Dereenaraig, Ring of Kerry, Ireland

In tranquil countryside, a rural farmhouse within the Kerry Dark Sky Reserve and only 1 kilometer from The Ring of Kerry or the coast, allowing you to explore sandy beaches and the surrounding countryside by day and gaze at galaxies by night. Built over two hundred years ago, Dereenaraig is a delightful whitewashed farmhouse surrounded by fields and hills. Come here to escape; hike through valleys or use as a base for exploring the south west of Ireland. Inside it is both traditional and practical. A wood-burner warms the big, old-fashioned dining room and there’s a comfortable sitting room stocked with books and DVDs for rainy days. Upstairs, two bright and airy double rooms have antique beds, while there’s a cosy twin room for the young members of the family. Downstairs, there are a couple of simple bathrooms. The cottage stands within an acre of wild garden where children can roam free. Active families will love kayaking around Kenmare Bay or rock-pooling along the beautiful Iveragh Peninsula. It's not nearly as far away as you think to get to the southwest of Ireland and is certainly worth the visit. Sleeps 6, pets by arrangement.

Sleeps: 6

Changeover: Saturday

Price per week: £385-£740

Dogs allowed: Yes

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Manorbier Castle Entrance, this is contains a holiday letting

Manorbier Castle, Pembrokeshire, South Wales

Within the walls of this great medieval castle is a house, built of and within the battlements. Your keys are those of the castle. The house has good sized rooms, some of which are 13th Century, and four bathrooms. The stairs are narrow. There is a well equipped kitchen and walled garden. The beach is 100 yards away. This is one of the great holiday homes in Britain - an unusual and comfortable holiday house which is also one of Wales’ most famous castles. One dog allowed by arrangement.

Sleeps: 12 + cot

Changeover: Friday

Price per week: £1800-£3145

Dogs allowed: Yes

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Loughcrew The portico of the last Loughcrew House

Loughcrew, Oldcastle, County Meath, Ireland

Behind the remaining giant portico of the last great Loughcrew House, built in 1821 by Charles Cockerel and destroyed by fire in 1959, lies what is known as “The Orangery”. Originally built to house large plants and palms and necessary furnaces it is essentially an enormous long room with a wing at each end. The long room provides a fine drawing room and the east and west wings accommodate the kitchen, utilities, bedrooms and bathrooms. This is an amazing house, well equipped and beautifully furnished and decorated by its artistic owner. To the south you look out to the giant portico and surrounding fields. A very short drive will take you to both the Loughcrew Historic Gardens and the monolithic tombs known as the “Loughcrew Cairns”. Dogs allowed.

Sleeps: 14

Changeover: Saturday

Price per week: Upon request

Dogs allowed: Yes

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