Hello Travel Community,
My fiance and I will be traveling through Ireland late May. We have an open spot in our itinerary where we want to see Ashford Castle and Kylemore Abbey but want to stay somewhere closer to these sites than Galway. Do you have any suggestions on a town or city to stay in? We will be heading east toward Birr when we leave this area. Also, we are looking for a second town/city to stay in close to the Hill of Tara and Bru Na Boinne. We will be arriving from Birr and after having seen the Hill of Tara and Bru Na Boinne we will be finishing our journey to return to Dublin stay a night and fly out. We would prefer to avoid staying in Dublin our last two nights since we want to experience more of the local, rural part of Ireland. We would appreciate any suggestions or advice you would be able to offer. Thank you. Curt and Erin
Hello Travel Community,
Hi Curt, Oughterard might be a possibility for Ashford and Kylemore. You could always take a cruise on the Corrib to visit Ashford. Are you aware that Ashford Castle is a private hotel and is often closed to the public? It is not at all unusual to arrive there and be turned away at the gate - I grew up a few miles from there. It is worth giving them a call before hand to see if you will be allowed in. If not opt for the cruise as at least that way you'll get to see it from the lake. For the Hill of Tara, perhaps Trim or Kells. Trim as a fine castle and Kells gives it's name to the Book of Kells.
My husband and I did a Tauck tour of Ireland last June. We stayed at the Ashford Castle for two nights. It was heavenly. We wished we could have spent more time there. The castle and the grounds will take your breadth away. Our tour included eating wonderful, multi course, dinners and breakfasts there. The views from the hotel, out onto the water, is so picturesque. We all so enjoyed eating breakfast and watching the views. Our Tauck tour bus dropped us off at another location. Then we took a small tour boat over to the castle. We were met by an Irishman, who escorted us into the hotel, while using his bagpipe. We all walked across the bridge and across the grounds and into the hotel. Kylemore Abbey is also pretty. We wished we hadn't wasted our time walking to the far right and up a small hill into the church. It would have been better to have walked to the left and taken the tram up into the gardens. We were told afterwards that the gardens are beautiful. We spent too much time sitting in the not too exciting type restaurant, instead.