Luxury in Ireland: Great Castle Accommodation with Golf

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Dromoland Castle
Newmarket – On – Fergus,
Co. Clare,
Ireland

Tel: +353 61 368144

 

One of the better known castle hotels in Ireland, Dromoland, oozes Irish history, wonderful architecture, warm welcomes and an attractive landscape.

 

 

This ancestral home of the O´Brien´s is just as impressive as you´d expect: from the flames blazing in large ornate fireplaces in luxurious chambers to rich and cosy rooms over- looking walled gardens, there is so much for the eye to take in and savour.  Wherever you find yourself here, you´ll be regaled and intrigued in comfortable intimacy.

Then outside, you´ll be happy to know that some of the 400 acres surrounding the castle consist of the enticing golf course that was ranked no. 59 on the Golf Digest Volvo Top 100 Irish Courses, 2018.

5 Star Legendary Hotel in Ireland

After a round of golf (or even clay shooting, pony ride, tennis or other activity) you may want to rejuvenate in the calming spa before sampling an ¨authentic taste of Ireland¨ in one of the dining rooms.

What is better than golfing on a stunning parkland course and then being enveloped in Irish warmth and riches in this historic and acclaimed place?

 

Other ´accommodating´ castles or manor houses with golf courses in Ireland include:

Luttrellstown Castle Resort,
Castleknock,
Dublin 15, Ireland, D15 RH92

52nd on the list of the top 100 golf courses in Ireland by Golf Digest Volvo, 2018.

 

Adare Manor

Adare Manor
Adare,
Co. Limerick

The golf course underwent a redesign by Tom Fazio and reopened in 2018 and the club has its sights on hosting the Irish Open and/or even the Ryder Cup in the near future.

 

 

 

 

Ashford Castle,
Cong,
Co. Mayo,
Ireland

9 Hole Course

 

Kilkea Castle
Kilkea Demesne,
Castledermot,
Co. Kildare
R14 XE97

 

Irish Castles and Nearby Golf

 When thinking about Irish castles, you don´t first conjure up an image of ´enchantment´ like Disney portrays (you know, the fairy-tale kind by way of Bavaria), but you do think ´kissable´, ´mystical´, ´historic´, even ´haunted´.

For a while now, what has also enticed many to Irish castles is ´luxury´ and ´golf´.  While there are many interesting castles in Ireland, there are not many that offer the visitor both accommodation and golf.  So, I promise, in the next blog post, we will take a look at those  that  tempt the golfer to both stay within the castle walls and golf in the shadow of them.  In the meantime,  lets take a look at some famous and interesting castles that are open to visitors, do not provide accommodation but offer a lovely experience (and often other attractions & activities) and even  a golf course nearby.

Some of the more captivating and better known castles that are worth seeking out and are a wonderful experience in themselves are, Blarney Castle, Bunratty Castle and the Rock of Cashel.  So let´s visit each of these briefly.

 

BLARNEY CASTLE:

Blarney Castle

 

Bunratty Castle is located in County Cork, 1.5 hrs. from Shannon Airport and only 20 minutes from the city of Cork. Built by the King of Munster,  Dermot McCarthy,  in 1446, this is the third castle to reign on this site, and now over 500 years later there is an invitation to all to climb its stony steps, explore dungeon and cave or stroll through its captivating garden grounds.

 

Many come from far and near to kiss the Blarney Stone (also known as the “Stone of Eloquence”) which is embedded within the walls of this strong and well preserved castle ruin.  It is said, that once that kiss is planted on this limestone slab, you´ll never be at a loss for words  no matter the situation  – or, as the Irish say, you´ll have the ´gift of the gab´.

 

 

 

BUNRATTY CASTLE:

Bunratty Castle

 

Bunratty Castle,  just a few minutes’ drive from Shannon Airport, is a wonderfully restored 15th century medieval castle.  It is bedecked with furniture from the 1400s and 1500s and offers world famous banquets that are replete with period costumes, music, dancing and joviality.

As part of your experience here, there is an inviting folk park where you´ll be swept into a village scene from the 19th century. You´ll get a glimpse of a life in a time long gone in an enjoyable, dare I say, even in an educational hands-on way.

Bunratty Fairy Village

Another wonderful diversion, created for those seeking to have a more original experience and which should prove magical for their younger companions, is the Fairy Village – a place full of imagination and lure.

