33 Fabulous Castle Hotels in Ireland
Everybody dreams of staying in one of the many Castle hotels in Ireland, well here are 33 of the best castles in Ireland to stay at. From deep luxury with helipads, spas and butlers to self-catering castle hotels on Air BnB. Ireland has some of the best castles you can stay in. Some of these Irish castle hotels are also quite reasonably priced and can range substantially in price and amenities.
Finding a hotel castle in Ireland is not difficult there are hundreds of affordable castles to stay in Ireland and so many Irish Castle Hotels you can’t travel without finding at least one in every County of the country. This is a list of 33 of the best Castles in Ireland that you can stay in.
The cost ranges quite dramatically but in some cases that absolute touch of luxury is worth the cost for one night and getting to brag to your friends back home that you stayed in a luxury castle hotel in Ireland.
I can’t think of anyone I know who hasn’t dreamt of living in a castle well here in Ireland there are dozens of restored castle hotels you can spend a night in. You won’t even have to bankrupt yourself to stay in an Irish castle hotel as some are incredibly reasonable. There are even a few that are haunted.
- 33 Fabulous Castle Hotels in Ireland
- Castle hotels Ireland map
- 33 Best Castle hotels in Ireland
- Galway castle hotels
- Best Castle Hotels – Limerick
- Best Castle Hotels – Cork
- Best Castle Hotels – Tipperary
- Best Castle Hotels – Kerry
- Best Castle hotels – Cavan
- Best Castle Hotels – Monaghan
- Castle hotels in Dublin
- Best Castle Hotels – Clare
- Best Castle Hotels – Kildare
- Best Castle Hotels – Roscommon
- Best Castle Hotels – Offaly
- Best Castle hotels – Waterford
- Best Castle Hotels – Donegal
- Best Castle Hotels – Leitrim
- Best Castle Hotels – Sligo
- Best Castle Hotels – Mayo
- Best Castle Hotels – Wexford
- Best Castle Hotels – Northern Ireland
Here are the best picks for castle hotels in Ireland, with options for all types of budgets!
Best Castles in Ireland Faqs
What is the best Castle in Ireland to visit? A tough question but if you just want to visit a castle and not stay in one I recommend the following: Kilkenny Castle, Birr Castle, Bunratty Castle, Cahir Castle, Carrickfergus Castle, Trim Castle in Mayo, Dublin Castle, and Belfast Castle.
What is the cheapest castle in Ireland? Well, the affordability of staying in a castle in Ireland is subjective what you consider expensive I might consider cheap but here are the most affordable castle in Ireland: Ballynahinch, Clontarf, Cabra, Waterford, Lough Eske, Kinnitty, Ballyseede and the Lodge at Ashford Castle, not the actual castle itself.
Can you stay in Dublin castle? No not in that particular castle but there are two castle hotels near Dublin to stay in – Clontarf Castle and Luttrellstown Castle.
What are the most luxurious Irish castle hotels? Without a doubt Ashford Castle is one of the most luxurious and expensive Castles in Ireland and has had the most amount of world leaders and celebrities that choose to stay here. Ashford Castle Hotel is rated as the best hotel in Ireland.
- Abbey Glen – Galway
- Ballynahinch – Galway
- Caher Castle – Galway
- Lough Cutra – Galway
- Adare Castle – Limerick
- Black Castle – Tipperary
- Ballytarsna-Hackett Castle – Tipperary
- Lisheen – Tipperary
- Blackwater Castle – Cork
- Ballintotis Castle – Cork
- Belleek Castle – Mayo
- Turin Castle – Mayo
- Ashford Castle – Mayo
- Ashford Lodge – Mayo
- Ballyseede – Kerry
- Cabra – Cavan
- Castle Leslie – Monaghan
- Clontarf – Dublin
- Luttrelstown – Dublin
- Dromoland – Clare
- Kilkea – Kildare
- Kilronan – Roscommon
- Kinnity – Offaly
- Lismore – Waterford
- Lough Eske – Donegal
- LoughRynn – Leitrim
- Markree – Sligo
- Waterford Castle – Waterford
- Wilton Castle – Wexford
- Ballygalley – Antrim
- Belle Isle – Fermanagh N. Ireland
- Crom Castle – Fermanagh N. Ireland
- Narrow Water Castle- Down
Castle hotels Ireland map
33 Best Castle hotels in Ireland
Galway castle hotels
Abbeyglen Castle Hotel
Abbeyglen Castle Hotel has it all surrounded by gorgeous woods and parkland, the Castle has turrets and is a luxury resort to rest your head. Situated in Connemara (where you will find Kylemore Abbey) on the Wild Atlantic Way they are known for their superb cuisine. This is a small boutique type hotel that has 9 fabulous suites.
Built in 1832 it has been used as a Protestant orphanage, a derelict home for the local sheep and it was purchased and renovated superbly in the 1960s by the Hughes Family.
