8 splendid Irish castles and manors to lay your head for the night

Crown an Irish vacation with a stay in one of the island’s magnificent castles or stately homes.

Crown an Irish vacation with a stay in one of the island’s magnificent castles or stately homes where you can relax in accommodation fit for a king.
1. Ashford Castle, Co Mayo
The 800-year-old, multi-award-winning Ashford Castle offers opulent five-star accommodation set in a 26,000-acre estate. Recently the location for top golfer Rory McIroy’s wedding, it is a fairytale setting complete with its own school of falconry.
2. Bantry House, Co Cork
Considered to be one of the finest historic houses in Ireland, Bantry House overlooking Bantry Bay on the Wild Atlantic Way, offers bed and breakfast or self-catering accommodation. Also noted for its elegant gardens, the stately home is a perfect place for a luxurious overnight stay.

3. Dromoland Castle, Co Clare
Majestic five-star Dromoland Castle was the ancestral home of the O’Briens whose lineage goes back 1,000 years to High King of Ireland, Brian Boru. It sumptuous décor and fine food are reasons to stay indoors but are rivalled by a top-class golf course and 400 acres to explore.
4. Ballyfin Demesne, Co Laois
A lavishly furnished late Georgian home, Ballyfin sits at the foot of the Slieve Bloom Mountains. Its mix of old world charm and modern amenities, including beauty treatment rooms, a gym and indoor pool, make for a memorable stay.

5. Lough Eske Castle, Co Donegal
Magical Lough Eske Castle is a turreted five-star hotel whose history dates back to the 1400s. With a first-class spa and fine dining to add to its deluxe accommodation, it is an indulgence to be embraced when exploring the rugged beauty of Donegal. 
6. Ballynahinch Castle, Co Galway
Luxurious Ballynahinch Castle was named Ireland’s number one hotel by Condé Nast Traveler magazine’s readers. The 17th-century castle boasts elegant bedrooms with stunning views over woodland and river.
7. Crom Castle, Co Fermanagh
Still the home of Lord and Lady Erne, magnificent Crom Castle sits in the beautiful Fermanagh Lakelands. Its west wing can be hired as self-catering accommodation, or a cook can be provided. The castle has been the filming location for a number of TV programmes including Blandings

8. Lismore Castle, Co Waterford
The 12th-century castle owned by the Duke of Devonshire is available for hire by groups of up to 30. Guests enjoy the exclusive use of the castle and estate facilities including the Duke's personal butler and his team.