Seton Castle, Scotland: €9.12m (£8m)
One tends not to think of castles as family homes, but after an ultra-lavish, yet sensitive refurbishment project, Seton Castle in East Lothian, the former home of the Wemyss family, is just that - an opulent and utterly romantic home on 13 acres of private gardens and parkland.
The castle was built in 1789 by architect Robert Adam using the stone from Seton Palace, Mary Queen of Scots' preferred retreat. As one might expect, the seven-bedroom castle features beautifully executed ceiling plasterwork, curved oak-panelled doors and dramatic bay-windowed rooms, as well as slit windows, secret staircases and hidden doors. But alongside the elegant architectural detail created by Adam, and the gorgeous fabrics chosen by the current owners for the interiors, the castle now features modern conveniences such as a state-of-the-art gym, huge double AGA kitchen, 10,000-bottle wine cellar and cinema.
The grounds feature guest cottages, apartments and a helipad, while next to the working stables are the coach house and Stable Bar - the castle's own private bar, situated in the original tack room of the stable block.
Bohermore, Carlow: €410k - Bargain of the week
PRICE DROP €40,000
Back in the 1990s, the current owners of Bohermore bought an acre of land on a hill just 2km east of the pretty Carlow spot of Bagenalstown, or Muine Bheag as it is also known, and set about building their dream house.
With four bedrooms, a sunroom with underfloor heating and double doors onto a sunny terrace, a drawing room with Victorian fireplace, family or games room with billiard table, and large kitchen/dining room, the house is designed to accommodate a good-sized family.
Over the years, the property has been upgraded with high-spec insulation and solar panels that provide, according to the owners, enough energy to heat the water for most of the year. Outside, there is space for kicking a ball or a spot of cricket practice - there is a good team at Bagenalstown - and the mature gardens are designed to be low maintenance.
Bagenalstown sits on the River Barrow, once a transport artery for goods from Dublin, now more popular as a walking route. It boasts three primary schools, and two secondary schools. Commuters will be interested to learn that it has a regular train service to Heuston.
AGENT: Sherry FitzGerald McDermott (059) 972 0528