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This elegant, Neo-Gothic Victorian house at the entrance to Killarney National Park was built in 1843. Guided tours offer an enlightening glimpse at how both masters and servants of the house once lived—the grand, Downton Abbey–like formal dining room contrasts starkly with the Victorian kitchens and servants’ quarters below stairs. The landscaped gardens are beautiful and a riot of color in high summer. The pleasant cafe, overlooking some manicured flowerbeds, is a lovely spot to linger over a cup of tea. A traditional weavers’ and craft shop is also on the grounds, along with the evocative ruin of the 15th-century Muckross Abbey, founded about 1448 and burned by Cromwell’s troops in 1652. The abbey’s central feature is a vaulted cloister around a courtyard that contains a huge yew tree, thought to be as old as the abbey itself. William Makepeace Thackeray once called it “the prettiest little bijou of a ruined abbey ever seen.”