 

ROCK OF CASHEL:

View of the Rock of Cashel and Hore Abbey, Co. Tipperary, Ireland

Heritage Ireland describes the Rock of Cashel  (Carraig Phádraig), nestled in the centre of the south of Ireland in County Tipperary, as ¨ A spectacular group of Medieval buildings set on an outcrop of limestone in the Golden Vale including the 12th century round tower, High Cross and Romanesque Chapel, 13th century Gothic cathedral, 15th century Castle and the restored Hall of the Vicars Choral.¨

Combining the physicality of the surviving structures with the fact that it was a site of power (an ancient royal site of the Kings of Munster) that dates back to the 4th and 5th century and knowing that Brian Boru was inaugurated here as King of Munster 978, it is no wonder it is one of the most visited archaeological sites in Ireland.

 

OTHERS:

Deluce Castle, Co. Antrim, NI

 

Of course there are plenty more castles and manor houses in Ireland just waiting to show off their grandeur to appreciative visitors.  The following is a short list of some notables coupled  with a nearby golf course:

 

 

 

 

Dunluce Castle   – 87 Dunluce Rd., Bushmills, Co. Antrim                        Royal Portrush Golf Club

– Dublin Castle     –  Dame Street, Dublin 2                                                      Royal Dublin Golf Club

– Parke´s Castle   – Kilmore, Fivemilebourne, Co. Leitrim                            County Sligo Golf Club

– Donegal Castle   – Castle Street, Donegal                                                        Donegal Golf Club

 

For more on where to find sites of Ireland´s rich heritage, visit Heritage Ireland.

St. Patricks Day & The ´Green´ of Ireland

 

 

 

Why Ireland?

Discover, or rediscover why with this video.

No flow of words necessary here – the music and images alone transport you.

Happy St. Patricks Day and come visit us in Ireland.

 

 

If you want to see more, feel more and discover who the Irish are today, watch this powerful video.

 

IRELAND, GOLF, CAVING, MUSIC, BOXTY & GIN!! All is Explained.

Even the Irish know that you don´t go someplace in Ireland just to visit, you go to experience it and bring back stories. Wherever you find yourself on the island, you quickly realize you are on a path of discovery that can fill you with warmth (regardless of the weather), nourish you with its diversity, exhilarate all your senses and even give a feel of mysticism.

¨There are no strangers here.  Only friends you have not yet met¨.  WB Yeats

A Dolmen (megalithic tomb)

 

While this blog is to discuss alternatives to golfing when you and your companions are taking a golf trip or on a golf weekend in (especially in NW Ireland), we can say that the above holds true even if you only have time to play a favourite course. —

Think about it.  You know the people at the club always offer a friendly smile and probably a story or two; whether on a links, heathland or parkland course, the natural environment can surprise you with something different on each visit.  Light in Ireland for example, may bathe you in a glistening. misty-white by the coast, highlight droplets on dewy grass like tiny  Christmas tree baubles. or break like shards of glass through old oak trees.  Then add how the fragrances vary, nature´s sounds differ and drip in slowly  and even how the ground underfoot changes and spurs you forward at different speeds and you appreciate how such outside  stimuli wonderfully work in tandum for your benefit.

 

Ballinamore GC by The Shannon-Erne Waterway

So, you see how it can be a great experience on the course. Then  when you finish your game,        you´ll feel the slow release of fulfilled sensations while  coming back to a relaxed, warm state and you´ll probably dine on something lovely in the clubhouse that may include the very traditional and regional dish of Boxty ( For the culinary curious, see video on how to make boxty at the end of this blog post) and maybe some local beer.