They have some amazing package getaways including a midweek Wild Atlantic Way package that includes a trip to Inishbofin Island, 2 nights bed and breakfast, a gourmet 5-course evening meal on both nights, complimentary champagne at 6:30 where there is a presentation and chat on the history of the Castle and local area.
During the afternoon you can treat yourself to complimentary tea and scones from 4 to 5 pm. All this for a price of €115 per person per night. Oh and don’t forget you can fly in via helicopter as they have 2 landing pads. The rooms with breakfast if pre-booked and paid for are a mere €98.10 out of season an outstanding value.
Ballynahinch Castle Hotel
Originally a pretty damned special fishing lodge, Ballynahinch Castle occupies over 700 acres in the heart of Connemara. Dating from the 1700s with a stunning backdrop of the 12 Bens Mountains It has been rated as one of the finest hotels in Ireland.
Inhabited at one time by Ireland’s Pirate Queen Grace O’Malley celebrities such as Margaret Atwood have stayed here. What makes it special? Occupying 700 acres in the heart of Connemara on a backdrop of the 12 Bens Mountain Range, Ballynahinch Castle is renowned as one of the finest fisheries in Ireland. Dating from the 1700s, Ballynahinch celebrates its origins as a fishing lodge with wood panelling, traditional parlours, riverside rooms and quiet forest trails.
One of the finest hotels on the Wild Atlantic Way the amenities include breakfast, afternoon tea, fine dining, a pub and lots of outdoor activities. Learn to clay shot, or simply pull on your hiking boots and head off for a hike or bicycle in the glorious countryside.
If you are staying at Ballynahinch you can hike the Connemara National park and climb Diamond Hill check out Ireland’s Killary Fjord. Rent a car and head to Kylemore Abbey or strike out for the iconic Irish town Clifden village. Cost averages around €300 per night depending on the season.
Lough Cutra Castle
Lough Cutra is a private family home that is available for private rental and it was designed by John Nash. This is a gothic revival Castle built by Colonel Vereker in 1797. The countryside surrounding Lough Cutra contains much evidence of a history dating back to the Tuatha Da Danaans. Evidence of old churches, cells and monasteries are prolific in the area and a number of the islands on the lake contain the remnants of stone alters. The history of the estate can be traced back as far as 866 A.D.
Famous folk who have stayed here include His Royal Highness Prince Charles and Duchess of Cornwall Camilla, Irish President Michael D Higgins, Bob Geldof, Lady Augusta Gregory and WB Yeats.
You can go pike fishing (fly or spinner) on the private 1000 acre lake. Pheasant and duck shooting, bird watching, hiking cycling and within the area there is some great shopping and golf. The nightly rate for 18 people starts at €3,500, with a two-night minimum.
Caher Castle is about 25 minutes from Galway and listed on Air BnB. You have a private master bedroom with a turret that sleeps up to four people. Cahercastle was most likely built in the late 1400s the price? You can live like a king for €160 per night. This would be considered one of the best rustic castles to stay in Ireland.
This is one of Air BnB’s most rented rooms and it is a deeply personalized experience. Peter and his wife Eva live in the castle with their children and make sure your stay is absolutely perfect. Some of the more unusual features in the home include a homemade limestone toilet, mosaic tile floors and hand-carved stone details, such as a carving of Peter’s wife, Eva.
Of course, being only 25 minutes from Galway City doesn’t hurt either as there is so much to do in the area. Visit the city for some gourmet restaurants, great music nights and lots of shopping and special events.
Best Castle Hotels – Limerick
Built in the mid-1800’s Adare Manor has recently undergone a massive refurbishment and is known for its top-ranked hospitality. Set on the outskirts of one of Ireland’s prettiest Villages (Adare) the Estate sits in 840 acres with incredible gardens.
Every indulgence is at your fingertips, 5* Michelin starred dining, the ultimate in pampering and spa facilities, afternoon tea, horse riding with an English saddle no less. There’s also a golf course nearby that will be hosting the Ryder Cup in 2026.
Adare Manor’s refurbishment took over 2 years and involved 600 master craftsmen to clean and restore the original flooring and timbers. The craftsmen used lime plaster and decorated using historically appropriate materials and finishes, including breathable paints, papers, and even gold leaf.
Nearby the quaint Adare village has great charm. Traditional thatched roofs line the main street, many containing fabulous restaurants. You can explore the ruins of Desmond Castle or head over to Limerick to visit the Limerick Milk Market where you can snack and browse to your heart’s content. Rooms begin at €360 for a weeknight stay and head upwards to €3,890.00 for a suite.
Bunratty Castle and Folk Park are nearby and you can learn about Irish life from the 1800s onwards.
