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5 Breathtaking Irish Castles You Need To Visit

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Who doesn’t love Irish castles? They all have a timeless footprint from history that just cannot be replicated. 

If you are doing an upcoming road trip around Ireland, sprinkle in a few of these breathtaking castles. 

And if you have the money why not book a nights stay in one of them! 

Let’s waste no time and get straight to these incredible Irish castles! 

5. Ashford Castle Co. Mayo – Irish Castles 

Ashford Castle is one of the most glamorous castles in Ireland to stay in. Yes, you read that right!

Ashford castle another one of many Irish castles you have to visit

You can, in fact, stay in this Irish castle. At a mear €700(average starting prices) you can glitz yourself and live like a king(or queen) in this 5-star luxury hotel! 

You can, however, stay next door in their lodge for a more affordable €200 a night, very nice accommodation for that price! Take a look at prices here.

In 1951, the film director John Ford came to the west of Ireland to film The Quiet Man, starring John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara. 

Nowadays the castle has been used as a set for “French Court” in The CW’s hit medieval drama Reign.

Arthur Guinness sold his share of the brewing company to his brother in the 1870s and became Lord Ardilaun of Ashford.

Did you know: The Castle was sold by investors in 2007 for €50 million to Galway-based property investor Gerry Barrett and his family. But due to many property companies overextending themselves they went bankrupt. 

In October 2012, the hotel was put up for sale and was valued at around €25 million, half of what Barrett paid in 2007! That is an incredible €25 million loss over 5 years, wow!

Set in a 350-acre estate, this 800-year-old construction was home to the Guinness family for nearly 70 years.

Ashford castle Co. Mayo, Ireland

Now that is an impressive place to stay.

Keep your eyes peeled as it is regularly frequented by celebrities! 

Maybe I will become famous and bring you all there? Haha 

4. Gosford Castle Co. Armagh

Gosford Castle entrance

The video below does it much more justice!

Gosford Castle located in Northern Ireland used to film scenes for Game of Thrones belongs now to list of Castles in Ireland for sale.

Here is an ariel shot in case you are castle shopping: 

Built in the mid-1800s by the 2nd Earl of Gosford, Archibald Acheson, Gosford Castle was occupied by the Earls of Gosford until 1921.

In 2006 the castle was acquired by Gosford Castle Development Ltd who put forward a £4million proposal to restore the building and to transform it into luxury apartments.

Some 17 apartments were completed and are all occupied, but the part of the castle on the market offers the potential to develop a further six apartments with an average space of 3,500sq ft each.

3. Kilkenny Castle Co. Kilkenny

Kilkenny castle front facing

Great place to walk around on a summers day.

There was no way I couldn’t include this! I have personally visited this Irish castle many times and it is well worth the visit. 

This 12th-century castle sits in the middle of the city

Kilkenny became one of the very few castles that have been restored, fully furnished and offer tours to the public.

In 1391, the distinguished Butler family purchased the castle and the various Earls, Marquesses and Dukes lived in the castle for nearly 600 years.

In 1967, Arthur Butler sold the Kilkenny castle for £50 to the people of Kilkenny. Yes that is not a typo, he sold it for only £50

Did you know: Ireland’s highest officially recognised air temperature, 33.3 °C (91.9 °F), was measured at Kilkenny Castle on 26 June 1887

2. Kylemore Castle Co. Galway(Most Beautiful)

Bring an extra camera for this haha it is truly, in my opinion, the most beautiful. 

Kylemore Castle Co. Galway - the most beutiful of Irish castles

Just look at that Irish castle wow!

Kylemore Abbey founded in 1920 was initially a Benedectine monastery and home to the Benedictine nuns since 1920.

The Castle and Victorian Walled Garden are one of the most iconic tourist attractions in the country.

Here is a little video I found of a girl touring the castle in 2016.

This beautiful place offers many scenic photographic opportunities within woodland walks and garden tours.

With its fascinating history, beautiful architecture, craft shop and tempting homemade delights in the restaurant and tea rooms, the place is must visit in Galway.

Kylemore Castle Co. Galway

If you haven’t seen it yet be sure to add it to your list.

1. Belvelly Castle, Co. Cork

Now, this castle you can’t actually visit(because it is privately owned) but I really wanted to mention it. 

The other day I was watching RTÉ One(Irelands main TV channel in case you don’t know) and The Great House Revival was on.

Belvelly Castle

Be sure to watch the TV show if you can.

I ended up watching the whole thing. Turns out a wealthy couple decided to put well over €5 million of their own money into bringing the Irish castle back to life. 

It was a fascinating watch as it showed the struggles and intense amount of work that was needed to get this job finished. 

While the show has already aired you should be able to find it online or via the RTÉ player. Here is a little preview


If you are in the area be sure to drive by, you will notice a massive golden tree statue on the rooftop(yes a golden tree!)

Golden tree on top of Belvelly

Top of the castle controversial artwork.

Final notes on these Irish castles

Well, they certainly are a insatiable bunch of Irish castles for you to check out.

This is by no means a complete list of castles you should visit. You would be here reading for a very long time if I was to share all of them. 

But it is great to see in some cases that after countless generations that these castles still thrive. 

5 Best Breathtaking Irish Castles You Need To Visit In 2019


Thanks for reading,


P.S Subscribe to my weekly dose of Irish here, I send an update every Friday straight to your inbox. 

P.P.S You check out 5 more Irish castles in this post. 

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