It is well-known that Ireland has no shortages of castles. They are considered some of the oldest and most famous in the world. Sadly, plenty of these now lay in ruins. Even though the ruins have character and history embedded in them, it is understandable that you would want to visit the medieval fortress of your childhood dreams. So we collected the four most beautiful castles in Ireland that are worth a visit. Drive 477 kilometres from North Ireland to the South through Ireland's rough but enchanting countryside and visit four castles. The total drive will take you about 7 hours, so it's perfect for a short road trip. Don't forget your make pretend sword.
You'll start this drive in the North of Ireland. Surrounded on three sides by water, the absolutely stunning Doe Castle is just absolutely perfect. Architecturally magnificent and set in a beautiful and remote location, the castle was built on a peninsula and looks as if it is floating.
Hot tip: The best viewing spot and photo opportunity is on Carrigart-Creeslough road, which is approximately 10 miles or 16 km from Dunfanaghy village.
Your next stop is Ashford Castle and to get there you will drive 252km down south, which makes it the longest part of the total drive. It will be worth it, because Ashford Castle is the absolute fairytale of western Ireland. Once owned by the world-renowned Guinness family, this castle was converted into a 5-star luxury hotel, in which you spend the night before you continue your journey. With its manicured lawns and gold interior, Ashford is one of the top function destinations.
After being soaked in luxury, it's time to head down to Bunratty castle. To get here you'll have to drive 120 kilometres through County Clare. Before you start your journey, you must book yourself in for a banquet at Bunratty Castle. The feast will take place on a long, wooden bench table, where you will devour knight size portions of potato soup, pork and bread. Situated on an ancient Viking trading camp, this castle with its 15th and 16th century tapestries, furnishings and artworks gives you a real medieval, Irish aristocrat experience.
Drive the last 100 kilometres of this drive down to Blarney castle. Dating back to 1446, the gardens here are beautiful, with interesting rock formations and lovely walks throughout the woods. Take your time to journey through the abundant environment, with sprawling parklands and tranquil atmosphere. Kiss the notorious Blarney Stone and see if legend proves to be correct, by giving you the 'gift of the gab'. Blarney Castle is a perfect end to a perfect drive. From here, it's only a 10 minute drive to the city of Cork where you can rest your head in one of the many hotels and dream away about the medieval magic of Ireland.
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