Best Castle Hotels – Cork
Ballintotis Castle is actually a square tower that was in ruins and has now been restored and refurbished. It is listed on Air BnB. It is a 4 story tower so you need to be somewhat fit going up and down the stairs. It dates from the 16th century and has one bedroom with a fabulous four-poster bed (but cots are available) it is heated by wood burners and is according to the reviews incredibly cosy. It costs around €120 per night and is closed during the winter months. Don’t forget to stop by the English Market when you drop into Cork City.
If you’d like to know what a stay would be like in the castle check out my blogging friend Angie’s article on her stay in the Castle.
Blackwater Castle is a 12th-century building on the site of a 2500-year-old fort and it overlooks the River Awbeg from a rocky outcrop. The surrounding estate is 50 acres with its own private river and the castle can sleep up to 16 with 9 suites and 6 reception rooms. You can rent the castle from €3,500 a night and although everything but food is catered for you will find yourself in private luxury.
There is an extensive multi-lingual library, you can relax in the Tea Room, or play the Baby Grand Piano in the Music Room Within the Castle grounds there is fishing in the private river or you can go hiking through the woodlands. There are 9 suites available which sleep up to 23. The castle doesn’t take any less than a group of 20.
You can also have breakfast with your host who lives on the grounds with his family, which is served in the Terrace Room overlooking the River Awbeg. YOu can also rent the castle for private wedding ceremonies.
Best Castle Hotels – Tipperary
The Black Castle
Do you want a really authentic castle stay? As in no electricity, no internet, no plumbing? Then you want to stay in The Black Castle which is a tower house from the 16th century. Located in Lisquillibeen, Coolbawn, North Tipperary, the Black Castle has total privacy and you are given candles and firewood for light and heat. The Black Castle is a truly rustic castles to stay in ireland.
There is a fabulous oak half-tester bed and a kitchenette stocked with a welcome hamper for your arrival. There is hot water in the sink and basic but luxurious kitchen supplies like a Nespresso machine. You can charge your phones and other equipment in the Kitchenette as it does have power obviously. In a separate room, there is a “dry toilet” with hand-made soap and towels provided.
Stays at the castle are charged at €300 per night, based on two people sharing. This majestic tower stands on a rocky outcrop in the middle of woodlands and wetlands and is bordered by the pretty, crystal-clear Ballycolliton River to the north. It is surrounded by fields, woods and forestry with picturesque Lough Derg about two kilometres away, as the crow flies. From the top floors, the views are magnificent and the ruins of Annagh and Cashlaunteigebocht Castles can be seen, as well as the Devil’s Bit Mountain and Silvermine Mountains.
Ballytarsna-Hackett Castle dates from 1480, and it is a 15th century fortified tower house that fell into ruins in the 1800s. It has now been beautifully restored and the top floor can be rented through Air BnB.
The fifth floor is the suite that you can rent, but you had better be fit there are 64+ stone steps to your tower suite. There is a beautiful four-poster bed and a lovely ensuite. The castle does have its own dungeon with graffiti scratched on the walls with a date of 1536.
You get some pretty spectacular views including the Rock of Cashel and there are some brilliant places to explore in Tipperary. Rent a car and take a drive through the Golden Vale or the Galtee mountains. It isn’t a long long way to Tipperary and it’s a beautiful drive. The room rate runs around €260 a night.
Lisheen Castle was built in the 1800s but its original structure was burnt down during the Civil War of 1922. The Everard family who owned the dairy farm where the Castle stands rebuilt and restored the Castle in 2000. Available on Air BnB the Castle is now for rent weekly either as self-catering or all-inclusive. and can accommodate up to 14 guests. Prices range From €6,240 a week.
This area of Tipperary makes a great place from which to explore the County and beyond. A short drive will take you into Cork, or Cobh and other historic regions of Ireland’s Ancient East.
Best Castle Hotels – Kerry
Ballyseede Castle Hotel – Tralee
Kerry’s only Castle Hotel Ballyseede is located near the Ring of Kerry. Set in 30 acres of woodland this is a boutique-style hotel with a resident wolfhound and naturally a ghost.
A friendly ghost called Hilda was the last of the owner’s line. Hilda was a Nurse during WWI and had seen a lot of bloodshed in France and Belgium at that time. On her return to her home, the Rising had begun and the Tralee area was the site of many a rebel battle and murder.
Hilda is usually to be found in the Crosby Room which was her bedroom and interestingly although no roses are used in the hotel it is said that Hilda’s ghost brings with it the smell of red roses from the gardens. Room rates range from €140 to 275 including an excellent breakfast.
From Ballyseede you can easily take a tour of the Ring of Kerry or hike Carrantohil mountain said to be Ireland’s tallest. Or simply head for some great walks in Killarney National park and make a stop at Muckross House. Visiting Killarney is a treat and you can pick up a horse and buggy to tour the Ring.
