Ireland is a land of enchanting beauty and rich history, and one of the best ways to experience both is by visiting the country’s many castles. From towering medieval fortresses to luxurious estates, Ireland’s castles offer a glimpse into the country’s storied past and present. In this guide, we’ll take a closer look at some of Ireland’s most iconic castles.
The Rock of Cashel
County Tipperary | 12th Century
Located in County Tipperary, the Rock of Cashel is an iconic landmark that towers over the surrounding landscape. Once the seat of the Kings of Munster, this medieval fortress is now a popular tourist attraction. Visitors can explore the ancient ruins, admire the stunning views of the Irish countryside from the top, and pay their respects at the nearby cemetery, which is the final resting place of many Irish kings and bishops.
County Cork | 1446
Famous for its Blarney Stone, which is said to give visitors the gift of eloquence, Blarney Castle is a must-visit for anyone traveling to Ireland. Located in County Cork, the castle is surrounded by beautiful gardens that are perfect for a leisurely stroll. Don’t forget to kiss the Blarney Stone for good luck! Afterward, explore the castle’s many hidden rooms and passageways, and enjoy the spectacular views of the surrounding countryside from the top of the tower.
County Clare | 1425
Bunratty Castle, located in County Clare, is one of Ireland’s most complete medieval castles. Built in the 15th century, the castle was restored to its former glory in the 1950s and is now open to the public for tours. Visitors can explore the castle’s impressive Great Hall, as well as the dungeon and the castle’s beautiful gardens. Be sure to check out the castle’s medieval banquets, where you can enjoy a traditional Irish feast while being entertained by costumed performers.
County Kildare | 12th Century
Located in County Kildare, Kilkea Castle is a luxurious castle that has been fully restored to its former glory. Originally built in the 12th century, the castle’s stunning rooms and suites are available for overnight stays, making it the perfect place for a romantic getaway. Visitors can also enjoy a round of golf on the castle’s championship course or explore the nearby town of Athy, which is home to several historic landmarks and museums.