There are over 30,000 castles and castle ruins in Ireland, but none of them was built for royalty. Ireland had no royalty, hence the castles were built as “homes” for rich settlers between the 11th and 15th century attempting to conquer the country. These castles in Ireland prevailed, and a large number are still standing today. In fact, some of these historical buildings have been turned into hotels for those wanting to experience a chance at living the fancy medieval life.
More than just a chance at experiencing a royal life, staying at these castles in Ireland also gives us a firsthand look at their medieval architectural styles. We’re talking neo-gothic, classical, and more. But before scenes from horror movies flash through your mind, relax: these castle hotels have been properly refurbished for the modern person. They contain flushing toilets and Wi-Fi.
If you look through the following gallery, you will see five castles in Ireland that we’ve picked out for you. Each one is located in different parts of the country with different activities to try out.
The Adare Manor is perhaps one of the most newly refurbished castle hotels of the five. Set on 840 acres of land, Adare Manor has a beautiful garden and an expansive golf course. If you’re at a loss of what to do, don’t be. Indulge in afternoon tea, get a fanciful massage, or try your hand at horse riding within the castle grounds. Nearby, history buffs may visit the traditional style Adare Village and see the ruins of Desmond Castle. Curraghchase Forest Park is also worth a visit to clock in some forest bathing time.
Ballynahinch Castle Hotel, on the other hand, is located in Galway. The picturesque castle hotel is set within 450 acres of forest, overlooks the Ballynahinch Salmon River, and has a backdrop of the 12 Bens Mountain range. It’s a postcard scene if we’ve ever seen one. Your dining adventures can be safely relegated to the castle grounds, as its restaurant holds 2 AA Rosettes. In an environment such as the Ballynahinch Castle Hotel, naturally, nature activities are part of the deal. Take a nice walk, go horse riding, or try your hand at hunting woodcocks — one of the local birds.
At the Kilronan Castle Hotel & Spa, the spa is one of biggest highlights of the castle hotel. Take a dip in the pool or the hot tub, then choose a suitable spa package for yourself and a loved one. Where outdoor activities are concerned, the Lough Key Forest & Activity Park is a 20-minute drive away with enough wildlife and historical buildings for you to explore.
The final two castles in the mix are Lisheen Castle and Lough Eske Castle. The former was built in the early 1800s and reopened after 2000 upon an extensive refurbishment. Based on the reviews, it appears that it’s not just the convenient location that appealed to guests, but also the generous hospitality of its owners. Meanwhile the latter scores full marks on the five-star front. It’s also located in Donegal, one of the country’s more rugged counties. Naturally, it will appeal to outdoor lovers, especially if they hike the Pilgrim’s Path towards the Blue Stack Mountains. Fans of Star Wars will also be delighted to know that Malin Head was where they filmed Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
Ready to put on a full suit of armour yet? Click through to see the gallery of our five castles in Ireland to stay in. Be sure to click the (+) button for more info.
(All images courtesy of respective hotels.)