Best Castle hotels – Cavan
Cabra Castle Hotel
Cabra Castle is set in the beautiful Dun Na Rí Forest Park. The Castle is actually two castles, one now converted into a luxury hotel the other a crumbling ruin. Dating back to 1699 and set in 100 acres within the National Forest. Cabra Castle Hotel is officially a building of intrinsically significant, historical and architectural interest and is open to the public between the hours of 11 am and 4 pm daily for viewing, year-round (closed December 24, 25, and 26).
Local legend would have you believe that a true Romeo and Juliet story is the centre of the ghost haunting Cabra.
The locals believe that in the 1780s the young man of the castle fell in love with a servant girl (Sarah) and his disapproving family murdered the girl and her unborn child, dragging her from her bed and hanging her from the nearby bridge. It is said that you can hear the cries of a baby within the castle walls weeping, lonely and lost crying for its mother.
There are 24 bedrooms within the Castle and 6 cottages on the estate that can be rented. Room prices from €140 to 220.
Best Castle Hotels – Monaghan
Castle Leslie Estate
A family-run historic Irish Castle the Castle Leslie Estate has been in the family since the 1600s. Castle Leslie has received guests from royalty, celebrities, politicians and others during its lifetime. The Leslie family has a very colourful history and can apparently trace their family roots back to Attila the Hun.
While at Castle Leslie, you take advantage of the Victorian Treatment Rooms, a fabulous afternoon tea and for something more vigorous try your hand at kayaking or horseback riding.
The Castle has hosted celebrities such as W.B. Yeats, Mick Jagger and many more; in fact, Paul McCartney was married to Heather Mills here in 2002.
Castle Leslie’s hauntings are varied there are rumours of strange happenings in the castle, bells ringing, mysterious figures wandering the corridors. The Mauve Room is said to visit occasionally by Lady Constance, who died in 1925.
There are also stories about a mysterious monk appearing to visitors and a baby’s cry can sometimes be heard in the night. It is said that Norman Leslie, who was killed during the First World War visited his mother on the night he died. Lady Marjorie was sleeping in the Red Room and awoke to see his ghost standing near the foot of her bed, looking through some letters. The ghost turned, smiled at her and then faded away.
Room rates at Castle Leslie are €120.00 to €304.00 per night depending on which room you choose to stay in. All rates are for 2 and include breakfast.
Monaghan is truly an outdoor lovers paradise, you can hike the majestic Mourne Mountains, climb Slieve Donard or explore the Game of Thrones filming sites in the area including Tollymore Forest.
Castle hotels in Dublin
Clontarf Castle Hotel
The original Clontarf Castle dates back to 1172 but the “newer” building is significantly younger. Located in the seaside village of Clontarf which is just north of Dublin’s city centre and a few miles from the Dublin Airport it is located in a quiet and peaceful setting.
Clontarf Castle has seen a lot of history in its day from the Templar Knights to the Cromwellian conquest and of course the Rising. Irish chieftain Brian Boru gave the Vikings one of their rare defeats at the former port of Clontarf in 1014.
Regarded as one of the greatest composers of the Baroque era, Handel was a regular guest at the castle during the Dublin premiere of his famous work Messiah.
Captivated by Dorothy “Dolly” Vernon, the lady of Clontarf Castle’s charms, Handel would compose Forest Music in her honour.
Given its proximity to Dublin, there is a plethora of things to do in the area. Take a ride into Dublin and enjoy all the off the beaten path sites. Hang out in some pubs for trad music. Or simply wander around the lovely village of Clontarf. Just a short walk away from Clontarf Castle Hotel sits an elegant townhouse with a bright red door. This is the birthplace of Bram Stoker the author of Dracula.
A deluxe bedroom ranges from €159.00 including breakfast to €299.00 for a Queen boutique suite.
Luttrellstown Castle Resort
Lutrellstown Castle Resort is only around 30 minutes outside Dublin and is a true 5* experience. It is a Castle that is for hire on an exclusive basis and it is set within 560+ acres that includes a championship golf course. The Castle dates to the 15th century and it is believed that Sir Henry Luttrell seized the estate in 1436, during the reign of King Henry VI.
Over the years many notable celebrities and members of the royal family have spent some time at Luttrellstown Castle. The Grand Duke of Luxembourg, Prince Rainier and Princess Grace of Monaco, Fred Astaire, Douglas Fairbanks, Queen Magrethe II of Denmark, Paul Newman and Ronald Reagan have all stayed in this stunning Irish castle. More recently, the world’s media descended on Luttrellstown Castle Resort in 1999 for the fairy-tale wedding of David and Victoria Beckham.
Luttrellstown Castle with its 11 bedrooms and bridal suite range from €55000 – 55000 per week. Rentals are from Saturday to Saturday only.
