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The Irish Castles

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The Castles of the Emerald Isle are featured.

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THE EMERALD ISLE is celebrated in song, verse, books, poems, and worldwide is recognized as the Green Island.


FORTY SHADES OF GREEN seems like an impossible phenomenon, but as with so much in the Emerald Isle, it is as if the leprechauns sprinkled magic dust across the land.  We were driving out in the countryside, along fields and streams, thatched cottages, and sheep and cows strolling the land.  Bucolic, idyllic, a lovely summer's day, and then the huge rainstorm blew up - and as quickly as it had started, ended.  And in those moments of torrential downpour, we crested a hill, and as the rains blew away, a sparkling green valley lay in front of us.  Forty shades of green, glistening and shining in all their hues lay before us, as well as a giant rainbow covering the valley. All we needed was the pot of Gold and the leprechauns.  A magical moment on a regal trip.


Ireland - one of my ancestral homes on my mother's side.  The lure and magic of the thatched cottage and farm.  We had a giant who lived in the mountains that surrounded us. And every night the fairies would come and dance by the lake where we lived.  I believed it all, and it was a magical counterpoint to the grayness of my English home which had been bombed almost out of existence by Mr. Hitler.


Anyway, a short while ago, I took my mother to see The Irish Castles.  They are a fabled three - ADARE, ASHDOWN & DROMOLAND, all within miles of each other, easy drives connecting them.  If you can only see one, then it will be the one who can give you a reservation when you need it. Otherwise, the choice is totally subjective.  ASHDOWN is probably the most famous of the three.  It's village, CONG, was the setting for the spellbinding movie THE QUIET MAN.  And all these centuries and decades later, it probably looks the same as when the first settlers came there.  Set inside its own park, ASHDOWN retains its majestic heritage and architecture, but thankfully, the plumbing and other mod cons (as we English say), are up to 21st century codes.  Of course, it is now a cultural center, a conference center, a golfing/fishing HQ, a prime restaurant and entertainment center.  Even so, its walls and corridors, turrets and walkways conjure up its medieval charm. If you want to do a lot, or a little, Ashdown is the place to be. 


DROMOLAND its sister castle, stands tall and proud with huge round towers and long connecting corridors.  We stayed in a suite in the Towers and it was constantly bathed in sunlight. Of course there were no elevators, didn't have much use for those in the 14th century!  So, spiral staircases add to the magic of the place.  Long rolling lawns, glorious gardens, indoor sports, and outdoor ones plus an amazing golf course for the serious player, all add to the splendor of DROMOLAND. And the food - hearty, comfort, fulfilling a great meal, some Guinness and an evening stroll in the moonlight, these

Castles have it all.


ADARE, set nearby it's village namesake.  The long ride along the winding carriageway is breathtaking.  All these Castles were built around the same time, each have seen destruction, war, pestilence, religious conflict, and all have risen again. Each Castle was added to in each century, and as I said, improvements for 21st century tastes have been made. The village of Adare is a charming one pony and trap town. Thatched cottages line the roadway, flowers, gardens, lawns, and a cluster of small shops, all add to the quaintness of the bygone time.


All three castles are set aside, in huge verdant parks, but are integral parts of the villages they used to rule over. A few days, a week or more, if you're planning a trip to Ireland, then you MUST plan a trip to one or all of these Castles. The rustic charm of ancient Ireland is on display here, and it will be a most memorable part of your Irish trip.




January 3, 2023


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