If there's little storybook allure to the brute mass of Cahir Castle, fairy-tale looks grace the first earl of Glengall's 1812 Swiss Cottage, a dreamy relic from the days when Romanticism conquered 19th-century Ireland. A mile south of town on a particularly picturesque stretch of the River Suir, this "cottage orné" was probably designed by John Nash, one of the Regency period's most fashionable architects. Half thatch-roof cottage, half mansion, it was a veritable theater set that allowed the lordly couple to fantasize about being "simple folk" (secret doorways allowed servants to bring food without being noticed). Inside, some of the earliest Dufour wallpapers printed in Paris charm the eye. A pleasant way to get here is to hike from Cahir Castle on a footpath along the river. In peak season, crowds can be fierce.
Off R670, Cahir, Co. Tipperary, Ireland