Pretty though it is, the village of Shannon Harbour, where the Grand Canal meets the River Shannon in County Offaly, has a sad sight at the heart of it.
There, on the southern bank of the canal, stands the spectacular ruin of the Grand Hotel, built in 1806, as Shannon Harbour enjoyed its heyday as a busy trans-shipping centre.
Thousands of passengers once passed through the village, alighting from barges to take tea at the Grand Hotel. There were five of those hotels along the waterway - starting at Portobello and ending at Shannon Harbour.
The building is now roofless and derelict but still an impressive sight. These days it supervises a new type of waterway traffic, that of pleasure cruisers.
Some two kilometres from the village, in the townland of Park, is a fairly imposing latter-day construction - an architect-designed detached house built in 2011.
The property stands at 3,121 sq ft in an asymmetrical layout, with plenty of glass walls and doors opening onto assort flat roofs. It's energy-efficient, however, with oil-fired underfloor heating and a B2 rating.
The space includes five bedrooms - two on the ground floor (one en suite) and three upstairs, including the master bedroom which has an en suite and walk-in wardrobe.
By way of reception rooms, there's an open-plan living room and kitchen with a wood-burning stove, and a separate sitting room, also with a stove.
It's on 1.6 acres with a limestone patio, beech hedging and a stand of apple trees. Also on the grounds there's a detached office, insulated and wired for broadband.
From here it's about 30km to Athlone and an hour and a half to Dublin.
It's for sale for €425,000 with Sherry FitzGerald O'Meara in Athlone (0906) 475 500.