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The Castles of Ireland: Ashford Castle

While most castles call to mind visions of luxurious suites, an impeccably dressed staff ready to serve your every whim, and lush, evergreen gardens, few actually deliver these amenities—at least not to the public. Ashford Castle, western Ireland’s five-star luxury resort, offers all of this along with the charm of a castle that is close to 800 years old. Read on to learn more and plan your stay.


Built in the 13th century by an Anglo-Norman family, the castle has been home to a number of loving stewards. Throughout the years, various buildings—including a French-style chateau—as well as acreage have been added to the property. During the mid 1800s, it was home to the Guinness family who restored its west wing and curated its garden and woodlands. In 1939, Noel Huggard purchased the property and transformed the castle in a luxury hotel. Since that time, several owners have maintained the presence and grandeur of Ashford Castle as a world-class escape—as evidenced by its numerous and prestigious awards. Since 2013 Red Carnation Hotels has been the proprietor, and they continue to restore the palace to its glory today.

The Grounds:

Ashford Castle features a number of gardens for guests to explore, included what is known as the formal Main Parterre, the Walled Garden, and the Terraced Walk. Additionally, a large circular fountain is a scenic draw for guests. There are also 350 acres of Irish woodland that surround the castle grounds.

What to Do at Ashford Castle:

There are 83 guest rooms and suites available at Ashford Castle, so you can enjoy its beauty day and night. Treat yourself to an afternoon of pampering at their state-of-the-art spa or visit nearby Mrs. Tea’s Boutique and Bakery, a boutique gift shop. Delight your palate with their exquisite culinary offerings or attend a wine tasting in one of the castle’s 16th century tunnels. Outdoor enthusiasts can choosing from fishing, golf, horse riding, boat trips, falconry, and more. The castle also offers family friendly activities, making it ideal escape with or without children.


Please note that tours are exclusive to hotel guests. Learn more or book your stay at