Want to explore your Irish ancestry then go and check out Glasnevin Cemetary for some help tracking the relatives down or take a tour of the graveyard where some of Ireland’ most famous rebels and celebrities are buried. Oh and don’t forget to head to the Gravediggers pub for a pint.
Best Castle Hotels – Clare
Dromoland Castle Hotel
Dromoland Castle is one of Ireland’s finest castle hotels and offers guests the experience of living like landed gentry, surrounded by luxury. Dromoland Castle is the ancestral home of the O’Briens who can trace their history back to Brian Boru the ancient High King of Ireland.
Dromoland is rated one of the best castles to stay in Ireland for families it offers kids clubs during school breaks and the kids will get personalized cookies and milk at bedtime. Baby-sitting is also available for date night dinners at the Castle’s Earl of Thurmond restaurant.
Another storybook castle hostel, Dromoland Castle as you see it today dates back to 1835. The estate is 400-acres and includes a luxurious spa, fine dining options, and plenty of recreational activities including golf, horseback riding, archery, and cycling. Plus, it’s close to two of Irelands most popular natural attractions; the Burren and the Cliffs of Moher, making it a great place to base yourself for a night or two. Stay from €270 per room, per night.
Close to the lovely Irish village of Ennis and from here you can explore the Burren and the Burren Perfumerie which creates beautiful fragrances and personal items. Limerick is not far and I highly recommend a visit to the Milk Market.
Best Castle Hotels – Kildare
Kilkea Castle dates back to the 12th century and is one of the oldest castle hotels in Ireland. Guests can book to stay in either the Castle, Carriage or Lodge Bedrooms. The Castle is also available to hire exclusively. As a Castle guest, you will have a uniquely designed room, access to the restaurant, and drawing rooms and of course the Keep Bar.
Activities on the Estate include golf, horseback riding, archery, falconry the tennis courts and there are special activities including 4×4 tours, Whiskey and Chocolate tastings, and some beautiful walks on the estate. Castle rooms stays are available from €293.00 per night depending on the season.
County Kildare is west of Ireland’s capital, Dublin and it is considered horse breeding central. Famous for the Irish National Stud farm, the Horse Museum and the Curragh Racecourse – if you love horses Kildare is the place to go.
For those who are more into history and nature County, Kildare must visit will include St. Brigid’s Catherdram and the Bog of Allen in the north of the county.
Best Castle Hotels – Roscommon
Kilronan Castle Hotel
Another stunningly beautiful castle but slightly off the beaten path Kilronan Castle is tucked into Ireland’s Ancient East in the Hidden Heartlands. This is truly a fairytale hotel, built around 1803, the King Tenisons family re-built the old family home into Castle Tenison. Sadly due to money “issues” the house was a wreck by 2004 with some outside walls remaining and not much else.
Bought by the Hanly’s in 2006 they set about restoring the Castle to its original grandeur. historians and curators were also commissioned to ensure faithful attention to detail including the sensitive selection of interior design and materials from a bygone era
Kilronan Castle is now one of the country’s most prestigious spa hotels. With 84 rooms to choose from you can stay in classic luxury with a four-poster bed and under-floor heating, antique furniture and flat-screen TVs, or a castle Top suite. A castle suite will set you back €184.00 depending on the season and you can choose from a nice range of packages to suit your taste.
Roscommon is a fairly quiet place but that doesn’t mean there is nothing to do pop over to Boyle Abbey is one of Ireland’s greatest medieval abbeys. Nearby medieval, Rindoon is the ruins of one of Ireland’s only medieval settlements. Sligo is not far at all and there is plenty to see and do here including the church where WB Yeats is buried.
Best Castle Hotels – Offaly
Kinnitty Castle Hotel is a gothic revival castle that, actually burned down in 1213 and the Castle that stands today was built in 1928. One of my favourite areas of Ireland’s Ancient East Kinitty is now considered one of the most luxurious castle hotels in Ireland.
Settle snug in the foothills of the Slieve Bloom Mountains, Kinitty Castle is set within 650 acres of parkland including 60 acres of lawns. There is a fine dining restaurant, the Library Bar and a splendid drawing-room to relax in.
Kinitty Castle is comprised of 37 opulent guest rooms with cast iron roll top baths, soaring ceilings and fitted out with handsome antiques. Prices for a “standard” double room range from €110.00 depending on the season up to €200.00 for a double suite.
There are also lots of activities to choose from starting with golf, tennis, horseback riding and equestrian retreats, clay pigeon shooting and stand up paddleboarding.
While you are in the area you absolutely must go and visit Birr Castle which is an outstanding medieval castle in the village of Birr. If you are visiting in August go and take in the annual Game Fair held at the Castle.
