lodge remains available to curious staycationers.
Surrounded by mature beech trees, it’s cosier than it looks inside.
There’s timber ceilings, warm wood floors, stone arches and snug rooms, where you can kick back and get stuck into a board game or simply enjoy some time in each other’s company without any interruptions.
When it’s time to hit the hay, you’ll find the bedroom nestled at the top of a narrow (very steep) spiral staircase.
Some castle rules…
Because it retains all its original features (worn stone steps, low ceilings and beams, unexpected drops in floor level) the Gate Lodge is not suitable for children and is not recommended for elderly or visually impaired visitors.
The location is about an hour’s drive from Cork City and deep in the countryside so you’ll need a car too. Our advice is to stock up on food and wine, light the fire and enjoy the cosy atmosphere while you can.
On the plus side, it is dog-friendly (there’s a one-dog limit) so it could be an excellent excuse to bring your canine companion and head out on an adventure in nearby Doneraile Wildlife Park during the day.
Interested? Prices start at €334 for a two-night stay and you can book via The Irish Landmark Trust website here.