As soon as I passed through the gates of this superb castle, I was immediately captivated by the beauty of the surroundings: living rooms like Downton Abbey, a lake with a stunning view and a massive park. The ideal location to experience a dream stay ! However, what was even more incredible was the number and quality of activities offered. You would need at least a week to try out all of them !
I’ll begin by discussing the most unusual activity : the falconry. It’s been a while since I wanted to see these magnificent birds of prey. I wanted to try it when I visited Dubai and where falconry is an actual national sport but unfortunately due to a lack of time I was unable to … So, I made an appointment for 10am the next morning.
First positive point : this is a private activity, meaning that this morning and for 1h30, it was only my husband and I in the company of our instructor who will explain to us the characteristics of these birds while having them fly. We each had a falcon with us and they followed us from tree to tree while we explored the Ashford Castle’s park. From time to time, we called them and they would come and sit on our gloves (and fetch the little snack that we gave them in exchange) before flying off.
During the last half hour, an owl was flying with us, which is a lot heavier than my little male falcon. This is undoubtedly an activity not to miss if you stay in this luxury establishment.
For the fishing enthusiasts, Lake Corrib will be your playground. Accompanied by your guide who knows this area like the back of his hand, he will explain everything to you and will give you the best advice on how to improve. You can fish trouts, salmons or pikes, all quite comfortably from your traditional wooden boat.
The Ashford Castle equestrian center is the perfect place to discover the joys of horse riding. A few boxes and a sand arena, it is the perfect place for horse lovers. This activity is accessible to everyone, even for a first initiation. As I have been a rider for many years, I preferred to concentrate on activities that I can’t do every day !
A magnificent 9 hole will satisfy golfers whatever their level. The view on the castle is spectacular, isn’t it ?
On the lake
There are several ways to discover Lake Corrib, which is the largest of the 3 lakes in the region. You could for example, opt for a boat cruise which can accommodate up to 80 passengers. Throughout the year, the 1 hour cruise allow you to discover the Lake Corrib and in season, a 2h cruise is on the programme with traditional live music. Another possibility as well : the speedboat. A small 1h20 cruise or a 2h30 or even a luxurious 6h with a picnic. Up to you to choose ! For the sporty types, there is also the option of kayaking !
The ball trap
Another activity which is out of the ordinary : the ball trap ! Surrounded by nature in this 150 hectare domain it is the perfect place to test your shooting abilities ! For the younger ones, they could try out their archery skills !
Don’t forget the Spa
After all these intense activities, I advise some relaxation in the hotel spa. 5 treatment rooms, a fitness room with a view that will make you want to do some sport but, most importantly, an indoor swimming pool ! In addition, we are grateful that we can enjoy this place with its peace and quiet as we are alone ! The decor is superb, a striking touch which perfectly suits the castle and everything is in exquisite taste ! Look for example at the 3 chandeliers and the wall which represents the tree of life ! Another advantage : the swimming pool is quite warm, which is often a weakness in many spas !
As you have seen, in 24h it is difficult to try everything and this has been my great regret ! However, this could perhaps be a reason to return for another stay, especially because I still have Northern Ireland to discover !
- Do not hesitate to have a look at different offers and packages on their website
- To discover more adventures in this splendid hotel, read my article on my castle life at Ashford Castle!
What amazing activities have you done here ? Feel free to send me your comments or questions by posting them on social media.
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