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Actually just across the border in the Republic, this historic estate surrounded by lush grounds is one of the very best places to stay in the North, having welcomed a dazzling list of luminaries over the years (W. B. Yeats was a houseguest, Winston Churchill was a cousin of the Leslie family, and Paul McCartney and Heather Mills were married here in 2002). Strolling around the house you’ll wander past Wordsworth’s harp, the Bechstein grand piano on which Wagner composed Tristan and Isolde, and Winston Churchill’s baby clothes, among many other things. Guest rooms are individually designed to varying degrees of grandeur; most are located in the converted hunting lodge, although guests with deeper pockets can stay in the main house for the full "Downton Abbey" effect. The outstanding Snaffles Restaurant offers sophisticated dishes prepared with local ingredients, such as filet of seabass with red pepper drops and baby carrots, or roast chicken with garlic and citrust dressing. You can also opt for a more casual meal at Conor’s Bar and Lounge. On the several hundred acres of grounds, horseback riding, clay pigeon shooting, and other outdoor activities can be arranged; there’s also an elegant spa to smooth away the few cares you have left. The price is incredibly reasonable for what you get.