Home And Away Guide: Hunter's Hotel Co Wicklow

Hunter's Hotel, Wicklow, Ireland's oldest coaching inn is located 45 minutes by car from Dublin and an easy journey from any part of Ireland mindful of the islands post Celtic tiger motorway infrastructure. Operated by the Hunter/Gelletlie family since 1825 , Hunters was built on land held by Sir Abraham Yarner, of Clonmannon Estate, at a time when this was the main Dublin to Wexford road, the one-time forge gradually became the Newry Bridge Inn. Serving as a Post House, where travellers rested and changed horses, the original stable yard and kitchen are still in operation today. The guest rooms are simple, bright, and neat, with lovely period furnishings and be sure to ask for one overlooking the gorgeous gardens.

The restaurant prepares good, hearty food, with local game a regular feature.as well as an institution for traditional Sunday lunches and teas on the terrace if the weather is kind or in the pretty dining-room. Even the flowers on the white-clothed tables come straight from the garden that runs down to the river. Mount Usher in nearby Ashford is the perfect destination for those who love trees, shrubs and flowers. Created by four generations of the Walpole family beginning in 1868, Mount Usher is recognised at home and abroad as one of the earliest examples of a ‘Robinsonian’ garden. Extending to 22 acres, it combines a champion collection of trees and shrubs with inspirational floral planting schemes along both sides of the River Vartry. The gardens have been cultivated entirely by organic principles since 1980.  Also proving that Wicklow really does boast an embarrassment of blooming riches; the National Garden Exhibition Centre is in nearby Kilquade.

Take a walk though 20 separate gardens designed by the country’s best-known landscapers and designers, with more than 15,000 plants and flowers on display. The County is also home to many important Irish grand houses, including one of my favourites "Powerscourt House" which has one of the world’s great gardens, set against the backdrop of the Sugarloaf Mountain. The important Palladian mansion was destroyed by fire in 1974. Now fully restored it is home to a range of craft and interior shops featuring Irish design, including Avoca the renowned hand weavers from a nearby village.

Hunters Hotel is one of the most historic members of Ireland's Blue Book a collection of Irish Country House Hotels, Manor Houses, Castles and Restaurants located throughout the island. These charming and stylish hideaways are the perfect choice for a midweek or weekend break and those seeking a romantic getaway. Activities vary from golf, fishing, spas and cookery schools or just relaxing in warm and comfortable surroundings. Residential packages include one nights' Bed & Breakfast with Table d'hôte Dinner from €95 per person sharing or 2 Nights B&B and 1 Dinner from €180 per person sharing. The real beauty of Hunter’s Hotel is the fact that it’s pretty much the same today as it has been for centuries.

You’ll feel the difference the moment you arrive. Visit here for more information.

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