The Travel Professional's Guide To Irish Castle Vacations

Ballyseede Castle 1

Ireland’s castles are worth so much more than just a day trip.

All across the Emerald Isle you’ll find plenty of these historic structures situated amidst some of the finest scenery the country has to offer. Bask in the archaeological splendour of features such as centuries-old turrets, towering high towards the sky, to perfectly preserved suits of armour on display.

With so many options to choose from, it can be difficult trying to find the perfect castle to fit your client’s needs.

Just below you will find a comprehensive guide to some of the most luxurious and breathtaking buildings Ireland has to offer. Your clients will get to experience the extravagance of aristocratic life, dine like kings and queens and enjoy a plethora of once in a lifetime activities to while away the day..

Resplendent grandeur in Tralee: Ballyseede Castle

Ballyseede Castle is one of the best-known castle hotels in Ireland and has an immensely storied history dating all the way back to the 1590’s. Eleganant, luxurious and grandiose, the castle lobby boasts beautiful Doric columns leading to an elegant oak staircase and marble fireplaces are dotted throughout which provides a perfect setting for afternoon tea.

There’s no shortage of breathtaking features both inside and outside this castle, from the striking suites furnished with four-poster beds, the wonderfully decorative turret, to the breathtaking 30 acres of private gardens and woodlands just waiting to be explored.

Ballyseede Castle

Things to do

Ballyseede Castle is situated along the Wild Atlantic Way in the heart of County Kerry and is ideally located for an array of day trips.

A world-class dining experience awaits all at The O’Connell Restaurant where residents can sample the freshest local produce in sublime surrounds.

Nearby Skellig Michael is a monastic settlement dating back to the 6th century, UNESCO world heritage site and perhaps best-known as Luke Skywalker's hideaway in the 2017 Star Wars movie.

Afterwards, why not take a scenic drive through the magical Ring of Kerry where time stands still or the Dingle Peninsula, a bastion of Irish language and culture.

Ancient ancestral dwellings await: Lough Rynn Castle Estate & Gardens

Another reason why castle stays are such an attractive option for travellers? You get to see the true heart of the country, going off the beaten track without compromising on comfort.

Case in point? Lough Rynn, where luxury has never looked better.

Lough Rynn Castle Estate & Gardens contains the ancestral home of the legendary Lord Leitrim and his family, the Clements. Take a stroll around Lough Rynn’s walled gardens, while savouring its offerings later in the award-winning Sandstone Restaurant.

Lough Rynn 9

Things to do

Lough Rynn is 30 minutes away from an array of activities, including clay pigeon shooting, orienteering and white water rafting.

Want to try something a little different? Embark on Lough Rynn’s Hawk Walk, which gives the opportunity to get up close and personal with Ireland’s birds of prey.

Spend an afternoon with falconer Darren and his magnificent bird of prey, as you get to enjoy the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to go on a Hawk Walk through the woods and witness your bird flying from tree to gloved hand at over 200mph. Exhilarating, captivating and suitable for children, this is unlike anything you’ve ever experienced before.

Life’s a beach: Beech Hill Country House Hotel

You don’t have to go remote when choosing a castle vacation in Ireland, case in point is Beech Hill Country House Hotel.

This 4 star country manor offers old world luxury decor combined with all the modern conveniences. Dating back to the 17th century, this splendid manor is steeped in history. History buffs will love to know that Beech Hill served as the European basecamp for the US Navy during WW2, with over 750 marines calling Beech Hill home for a while. Today, travelers can visit a museum located in the hotel commemorating the US Navy’s time in Derry.

Located two miles from the culture capital of County Derry, Beech Hill’s location strikes a perfect balance between city escape and country living.

Beech Hill Country House 6

Things to do

Beech Hill plays host to an eclectic line up year round, from magician Keith Barry, gin tasting dinners and murder mystery nights.

If you’re looking to get out into the fresh air, where better to blow off the cobwebs than the Giant’s Causeway. It’ll take you less than 30 minutes to drive to An Grianan of Aileach, the historic monument that’s older than the Egyptian pyramids.

Distinctive historical charm: Vienna Woods Country House Hotel

Downton Abbey who?

Another benefit that comes with choosing a manor holiday is allowing yourself to be immediately immersed in local history.

Cork's Vienna Woods Country House Hotel has a history as dramatic as the rich mustard tone that sets the building apart from the surrounding woodlands on the peaks of Glanmire, County Cork.

The restoration has been a labour of love for owner Michael Magner, promising “friendliness, warmth and conviviality” to every guest. Stay in their decadent guest rooms, or relish in your own space during a few nights stay at their self-catering villas.

Fitzgeralds Vienna Woods Hotel 1

Things to do

Once you’ve decided on that, the possibilities are endless - you might choose to play a round of golf at one of the premier golf courses like Old Head of Kinsale Golf Club, Harbour Point Golf Course, or Fota Island Golf course; all located a short drive from the hotel.

Hit the Cork foodie trail, heading into the city to visit the iconic English Market, or try out some of the exciting gastronomy on offer from the award-winning restaurants and cafes that pepper the city.

Head west to the coast to visit some of workshops and studios of the famed West Cork food producers.

Luxury set amongst natural beauty: Ballynahinch Castle

Ireland’s castle accommodations offer a wealth of activities on your doorstep – it’s a holiday within a holiday.

There’s no fear of you being bored while staying at Ballynahinch Castle, situated in Connemara, County Galway.

Relax in the surrounds of nature in this four-star hotel, with unrivaled views of the meandering rivers and woodlands.

Indulge in afternoon tea featuring the finest seasonal produce and a special tea blend foraged from the nearby Twelve Ben Mountains.

Ballynahinch Castle 1

Things to do

There’s plenty of activities you can indulge in at Ballynahinch Castle.

Renowned as one of the finest fisheries in Ireland, the Ballynahinch Catchment is a diverse system of interconnected loughs and rivers, drained by the Ballynahinch River and offering the very best of fly fishing in Ireland.

This majestic river, with fishing rights owned exclusively by the Ballynahinch Estate winds its way underneath the Castle for three kilometres until it reaches the Atlantic Ocean at Bertraghboy Bay, Connemara Ireland.

All salmon and sea trout entering this magnificent system must swim up this river through the Ballynahinch Castle Hotel Estate giving Ballynahinch its world-renowned reputation as a famous fishery, making it the ideal place for fishing weekend.

From here you can go to Kylemore Abbey – the number one visitor attraction in the West of Ireland – for a tour of the 19th century estate to learn about its history of tragedy, romance, education, innovation and spirituality.

Enjoy a coastal Connemara drive, or check out one of Ireland’s three glacial fjords at Killary Harbour.

About Original Irish Hotels

Original Irish Hotels are a collection of unique, owner-run hotels, located in Ireland’s most outstanding destinations. Open the door to the magic of unmissable moments with Ireland’s leading collection of independent hotels.

Our 60 hotels are dotted around the entire island of Ireland in must-see locations, from the Wild Atlantic Way, to Ireland’s Ancient East, the Causeway Coast, Dublin and the treasured heartland of Ireland’s midlands and lakelands.

Irrespective of where our hotels are, Original Irish Hotels pride themselves in hosting a unique and truly memorable experience for our guests, and soon to be friends. The collection is made up of a range of traditional and boutique hotels, castles, manor and country houses, all run by locals, ensuring a unique experience every time.