If you’re looking for castles then look no further. Ireland is a country rich in history and you can’t go very far without seeing beautiful turrets on the skyline. There are hundreds of castles in various states of repair in Ireland but Galavanting Ireland has narrowed these to the top ten that you must visit!
10. Cabra Castle, Co. Cavan
Cabra castle is a beautiful 4-star hotel on the border of County Cavan and County Monaghan. The castle originally belonged to the O’Reilly family until it was taken off them in the mid 17th century on Cromwell’s orders. The castle fell into many different hands over the years but always remained in the Pratt family. In 1964 the Brennan family bought the castle and converted it into a 20 bedroom hotel. It was sold in 1986 to an Arab family who used it as their own residence. In 1991 it was sold once again to the Corscadden family who have transformed the castle into the amazing 4-star property it is today. The castle rooms retain the old medieval grandeur while they also have more modern courtyard rooms. The Derby bar and Courtyard Restaurant are sure to satisfy any taste’s!
9. Rock of Cashel, Co. Tipperary
Probably one of the most recognisable castles in Ireland, this magnificent structure lies just at the edge of Cashel in Tipperary. Legend has it that the devil took a bite from a nearby mountain (known as the Devils Bit) and in the process broke his tooth. He dropped the piece of rock and the Rock of Cashel was built on top of it. The Rock of Cashel was the traditional seat of the King of Munster. The Castle is steeped in history and you can visit it all year round. Adult admission is only €7.
8. Athlone Castle, Co. Westmeath
Situated right in the centre of Ireland in County Westmeath Athlone Castle dates all the way back to 1129. Athlone and the castle are steeped in history and it was here that the notorious Cromwellian transplantation policy was enforced. The Castle has a brand new visitor centre and is open all year round. Admission for adults is only €8.
7. Cahir Castle, Co. Tipperary
Nestled along the banks of the river Suir in County Tipperary, Cahir Castle is one of the largest in Ireland. It dates back to 1142 when it was built by the O’Brien family. It was granted to the Butler family in the late 14th century. The castle was left to the Irish state in the 1960’s after Lord Cahir died. The castle has been refurbished and is now the home of an impressive audiovisual show that tells you all about the Castle’s history. It is open all year round and entry is €5 for adults.
6. Saunderson Castle, Co. Cavan
This immense structure is situated on the border of counties Cavan and Fermanagh and has fallen into disrepair. The Castle grounds were closed off to the public up until 2012 when an international scout centre was opened on the grounds. There are now lovely walks in and around the estate for everyone to enjoy. The castle was once the home of Edward Saunderson, the founder of the Ulster unionist party. It was sold in 1977 to a local businessman and was to be opened as a hotel. Before this happened though the castle was destroyed by a fire.