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Gregans Castle Hotel

Ballyvaughan, County Clare, Ireland.                                               Telephone: +353 65 707 7005, Email:stay@gregans.ie

Nestled in the heart of the beautiful Burren this stunning 18th century manor house is set in its own established and lovingly-attended gardens, and has spectacular views that stretch across to Galway Bay.  Inside, you’ll find welcoming open fires, candlelight and striking decoration ranging from modern art, to antique furniture, to pretty garden flowers adorning the rooms. Simon and Frederieke manage this oasis of comfort and offer genuine Irish hospitality. Gregans Castle has long been a source of inspiration for its visitors.  Guests have included J.R.R Tolkien, who’s said to have been influenced by the Burren when writing The Lord of the Rings, as well as other revered artists and writers like C.S. Lewis and Seamus Heaney.

In the Dining Room, head chef David Hurley and his team serve creative and modern dishes using fresh, local ingredients like organic Burren lamb and game, and fresh Atlantic fish and shellfish. Gregans has received many awards for food including 3 Rosettes from the AA for “culinary mastery and excellence” and the National Hospitality Awards’ Best Hotel Restaurant 2012.  The extensive and ever-expanding wine list features wines from each continent, including a large selection of organic and bio-dynamic wines.

There’s so much to see and do around Gregans Castle Hotel. You could visit some of the area’s many renowned attractions like the Aran Islands, the Cliffs of Moher and Aillwee Cave. Or how about jigging to some traditional Irish music in the picturesque villages of Doolin and Kilfenora? If you’re looking for some activity and excitement,  horse-riding, golf, cycling, sea kayaking, rock climbing or half or full day walking excursions with a knowledgeable walking guide can be arranged.

 

Ballynahinch Castle Hotel

Recess, Connemara, Co. Galway, Ireland                                          Telephone: + 353 95 31006 Email: info@ballynahinch-castle.com 

Nestled beneath the beautiful 12 Bens Mountain range, Ballynahinch Castle Hotel is one of the finest 4 star luxury castle hotels in Ireland. Set above its famous salmon fishery in a private 450 acre estate of woodland, rivers and walks in the heart of Connemara, this authentic and unpretentious 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.

There are some who visit Ballynahinch Castle Hotel and Estate and never leave the grounds, such is the choice of activities available. Hiking our trails, taking a fly-fishing tutorial, playing tennis, biking, or simply sitting in the tranquility of the grounds listening to the song of the river as it makes its interminable journey to the sea; there are so many ways to engage with Connemara.

“There is more than a bit of magic to the Ballynahinch spell, and food lovers will easily declare it as one of their all-time favourite places to eat and stay in Ireland” – Bridgestone Guide Hot 100

Temple House, Sligo

Ballinacarrow, Ballymote, Co.Sligo.                                               Telephone: +353719183329, Email: stay@templehouse.ie

Temple House is a classical Georgian mansion set in a private estate of over 1,200 acres. The estate has been the Perceval family home since 1665, but the area’s ancient history goes back even further, with the house overlooking a 13th century lakeside castle of the Knights Templar. It is the is ideal stopover between the west and north and a great base for exploring Sligo, Leitrim, Fermanagh, Mayo or South Donegal.

This historic home is not just a boutique hotel experience, offering unique and luxury country house accommodation, plus a self catering cottage that sleeps 8. Activities include on-site boating, coarse fishing, birdwatching, terraced gardens and miles of woodland walks. The surrounding region boasts beautiful beaches, a bird of prey sanctuary, areas of archaeological interest, horse riding, trout fishing and four championship golf courses. Irish music and dance sessions are often held locally.

Meals at Temple House are thoughtfully prepared with ingredients grown on the estate, sourced locally or from specialist producers and which are, where possible, organic.

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Ashford Castle

Cong, County Mayo                                                                                    Telephone: +353 94 954 6003                                                                Email: reservations@ashfordcastle.com

Dating back to 1228 and once the estate of the Guinness family, the legendary 5-star Ashford Castle Hotel is one of Ireland’s grandest castle hotels, with a history going back to the early 13th century.  Situated in 350 acres of manicured gardens and beautiful parkland, this is probably Ireland’s most romantic hotel. Panelled walls, oil paintings, suits of armour and magnificent fireplaces adorn public rooms which have magnificent views of Lough Corrib, the River Cong and wooded parkland.  Ashford is renowned for a range of country sports including one of the largest equestrian centers in the country, fishing on Lough Corrib and River Cong, an exclusive nine-hole golf course, Ireland’s first school of falconry and sport clay shooting.

Within a few hours you can sample magnificent mountain vistas, enchanting seascapes, and the broad expanses of wild and colourful countryside for which Connemara is famous.