Best Castle hotels – Waterford
Lismore Castle was back in the day an Abbey and the buildings were transformed into a Gothic Castle in the 1700s. The first owner of Lismore Castle was the soon-to-be King of England, Prince John, when he built Lismore back in 1185. On becoming monarch, he passed it to the Church to be used as a Bishop’s Palace. After the Church, Sir Walter Raleigh who introduced tobacco and potatoes to Queen Elizabeth bought the Castle.
The Castle is very modern it sleeps 8 to 12 or up to 27 for a bigger party. Larger events are also possible and all are attended by the family’s private staff, led by Denis Nevin, the castle’s Butler for the last 35 years.
Lismore Castle’s rental prices range from €31500 to – 34650 per week. Rentals are from Saturday to Saturday only.
The castle is located in the heart of Lismore village, one of those quintessentially charming Irish villages. You can hike in the Comeragh mountains head over to the Rock of Cashel and Hore Abbey, visit Cahir Castle and Swiss Cottage said to have been designed by John Nash. If you like cave exploring there are the Mitchelstown Cave about 45 minutes away, and to the south, you have the coast with its lovely beaches.
You can explore Ireland’s Viking Heritage in Waterford and experience some great fine dining.
Waterford Castle Hotel
Located on an island outside of Waterford City, the Waterford Castle hotel is absolutely stunning. enchanting year-round. Steeped in Irish history, the site of Waterford Castle settled from ancient times, was the ancestral home of the Fitzgerald Family for 800 years this enchanting Island surrounded by the River Suir.
In 2015 the hotel changed ownership and has undergone an extensive renovation and restoration. The new owners have restored the 16th century Castle, redecorated the 45 self-catering lodges and the King’s Channel clubhouse. They are currently putting a luxurious spa into place which should be open soon.
Activities include Falconry and a hawk walk. The Falconer introduces you to the 5000-year-old history of hawks and falcons. You will learn how to fly the hawk and have plenty of time for selfies. You may also get to meet the Estate owls and learn all about them. For a 60 minute Hawk Walk the cost is 1 person €80 or for 2 people €60 each.
You can also learn clay pigeon shooting, go fishing, play croquet on the extensive lawns, play tennis or simply go for a peaceful walk around the island.
Prices range from €230 euros a night including breakfast for a double room and up to €350.00 for a suite.
Waterford Castle is a short drive from Waterford City which is home to the Viking triangle. You can visit the Comeragh Mountains in the southeast and go for a long hike. It’s also a relatively quick trip to Hook Head to tour a working lighthouse. If you want to see puffins take a private boat hire to the Saltee Islands.
Best Castle Hotels – Donegal
Lough Eske Castle
Lough Eske Castle nestles in a 43-acre estate along the Wild Atlantic Way the estate contains a Hotel and Spa that allows you to escape into elegant luxury with 96 guest rooms, and suites, a spa, indoor heated swimming pool, a fitness centre and hosts many special events and weddings throughout the season. Lough Eske Castle is a luxury dream come true.
The spacious grounds with their sculptures and fountains, the elegant relaxing spa and top-rated cuisine in the restaurant and bar. The average cost of a room at the Castle is around €350 per night which includes breakfast and full use of the fitness centre but you can find some very nice packages which will include everything from meals to luxurious pampering at the Spa. This 5-star hotel is a treat for the senses and the soul.
Nearby you can enjoy all the pleasures of Donegal Town with its outstanding musical traditions in the pubs. Treat yourself to some gourmet restaurants like The House, or head up for some strenuous hiking on Slieve League. Rent a car and take off to see Glenveagh Castle and the Glenveagh National Park or tour the area around Mount Errigal and the Poisoned Glen.
Best Castle Hotels – Leitrim
Lough Rynn Castle Hotel
Located in County Leitrim, Lough Rynn Castle Estate and Gardens was the ancestral home of the Clements family and the legendary Lord Leitrim. Lord Leitrim was a callous and merciless landlord, famous for evicting his tenant farmers and eventually being assassinated in a hail of bullets.
Lough Rynn Castle is fairly new having been built in the 19th century and renovated in 2001. It features a beautiful walled garden that supplies its top-rated kitchens. Lough Rynn has both self-catering cottages and beautifully appointed suites within the castle itself. The hotel has 44 rooms available for rent with prices starting at €110.00 out of season up to €285.00 for a suite in July.
Within 30 minutes of Lough Rynn Castle, there are a plethora of activities that include: golfing, biking, hiking, clay pigeon shooting, kayaking, white water rafting, canoeing, and all types of pleasure cruises on the Shannon. There’s the Marble Arch Caves which featured in Game of Thrones, the Glenview Folk Museum and even Ireland’s first coal mining museum.
Best Castle Hotels – Sligo
The only Castle Hotel in Sligo is Markree Castle, which was home to the Cooper Family for over 370 years. With beautiful Italianate gardens and 500 acres of fields and parkland. In 2015, after four centuries, it finally changed hands and is now run by the Corscadden family who owns several hotels around Ireland. The Castle reopened after its refurbishment and renovation in 2018 to rave reviews.
