Castle tours, ranging from modest itinerary to luxury custom tours, are wonderful means of acquainting yourself with Ireland’s rich past. While countless castles have sadly been reduced to ruins over the centuries and are only fit for a day visit, many are fully occupiable and renovated. Travelers often have the thrilling option to be an overnight guest in these grand spaces. Here are a few choice castle locations to make you feel like old Irish gentry during your stay in “The Emerald Isle.”
- Adare Manor, County Limerick
With the current structure dating back to around 1830, Adare Manor is more ‘new’ in Ireland’s timeline, and thus without some of the exciting stories of conflict that flavors the history of neighboring Irish castles, but it is still stunning in its vision and scale. Originally the house of the Earls of Dunraven, it remained the family home of the Dunravens until as recently as 1980. Today, Adare Manor offers elegant boarding with period-appropriate touches in its design, butler service, as well as resort-style activities such as the golf club. Adare also prides itself on its beautiful old Christian artifacts and Catholic imagery, with Catholicism remaining the most dominant religion in 84% of Ireland even today.
- Lough Eske Castle, County Donegal
Towering, secluded, and lakeside, Lough Eske Castle appears to materialize from the pages of an Irish fairy tale. The history of its estate dates back to the 1400s with the O’Donnell clan, the founders of County Donegal. Nowadays, the spacious estate houses several dining and event areas — plus a spa, of course. The surrounding countryside and small towns are quaint and picturesque in that quintessential Irish fashion.
- Dromoland Castle, County Clare
The current castle structure was completed around 1835, but the tumultuous history of Dromoland is documented as early as 1551 and shows in the surviving structures strewn about its sprawling grounds. Much of the nineteenth century architecture has been lovingly preserved, but the world-famous castle hotel also boasts such modern luxuries as a Michelin star restaurant, golf course, and spa. The castle can count Nelson Mandela, Johnny Cash, and Bono as just a sampling of its famous guests.
- Eagerly awaiting your own piece of royal Irish living?
To get the most personalized quality out of your castle tours, and to secure a room in a storied castle like the ones mentioned above, trust Hammond Tours to help guide you. Contact us today to plan your Irish experience.