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Your Favorite Castles in Ireland

I have only seen castles in movies, and I am looking forward to visiting a few while in Ireland & NI. There are several on my list, but I like to choose just 3 or 4. Which ones did you like the most? Are there any that I have not listed and you would definitely recommend? Which ones would you not bother with? Here is the list - I do not have to make a specific trip to visit any of the following castles, as I already have plans to be in the area: Dublin, Kilkenny, Cahir, Desmond/Kinsale, Minard/Dingle, Dunguaire/Galway, Dunluce/Antrim, Carrickfergus/Belfast Thanks!

Posted by
9363 posts

Cahir is my favorite castle. It actually sits in the middle of the Suir River. Kilkenny castle is a restored castle. It's more like a mansion on the inside rather than a ruin. I haven't seen the others you list, but I also like Bunratty castle near the Shannon airport. Trim, near Dublin, is also a nice tour.

Posted by
409 posts

I would second Cahir. We got there in the late afternoon on a March weekday and got a wonderful one-on-one tour with the ranger (or whatever they call them). It has quite a history and is in a beautiful setting. I would also recommend Ross Castle in Killarney. It's located on a very pretty lake, which on a misty, rainy day really becomes magical. Ross also sets you up nicely for a visit to Muckross House (highly recommended).

Posted by
439 posts

I second Ross castle in Killarney and add Bunratty castle. It's a little "touristy" but worth a look.

Posted by
126 posts

I think I'll visit Cahir instead of Kilkenny, then. No change in plans, since I'll be spending the night in Kilkenny and driving through Cahir on my way to Kinsale. AA route planner is down... As far as Ross castle - we're driving through Killarney from Cork on our way to Dingle. Is Ross close to the highway (N22)? I'd like to include Ross, but only if its on my route or on a very short detour... Any opinions on Dublin castle? I'm tempted to drop it from the list; from what I've read it's a restored castle as well. I'd like to see Trim castle, but we only have 2 days in Dublin. We won't have a car in Dublin; we'd have to take a bus. I get the impression that Trim would be an almost full day thing. Am I wrong?

Posted by
710 posts

Definitely Cahir Castle. If you have time take the path at the back of the car park and walk across the little wooden bridge to see the outside of the Castle from the park. Just continue to walk around the castle in the park. We did it by mistake and got some beautiful pictures looking up at the castle from the park. It would be a pretty place to picnic and relax on a nice day. The entrance to the castle is up on the main street by the bridge. If you are looking for an inexpensive lunch, try the little place across the street from the entrance, next to the river. (Sorry, I don't remember it's name). Order you food and then go up stairs and sit by a window overlooking the river and castle. It is a nice bathroom break if needed too. I noticed lot's of local were stopping here for coffee and tea and to chat.

Posted by
2023 posts

Agree with others[INVALID]definitely Cahir is well worth a visit. From Cahir you can also see Swiss Cottage and you walk along a stream about a mile to reach it[INVALID]very pretty. SC has a thatched roof and the interior is well furnished with beautiful antique furniture.