The 300-acre Markree Castle estate dates has a massive staircase that leads upwards and on the landing of the second floor, there is a huge stunning stained glass window that traces the original Cooper family from Victorian times back to King John. There is even a fabulous chapel.
The estates’ parkland contains an array of wildlife including the rare red squirrel, otters, and kingfishers it is a mecca for walkers and wildlife enthusiasts.
There is so much to do in Sligo from Yeats Country to taking an outstanding drive around Benbulben or simply hiking the Sligo Way. You can surf in Strandhill take in the seaweed baths or kayak on Lough Gill. Head off in your car and see if you can find the magic road on the Gleniff trail.
Exclusive use of the Castle will cost you between €6,500 per night and up to €25,000 per night, season dependant of course.
Best Castle Hotels – Mayo
Turin Castle is a luxury self-catering venue near Ballinrobe in County Mayo Ireland. It is a unique medieval castle set against the backdrop of picturesque countryside. Turin Castle Ireland had been abandoned for at least two hundred and fifty years up until its restoration in 1997. It is a privately owned castle and sleeps a maximum of 12 people. There is a great hall for meals and catering can be arranged. Prices to rent starting at €3,000 out of season and go up to €4,000 in season these are weekly. If you want to rent for a weekend prices begin at €1,800.
The castle sits in 16 acres of rich walled pasture land and is close to Cong where the Quiet Man was filmed and Ashford Castle if you fancy another Castle stay.
Ashford Castle Hotel
One of Ireland’s greatest castle hotels Ashford Castle is the epitome of luxury, service with amazing facilities available for their guests. Ashford Castle was established as a hotel in 1939 and became renowned for its “country pursuits” for the rich and famous. This is where many of the stars of The Quiet Man stayed while filming in Cong just down the road.
It’s a very grand place and for a small fee, you can even visit if you aren’t staying in the Castle of the lodge. Ashford is also one of the best castles to stay in Ireland for families. You tour the area, take a Hawk Walk you can even fish, hunt and learn to shoot at the Castle. Of course, there are advantages to staying in a luxurious Castle like this you can unwind in the premier cinema room, with free sweets and popcorn. or simply enjoy a range of estate activities including tennis, golf, cycling, billiards, walking with a map of suggested routes or meet the Estate’s Irish Wolfhounds when they come to visit the hotel each morning.
As a member of the public you can visit the grounds of the Castle for a fee of €10 Euros, just ask the gatekeeper for a map. The public is also welcome at Cullen’s at the Cottage, a casual eating-place set in a thatched cottage with views of the castle. An Afternoon Tea runs from around €40 Euros in the castle itself, again you will need reservations.
Private hawk walks begin at €95.00 for one participant €150.00 for two participants. Rooms start at €325.00 and suites go up to €3,250.00. Of course, this does include a few Ashford extras a Full Irish breakfast, a Complimentary relaxation pool, a steam room and fitness studio, and Complimentary green fees, for the 9 hole golf course.
Since you are in the area why not take a drive to Kylemore Abbey and admire the Victorian Walled Gardens. Stop by Roundstone Village and marvel at the natural wonder that is Killary Fjord, Ireland’s largest fjord, or hike the ancient pilgrimage track, Mám Éan.
Ashford Castle Lodge
For a slightly less expensive stay why not give the Lodge at Ashford Castle a try? Set within the 350-acre estate the Lodge overlooks Lough Corrib and offers a comfortable but luxurious country house charm.
Stays at the Lodge start at €165.75 depending on the season and go upwards to €495.00 for a double suite. You still receive complimentary Full Irish Breakfast, complimentary green fees and free bike hire but must pay extra for use of any facilities at the Castle Spa.
Don’t forget to visit Cong when you are in the area you don’t want to miss this peaceful beautiful village where The Quiet Man was filmed.
Belleek Castle was built between 1825 and finished in 1831 for the cost of £10,000 It was taken over by the Mayo County Council in the 1950s and they used the Manor House as a hospital & military barracks and then abandoned it. In 1961 Marshall Doran, a merchant navy officer and an avid collector of fossils and medieval armour, bought the property beautifully restored it and opened it as a hotel.
The lovely secret that Belleek Castle holds is that it is so much more than a hotel. You can take a Belleek Castle Tour which includes a history of the Castle and the life of Marshall Doran who restored the Castle. You will see one of the finest collections of Jurassic fossils in Ireland in the Belleek Castle Museum along with medieval weapons and armour. You can also see Grace O’Malley the “Pirate Queen’s” bed among other oddities.
All the rooms are beautifully furnished in period style complete with fabulous antiques and some even have lovely four-poster beds. All rooms include a great continental buffet and a full Irish breakfast cooked to order in the morning. Room rates begin at €135.00 per Night and go up to €170.00 for a suite.
