Ireland’s historic mansions have been called home by many colourful characters, but Beaulieu House & Gardens has one remarkable claim to fame: legendary female racing driver Gabriele Konig lived here for decades, and her daughter Cara still does. Stop here for its gardens and a tea break before stepping through time once more at the Millmount Museum & Martello Tower in Drogheda. Affectionately known as the “cup and saucer” – this is the very place where the Normans established a fort in the 12th century.
Down the road, it’s the grandeur of history that comes to the fore at Kildare’s Castletown House. A Palladian showstopper built in the 1720s by the richest and most powerful commoner in the land, the house is best appreciated on a guided tour, before refreshing the senses at the Courtyard Café.
Onto nearby Straffan and the Steam Museum, where 19th century steam engines are on display, including a Marshal Compound Portable Steam Engine from 1899. Don’t let the Industrial Revolution get in the way of nature’s charms, though – finish your visit with a relaxing stroll in the beautiful Lodge Park Gardens right next door.