Now you are refreshed and have a few golf`free hours to plan. If you want variation in your Irish Golfing Experience why not embrace local culture, arts, food and drink.
So……

 

Pair your golf game with some of these offerings in Ireland´s scenic Northwest –

Most visitors to Ireland like to pair Irish brewed or distilled libations with their golfing experience, and if not doing this in a local pub (or tea room – as the Irish are very particular about their tea too), then doing so by visiting some old reliables like – Guinness Brewery or Jameson´s Distillery while in Dublin ( the latter also in Cork),  or perhaps Old Bushmills which is just ´down the road´ from Portstewart Golf Club (host of the 2017 Irish Open) in County Antrim.  These have, for good reason, been popular stops for many years, but how about a visit to a couple of the newer kids on the block –

Carrig Beer

– Carrig Brewing Company, making fine craft beer and *The Shed Distillery,  makers of Gunpowder

Gunpowder

Gin.  Both of these companies are  located in, as The Shed´s website puts it,

¨In deepest rural Ireland, on the edge of a lake in Drumshanbo, Co. Leitrim¨

* (Note: The Shed´s new visitor center will open in 2018)

 

     Drumshambo, Leitrim & Other NW Locations

Boats on Canal, Ballinamore

OK, many of you are wondering where Drumshambo is and what golf courses are nearby. I´ll answer the latter shortly but  let´s first begin by saying, Northwest Ireland, and indeed Drumshambo itself, boasts a natural untamed landscape, with great fishing,  hiking trails, boating, music &  most everything around has a poetry about it as confirmed by such writers and musicians as WB Yeats, John McGahern, Turlough O´Carolan & Mary McPartlan.  In this part of the world you may encounter turf being made or, at the very least, being burned in a hearth in your local pub or  B&B.  There are waterways, trailways, fish & fowl.  Drumlins and caves,  high waterfalls to sandy coast.

Cutting Turf

In Drumshambo, Co. Leitrim and it´s neighbouring counties, you can fish or boat in Lough Allen, venture through the tunnels of Arigna coal mines, search for ancient dolmens, discover the abundance of local artisans, take in a night of traditional Irish music or, for something different, attend a cattle mart where the auctioneer’s hollering melds with the tension within & without the sheds.

 

Just wanted to add a quick note regarding marts; internationally renowned writer, John McGahern who was from Leitrim, was a frequent visitor to and seeker of material from Mohill Mart and one local shared the following after the writer´s death:¨While visiting Mohill Cattle Mart as a youngster, I frequently noted a man with a cap sitting high up on the steps above one of the sales rings. When I asked my father, he said, “That’s McGahern the writer. Everybody else comes here to look at the cattle; he comes here to watch the people.”  Finbarr Kiernan

 

Yes, of course there are golf courses.

So, enjoy your golf but do take a little time and embrace new discoveries when you venture beyond the clubhouse.

Below are links to  websites of interest  and enjoy the video links to music  from Drumshambo and a boxty cooking lesson.

 

But, to answer your golfer´s enquiring mind, there are within an hour´s drive of Drumshambo, wonderful links and gems of parkland courses – namely:

Click on the pins for more information.

 

1. Strandhill Golf Club (18 Hole Links)  Co. Sligo – 55min

2. County Sligo Golf Club (Rosses Point)(18 & 9 hole Links Courses) Co. Sligo – 55 mins

3. Carrick on Shannon Golf Club (18 hole parkland) Co. Leitrim – 25 min

4. Ballinamore Golf Club (9 hole) Co. Leitrim – 25 min

5. Slieve Russell Hotel, Golf & Country Club (18 hole parkland) Co. Cavan – 45 min

 

Towns Nearby:
Carrick on Shannon – 15 min

 Shannon River Cruising
 Shopping
 Diverse Dining
 Artists Showcasing
 Theatre

Ballinamore – 20 min
 Canal Cruising
Geneology Centre
 Fishing
Folk Museum

Sligo – 45min
 All things Yeats (as in William Butler)
 Surfing
 Theatre
 Trad Music
 Shopping/Dining
 Wild Atlantic Way

 

 Helpful Links

Arigna Mining Experience – Co. Roscommon – 15min

¨This Energy Centre provides visitors with a unique insight into what coal mining life was like in the Arigna Valley, since its beginning in the 1700’s until closure in 1990.¨

 

Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark – Co. Fermanagh – 45min

If you want another and very different subterranian experience, visit the Marble Arch Caves set in an UNESCO Geopark with lots of other activities and above-ground sites, including The Cavan Burren.

 

John McGahern Library at Lough Rynn Castle Estate & Gardens – Leitrim

 

 

Leitrim Tourism

 

 

Sligo Tourism

 

 

Discover Ireland – information on Ireland, her Happenings, Accommodation, etc.

 

Irish Whiskey Museum– Co. Dublin

 

 

View this video if you want to make boxty at home .