Ireland is famous for many things, one of which is the vast number of Castles that can be found on our small Island. There are over 350 castles in Ireland with some dating back almost 900 years! It is believed that Trim Castle in County Meath (less than 1 hour from Dublin city) is one of the oldest castles in Ireland and was constructed over a 30 year period beginning in 1176AD.
1. Ashford CastleThe magnificent five star Ashford Castle is set in 350 acres, on the picturesque shores of Lough Corrib. Dating back to 1228, the castle now enters a new chapter in its history, as part of The Red Carnation Hotel Collection. With 83 spectacular rooms, suites and a Lakeside Cottage, a wealth of activities and plenty of thoughtful touches, guests will enjoy acclaimed Irish hospitality on a grand scale. Unrivalled service, warm Irish hospitality and five star luxury await at Ashford Castle which is now and a member of Leading Hotels of the World. Discover sumptuous rooms and suites, splendid interiors brimming with antique furniture, fine fabrics and unique features at every turn. From fine dining to a wealth of activities on the doorstep, a stay at Ashford Castle is perfect for romantic breaks, family escapes and elegant private events.
2. Ballynahinch CastleBallynahinch Castle Hotel is one of the finest 4 star luxury castle hotels in Ireland. Ballynahinch Castle has been intertwined in the history of Connemara and its people for centuries, from the recorded battle between the O’Flahertys and O’Malleys, in 1384, to the visit by all the Lord Mayors and Mayors of Ireland and some from overseas, to celebrate the Quinquennial year of Galway city receiving its charter. Ballynahinch i.e. Baile na hlnse, means ‘household of the Island’, and refers to the O’Flaherty Castle built on an Island in the lake. Voted number one in Ireland by Condé Nast readers, this magnificent property is set in a private 450 acre estate of woodland, rivers and walks in the heart of Connemara County Galway. This authentic and unpretentious Castle Hotel stands proudly overlooking its famous salmon fishery, with a backdrop of the beautiful 12 Bens Mountain range. Ballynahinch Castle Hotel is the perfect base for a touring or activity break or simply relaxing. Expert guides are available to assist in every activity, on the sea, the mountains, rivers and trails or in the library exploring the rich culture of this spectacular region.
3. Dromoland CastleSavour your first glimpse of this majestic castle and its enchanting lake, as you pass through the castle gates. This was the ancestral home of the O’Briens of Dromoland who were the Kings of Thomond and whose lineage goes back 1,000 years to Brian Boru, the only High King of Ireland. Under glittering antique chandeliers descend grand staircases and meander through elegant hallways and beautifully furnished rooms. Luxuriate in plush, sink-in sofas in front of large, ornate fireplaces with blazing log fires. Relax as our unsurpassed, experienced and friendly staff takes special care of you. The Earl of Thomond’s Restaurant offers you a heavenly dining experience you’ll remember forever. And cocktails in Dromoland’s Library Bar are sublime, so go on treat yourself. Appreciate the natural beauty as you stroll through the peaceful Dromoland Estate (with more than 400 acres to explore). Feed the ducks or take a boat out on the lovely lake. Why not try an archery class or enjoy our falconry experience? Or what about a round of golf or a relaxing spa date? Dromoland Castle is within easy reach of the wonderful Wild Atlantic Way, the Cliffs of Moher, the Burren and all the delights that County Clare and County Limerick have to offer. Conveniently close to Shannon International Airport, Dromoland Castle is the perfect place for your perfectly idyllic vacation.
4. Kilronan CastleOne of Ireland’s most luxurious Castle Hotels, Kilronan Castle is the ancestral home of the Tenison family and the legendary Colonel King Tenison. It is one of a few Irish castle estates that can trace its history back to royal families. The castle and its surroundings were lovingly restored and rejuvenated into a luxury Hotel. This secluded, luxury castle hotel is majestically set on the shores of Lough Meelagh in Roscommon. The castle is surrounded by over forty acres of breath-taking Irish scenery, lush green pastures, ancient forests and historical points of interest. Approached by a meandering drive that passes acres of magnificent lawns, Kilronan Castle overlooks a glistening lake which commands the panoramic beauty of the surrounds. The team at Kilronan Castle provide the highest level of luxury, comfort and service. You will enjoy old world elegance with modern day comforts. One step inside Kilronan Castle and you are at home. Local activities include hiking, golf, sailing and biking. Lough Key Forest & Activity Park is a 20-minute drive away and boasts a variety of wildlife and historic building The Douglas Hyde Restaurant offers fine dining with a range of dishes made using locally sourced produce.
5. Lough Eske CastleLough Eske Castle Hotel & Spa in County Donegal sits within 43 acres of forest woodland, surrounded by the shores of Lough Eske on one side and the Blue Stack Mountains on the other. Open since December 2007, this lovingly restored castle-hotel blends its historic past with a dash of contemporary elegance. Beyond being the only five-star hotel in Donegal this magnificent property was named the World's Best Luxury Country Hotel for five consecutive years (2009-2013) at the World Luxury Hotel Awards. Lough Eske Castle traces its roots all the way back to the late 1400s and the famous O’Donnell Clan that founded the nearby town of Donegal. The original castle was first built around 1474 and an old date stone of 1621 remains on the property to this day. The current Lough Eske Castle was constructed in the early 1860s on the site of an old Brooke mansion, but was partially destroyed by an accidental fire in 1939. Escape into a luxurious world of relaxed grandeur and extraordinary personal service. From the award-winning spa to the dining table to your beautifully appointed guestroom, you will be provided with a truly accommodating environment where the teams dedication to the guest is thoughtful, reliable, consistent and complete. Superb service and superior amenities make every day here a perfect day. Step into the Solis Lough Eske Castle, and you step into an imposing Tudor-baronial castle, lavishly refurbished and extended to create the modern comforts and graceful refinement of a world class boutique hotel. With stunning views amidst hundreds of acres of unspoiled woodlands, the landscape is as magnificent as this castle hotel in Ireland itself. There are so many other incredible Castle Hotels situated throughout Ireland. While on vacation in Ireland it is a shame not to enjoy at least one night of where you can turn time back and relax in historical luxury. Here are some other magnificent properties worthy of a mention:
- Waterford Castle
- Lough Rynn Castle
- Castle Leslie
- Abbeyglen Castle Hotel
- Barberstown Castle
- Markree Castle
- Kinnitty Castle
- Fitzpatrick’s Castle Hotel
- Clontarf Castle
- Gregan’s Castle
- Ballyseede Castle Hotel
- Dunloe Castle Hotel