Known as the Emerald Isle, Ireland is a place of music and myths, of quiet rural beauty and, on occasion, monstrous rainfall with a justifiable reputation as one of Europe’s most welcoming countries.

Property options differ enormously from handsome city centre Georgian townhouses in Dublin to expansive country estates. There are equestrian and stud farms, historic estates based around grand mansions and remote farmhouses on the wild, west coast.

Ireland’s rural appeal is helped by the ability to be remote but not isolated: an excellent road network funded by EU money means that most areas of the country are within two and a half hours of Dublin. Closest to the capital, the counties of Wicklow and Kildare are favourites: Wicklow’s mountains and long coastline providing a perfect city escape while Kildare’s prime agricultural land makes it a centre for horse breeding.

The gentle Irish lifestyle has enticed many families to make the move with County Cork, the most southerly and largest county, a particular favourite. The region offers booming IT and pharmaceuticals industries and many high-tech business parks based in or close to Cork, Ireland’s second largest city. The coast is close and there are good quality schools and an international airport in Cork.

In Ireland golf ranks up with God and Guinness as a national priority. From west coast courses including world-famous Doonbeg, Ballybunion and Lahinch to the 40 or so courses that cluster within one hour of Cork, Ireland’s green and beautiful countryside provides plenty of exceptional options for golfers.

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