From cosy cottages to beautiful boltholes, rural retreats and seaside idylls, we’ve counted down some of the country’s top spots to see in the New Year with friends and family.
The Foresters House
Inish Beg, Co Cork
This idyllic, wooden-clad cottage sleeps eight (or 10 if availing of the living room sofa bed) with a double room and en-suite wet-room downstairs and two large bedrooms upstairs. There’s under-floor heating throughout and large living room windows that overlook the Ilen Estuary and the perfect peace of the property’s 10-acre woodland.
Guests have access to a heated indoor pool and almost 4km of woodland and shoreline walks around the organic farmland where the animal, fairy and pirate routes are sure to be a hit with kids.
Cost per night €385, with a minimum stay of three nights at this time of year. If using the sofa bed an additional cost of €30 is applied. inishbeg.com
Yew Tree House
Enniscorthy, Co Wexford
Take the family – including one (well-behaved) dog – for a week over New Year’s to this gorgeous old farmhouse in rural Co Wexford with access to woodlands and a peaceful stream for perfect, pup-friendly strolls.
The spacious, bright property sleeps seven, with a ground floor double. Enjoy day trips to the nearby Irish National Heritage Park, bustling Enniscorthy or take a short drive to the coast before unwinding in cosy armchairs by the wood-burner stove.
A week from December 30 costs €841, dogfriendlyretreats.com
The Bakers Cottages
Seaforde, Co Down
Once a bakers, and fully refurbished in 2019, many of the original features have been sympathetically restored – such as the Bakers Hole well – on this site.
These features sit happily alongside contemporary additions such as the stunning six-person hot-tub house, fire pit (perfect for marshmallow toasting) and fully equipped play park. A welcome tray of treats greets guests on arrival with the cottage (decorated for Christmas) boasting three beautifully furnished rooms to sleep six, and standout features including a wood burner and free-standing bath.
Views look over the nearby Mourne Mountains but the hustle and bustle of Belfast is also less than half an hour’s drive away.
Three nights from December 30 costs £910 (€1,054 – dates can be adjusted to suit) thebakerscottages.co.uk
Bantry Bay, Co Cork
Pack your swimmers and get set to take the plunge from the private pontoon for a refreshing New Year’s Day dip when the tide comes in at this water’s edge property, safe in the knowledge you can then warm up in the on-site hot-tub.
From a telescope for star-gazing to outdoor swings and the option of kayak use (life-jackets supplied) there’s plenty to keep everyone entertained. Sleeping 12, there are six sumptuous bedrooms – but the jewel in the crown is undoubtedly the master suite with its incredible sea views and stand-alone bath.
The love that’s gone into creating this tastefully decorated property means this is very much not a ‘party pad’ but the perfect place to see in the new year chilling in style.
Four nights from December 30 for €2,700 or seven nights from €3,800, deposit required. dreamireland.com/westerly-house
Headford, Co Galway
New to the collection at Unique Irish Homes, this boho chic Georgian manor house is an inviting mix of historic elegance and striking modern design. The impressive kitchen table in the heart of the house is made from an ash tree felled in the garden and is home to a vast, recently restored 80-year-old working range. Elsewhere, a newly added, light-filled garden room is a modern masterpiece in glass and steel, with bi-fold doors leading on to two acres of beautifully landscaped gardens.
Sleeping up to eight, be sure to invite at least one musical pal so you can see the new year in with a sing-a-long around the grand piano in the spacious, wood-panelled living-room or, even perhaps more exotically, at the pipe organ on the landing.
Five nights from December 28 to January 2 €3,000. uniqueirishhomes.ie/skerrett-hall/
Mulranny, Co Mayo
Stunning views surround this three-bed stone-fronted cottage with Croagh Patrick and Clew Bay, dotted with all its many islands to the front, and the expansive wilderness of the Wild Nephin Range to the rear.
Outdoor enthusiasts and those keen to walk off the mince pies will love it, with a host of walks on the doorstep or a short cycle bringing you to the Great Western Greenway. There’s even a blue-flag beach on the doorstep should you fancy a New Year’s Day swim.
The cottage, which can sleep up to seven, has a home-away-from-home feel with fireside couches, an oil-fired range and walk-in larder – perfect for relaxing in after all those outdoor exertions.
Seven nights over New Year’s from €1,299, dreamireland.com
Stradbally, Co Waterford
Children will love this chic coastal cottage that sleeps six. Not only is it just a 50-metre dander from sheltered Stradbally Cove but inside has some charming kid-friendly spaces, like the brightly-coloured child-sized bedroom set upstairs from mum and dad’s room, and the softly furnished tiny TV den in the loft above the bunk-beds room.
With unexpected stable half-doors, quirky decor and sumptuous scarlet sofas, it’s a home sure to make you see in the new year with a smile.
Five nights from December 28 – January 2 €2,600, uniqueirishhomes.ie/cove-lodge/
Fancy pulling your own pint of Guinness on tap, sinking a putt on your own private golf course then dreaming away on a four-poster bed? Well, who wouldn’t! Of course such unique luxury comes at a cost, but sure the bill can be split between your nine guests that can be accommodated at this elegant Georgian estate.
With its Waterford crystal chandeliers, dining table to seat 10, pool table, workout room, sauna and newly installed hot tub, it would be a push to describe this as a ‘cosy cottage’ – but there is a two-bed guest cottage just off the main house if one of your party has a hankering for lodgings with a more modest square footage.
€2,500 per night for two nights, €2,200 per night for three nights. €700 cleaning fee plus refundable deposit of €2,000. adamsandbutler.com/rentals/ferrybank-house
Trinity Island Lodge
Bellananagh, Co Cavan
Gather friends and escape to your own private island, where this stone-walled lodge lies in 150 acres of forest, surrounded by lakes that can be enjoyed in the property’s fishing boats or stay on shore to enjoy the many badger and deer trails or explore the ruins of an ancient abbey.
With space to sleep up to six guests, there’s also a games room (complete with dartboard, pool table and table tennis table) and a sauna in this beautifully appointed, spacious home.
Three nights for €1,500. airbnb.co.uk
Explore the many walks and cycle trails in the surrounding foothills of the majestic Sperrin Mountains while staying in this newly refurbished self-catering cottage.
Inishtimahon, sleeps eight across three bedrooms with wifi, a log burner stove and starter pack included. But it’s outside where the fun begins with ‘wild woods’, a bronze age settlement and the historic town of Omagh all nearby.
From £60 per night. ancreagan.com
All properties on this list had availability over New Year’s at time of publication