A Royal 5-day Road Tour of Ireland’s Castles. Days 3 and 4

Ashford Castle

Ashford Castle

Read the first part of this tour hereA Royal 5-day Road Tour of Ireland’s Castles, Days 1 and 2

Day 3: Ashford Castle and County Mayo

Our third day takes us 112 miles south on a two and a half hour journey to Ashford Castle in Cong County Mayo, known as Ireland’s Lake District.

Ashford Castle is a strikingly impressive thirteenth century stronghold that is built within 350 acres of woodland resting upon the River Cong with Lough Corrib in the backdrop. Founded by the De Burgo family in 1228, it is a wonderful example of a magnificent castle enveloped in nature.

Visitors can enjoy falconry, wooden boat tours, equestrian activities, archery, fishing, and golfing on the estate’s 9-hole course. John Wayne film lovers will be delighted to know that the 1951 film, “The Quiet Man” was filmed in the nearby village of Cong starring the Duke and Maureen O’Hara. The Quiet Man Cottage Museum located by the river is a tribute to the film filled with costumes and artifacts to make the visitor feel as if they were actually ‘on-set.’

Also located in this quaint village is the Royal Abbey of Cong, one of the finest examples of early architecture in Ireland founded in the early twelfth century. Be sure to return to Ashford Castle for the night where you will be treated to a night in another era complete with authentic staterooms featuring four poster beds and original fireplaces.

Day 4: Dromoland Castle and County Clare

The fourth day of our royal road journey takes us approximately 70 miles south on a one hour and forty-five minute trip to Dromoland Castle, located at Newmarket-On-Fergus in County Clare.

The 375-acre estate rests on Dromoland Lake featuring one of Ireland’s finest parkland 18-hole golf courses. Set in the midst of a natural amphitheatre, the castle belonged to the O’Brien Family, descendants of Brian Boru, the High King of Ireland. The castle is full of unique activities including luxurious spa treatments, pony rides around the historic estate, and genealogical interviews to help retrace your Irish roots.

No trip to County Clare is complete without visiting the famous Cliffs of Moher, located less than an hour from the castle approximately 30 miles northwest. Known as one of the country’s top tourist attractions, the Cliffs range eight kilometers along the Atlantic Ocean with the highest peak reaching 214 metres. Visitors can indulge in magnificent views of the Aran Islands, The Twelve Pins, the Maum Turk Mountains, and Galway Bay.

If you have planned to spend the night at Dromoland Castle, be sure to reserve a guest room in the tower for a more exclusive experience.

Read the last part of this tour hereA Royal 5-day Road Tour of Ireland’s Castles, Day 5

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