Country house hotels and outdoor pursuits in Ireland A region of Ireland that's often underestimated for its wide reaching beauty and adventurous capabilities, Co. Monaghan is rich in everything from outdoor pursuits such as angling and wake boarding to historic industry such as Clones and Carrickmacross lace renowned for its detailed techniques favoured by royalty. It is the landscape that has inspired the building of rich houses and aristocratic homes, as well as the poems of Patrick Kavanagh. In short, it is a spectacular location for a holiday. Like so much of Ireland, Co. Monaghan is rich in castles and legend, an inspiring location that fuels the imagination from Edergole Court Tomb to the Celtic Cross and Round Tower. For all of this, it makes for both a romantic holiday destination as well as a family friendly one, rich in entertainment. Hospitality leaves little to be desired in this part of Ireland as well, and it is in these parts that you will experience the warmth of Irish charm at the likes of Castle Leslie, for example. A sprawling castle and estate that has remained in the hands of its founding family for more than 350 years, it is an example of all the region's best assets come together. Here there is history, architectural splendour and beautiful natural surroundings, coupled with fine food utilising local ingredients wherever possible. Take a pair of wellies and explore the woods and wetlands, as well as luxuriating in the beautifully styled rooms and suites. Alternatively, you may prefer Hilton Park - another example of historic grandeur and nobility, but in an altogether different style, it is a country house hotel and stately home that makes an idyllic wedding hotel, set as it is amongst 600 acres of heritage woodlands, gardens and lakes. Built in 1734, it offers genteel entertainment such as fishing, clay pigeon shooting, boating and croquet, but is also a fine hotel for walkers, a favoured golfing hotel and even a destination for those looking to go wild swimming in the freshwater lake.