This fine, creeper clad 18th-century building sits back a short distance from the High Street in Donaghadee, home to Ireland’s oldest pub. This is the ancestral home of the de la Cherois family whose Huguenot ancestors fled France and served William of Orange with distinction in Ireland. You’re met and well looked after though by Naima who has her own apartment in the house and gives you delicious, hearty breakfasts – from the full Irish to fruits, yogurts and warmed croissants. You’ll sleep peacefully (the road is quiet at night) in large, light bedrooms with high ceilings, thick mattresses and smooth white cotton bedding. Floors are carpeted, bathrooms are generous, all is warm and toasty. You may read or just rest in the vast drawing room with its marble fireplace, gilt mirror, chintz sofas and Persian carpets, it may sound grand but it feels homely. Wander into town, visit the Copeland Islands for sea birds and seals – a dolphin if you’re lucky – explore National Trust properties, have a round of golf (there are plenty of courses nearby) or take yourselves off to Bangor for a proper Irish seaside day out.