Enter the low, beamed hall with its blazing log fire – and know 18th-century Ghan House for the much-loved family inn that it is. Joyce and her son Paul give more than just love: warmth, comfort and attention to detail is paramount. The food is excellent: wild boar and venison terrine was on the menu when we visited. Enclosed within the ancient walls of Carlingford, probably the best-preserved medieval town in Ireland, the house looks over the tree-lined road, across Carlingford Lough to the Mourne Mountains sweeping down to the sea. Some guests prefer a room in the quirky timeworn old house, others the peace and quiet of the new annexe. There are arched doorways, mouldings, old-style velvet with tassels, proper bathrooms – everything is impeccably done, everywhere you find thick wool carpets, family antiques, personal bits, a sense of deep peace, books in the cosy little sitting room, and views of either mountain or sea. The Carrolls know and enjoy what they are doing and are genuinely friendly with it. You won’t be short of things to do, either. Restaurants, pubs, watersports, hill-walking or the simple pleasure of sitting by a turf fire.