This perfect little cottage for combining fabulous hill walking (the Dublin Mountain way passes close by), golf (12 courses within five miles: ‘golf heaven’) and Dublin’s buzzy culture and night life (the station is five minutes’ drive) was built in the 1800s – and looks brand new. It has all the finish and fittings of modern life yet is bright, cheerful and comfortable, just as a cottage should be, with incredible views of the sea from its five acres. Hilary, a warm, caring person, provides the basic foodstuffs any kitchen needs and all possible guidance to make your stay a complete success. Inside, the rooms are surprisingly light: the low windows are bigger than in most Irish cottages, the light bounces off the fresh flowers that always greet new arrivals from the solid-pine kitchen table, the open-plan living space has a pleasing rustic-pine simplicity. You could happily read all day here in dimmer weather. Bedrooms are equally easy and comfortable, with excellent new bedding, and there’s a little private garden for balmy days. Don’t miss the original Saturday-morning Irish country market in Kilternan.