You can visit the ruins of Grace O’Malley’s Castle where she is said to have died. Head to Croagh Patrick for a pilgrimage or visit the haunting Famine Memorial in Murrisk.
Best Castle Hotels – Wexford
Wilton Castle Hotel
Another newly restored and renovated hotel Wilton Castle is located on the banks of the Boro River in Enniscorthy. A smaller hotel with only 7 bedrooms you can rent the castle for the entire family for around €1000.00 a night on Air BnB.
This modern castle resides in Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford and has all the luxuries that you could only dream of. It hosts 7 massive bedrooms that can accommodate up to 14 guests.
The elegant 19th-century castle is set on the banks of the Boro River and looks like it’s a real treat. You can rent the castle from a €1,000 a night on Airbnb.
Wexford is a great place to visit with lots to do in the area. Go visit the outstanding Dunbrody Famine Ship in New Ross you can also take a puffin hunting trip to the Saltee Islands or head to the Kennedy Homestead in Dunganstown. Johnstown Castle & Gardens.
Best Castle Hotels – Northern Ireland
Ballygally Castle – Antrim
Set on the stunning Causeway Coast of N. Ireland Ballygally is a 4-star hotel with its own ghost. A 17th century Castle is only 26 miles from Belfast and has recently undergone a refurbishment.
Balleygalley’s ghost Lady Isabella is reputed to be “friendly” and visitors can see if they can feel her presence in the “ghost room” tower.
You can also see one of the famous Tour of Doors which are carved from the massive trees that fell in the Dark Hedges which was used as Kings Road in the Game of Thrones. The Castle even runs a Game of Thrones Tour, which includes Afternoon Tea, a tour of the filming locations and an overnight stay with breakfast!
From BalleyGalley you can explore the jaw-dropping 9 Glens of Antrim or take a short drive to Carrickfergus Castle. The beach is a short walk away and you can enjoy all the picturesque beauty of the Giant’s Causeway and other sites on the Antrim Coast.
A room at the hotel starts at a reasonable €138.88 and goes up to €162.02 for the Tower Suite. The cost does include a full Irish breakfast.
Belle Isle Castle – Fermanagh
Belle Isle Castle itself is deep within the 400-acre estate and completely private. Its 18th-century castle has 13 bedrooms and there are 13 self-catering cottages so the estate is very private. Built solely as a house in the early 17th century, Belle Isle Castle is now expanded and fully refurbished and serves as a popular tourist attraction, hotel and wedding venue. It also contains an on-site cookery school.
The castle contains a gallery, an overlook tower, a courtyard, and a grand banquet hall. It also offers different residences throughout its coach houses and cottages, all of which include unique, different style bedrooms for its guests.
A single-lane bridge leads to the Castle crossing over the northern tip of Upper Lough Erne the estate has been in use since the 12th century.
The cost of a stay is for a minimum of two nights in the Castle itself at £2,530.00. However, you can stay in Ash Cottage on the Estate for £150.00 per night. This is self-catering so no breakfast included.
While you are in the area you can finish your Game of Thrones Tour with a trip into Enniskillen and lunch at Blakes where you will find one of the Dark Hedges doors. You can check out Enniskillen Castle and explore the Lough Erne. While in Fermanagh you might want to do the Stairway to Heaven hike or see some ancient stone figures on Boa Island.
Crom Castle – Fermanagh
Crom Castle is a romantic nineteenth-century Victorian castle set in a 1900 acre estate and one of Northern Ireland’s most important conservation areas. The stunning castle estate, overlooking the waters of Lough Erne. You can rent the 5-star west wing of the Castle for either a week or for a weekend and it is self-catering. Weekly lets from £4,000 (season depending), weekend lets from £2,500 (season depending).
Crom Castle has its own private entrance and is furnished in beautiful period antiques.
Narrow Water Castle – Down
Narrow Water Castle is a luxurious 5* self-catering property located in Warrenpoint and is privately owned. The Castle dates back to the 15th century and is an Elizabethan revival building completed in 1836. There are two self-catering apartments both of which are 2 bedrooms and ensuite. One is in the oldest part of the house that dates back to 1670 and the newer one is in the Castle itself. The owners encourage you to explore the whole estate and see if you can find the hidden castle. To stay here would be to almost imagine you are at Downton Abbey.
The “Cottage” as it is known as is the self-catering kind not exactly in the Castle itself but with all the luxuries of the Castle the cost ranges from €229 upwards again depending on the season.
County Down is an absolutely stunning part of N. Ireland. You can explore the Mourne Mountains and go for some incredibly scenic walks and hikes. Head to Tollymore Forest and explore some of the Game of Thrones sites in the woods. Or go hang out by Strangford Lough and enjoy the wildlife and bucolic scenery.
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