15 Fairytale Irish Castles You Can Actually Stay In
Get ready to make like royalty in these incredible Irish castles that let you step back into history. They're all available for rent on HomeAway.com or Airbnb.com.
Lisheen Castle, County Tipperary
For the ultimate Irish fairy-tale experience, rent this entire 7,000-square-foot 19th-century castle, which is only a two-hour drive from Dublin Airport. With nine bedrooms, it can host large groups and offers a fully-equipped kitchen for cooking meals for your crew. Open your windows and look out at the seemingly never-ending rolling green fields and distant mountains, just as the owners would have done 200 years ago. The castle’s location is conveniently located for day trips to many top sites like the Cliffs of Moher and the Rock of Cashel.
Carraigin Castle, County Galway
This restored 13th-century castle sits along one of Ireland’s biggest lakes, Lough Corrib, offering a variety of water activities for your stay, including fishing, boating, and swimming. Carraigin Castle, which sits on seven rolling acres, stands as an example of a medieval hall house, featuring a grand hall filled with tapestries and stone staircases. In addition to double and king bedrooms, there are medieval vaults with even more beds that make for a fun adventure for kids.
Killahara Castle, County Tipperary
Though this Celtic castle, built in 1550 is ancient, the tower house castle is newly refurbished and features seven bedrooms and three bathrooms that come complete with showers. For an ultra-romantic experience, stay in the penthouse suite that comes with a claw-footed tub and stunning views. Don’t miss the original steep spiral stairs that lead through all five of the castle’s floors. Check out this handy list of items to bring with you to a vacation rental so you don’t leave anything behind.
Killaghy Castle, County Tipperary
A historic Norman castle dating to 1206, this rental has a luxurious 10,000 square feet of space centrally located in southeastern Ireland with room for up to 20 people. Cozy up by one of its marble fireplaces (wood provided) and enjoy its many modern conveniences from WiFi to a professional catering kitchen. Kids will love the outdoor playground and tennis courts. These abandoned castles are worth a visit.
Ballyhannon Castle, County Clare
Step into medieval times in this 600-year-old castle with stone walls and stairs, beamed ceilings, a 100-foot-tall tower, and even suits of armor. The owners say many couples have gotten engaged and married while staying at the castles and it’s also a popular spot to celebrate milestone occasions like birthdays, graduations, or anniversaries. Be sure to have a pint of Guinness in the castle bar before you head home. Speaking of, here are some fascinating facts about Guinness.
Adare Manor, County Limerick
Built in the 1800s, this fairytale castle-turned-hotel, which sits along the River Maigue in Adare Village, comes with its own golf course, spa, restaurants, and even a movie theater. The 840-acre grounds at Adare Manor include formal French gardens, grand trees, and park lands where you can practice falconry and archery, horseback ride, or fish for trout. Be sure to stroll one of the most impressive areas of the castle: the more than 100-foot-long Gallery inspired by the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles in France.
Abbeyglen Castle Hotel, County Galway
Just a few minutes from Clifden Town in County Galway and at the beginning of the famously-scenic Sky Road, the Abbeyglen Castle Hotel offers many of its smaller rooms for rent on Airbnb. Built in 1832, the hotel, which has both mountain and sea views, has expansive grounds and its own restaurant. All bookings include a full breakfast, and be sure to say “Hello” to their friendly parrot, who greets you in the lobby. When you’re ready to get out and about, don’t miss nearby Connemara National Park, Kylemore Abbey, the Aran Islands, and Connemara Golf Links.
Annes Grove Miniature Castle, County Cork
If a grand castle sounds too intimidating, try Annes Grove Miniature Castle on for size. The Gothic-style castle dating back to 1853 makes a perfect romantic getaway. Set along quiet country roads, the rental has just one bedroom, accessible by a narrow spiral stone staircase, and many charming included vaulted ceilings, a wood-burning stove, arched doorways, and a quaint garden. Like any true castle, it has its own turret and coat of arms, of course. Looking for other castles to rent? Check out this list of castles you can rent on Airbnb around the world.
Fanningstown Castle, County Limerick
This Gothic-style Irish castle, surrounded by dairy farms filled with cows grazing in green fields, will take you back to the 12th century to medieval times. Guests can enjoy the entire castle, which has five bedrooms and two-and-a-half baths. Snuggle by the fire in the sitting room, tickle the ivories on the library piano, and on a warm day, enjoy an outdoor meal on the enclosed patio with grill. The property is just a few minutes from the charming village of Adare with pubs, restaurants, and shopping galore.
Knappogue Castle, County Clare
For a picturesque setting for your Irish castle getaway, consider Knappogue Castle, a medieval tower house built in 1432. The castle’s gardens, including a formal rose garden and walled garden, are highlights and ideal for a quiet stroll. Guests stay in the stateroom apartments in the castle, which includes three bedrooms, a fully-equipped kitchen, drawing room with baby grand piano, and dining room. Oh, and did we mention they make their own brand of whiskey? That’s a must-have souvenir!
Cahercastle, County Galway
The owners of this lovingly-restored 1400s castle are opening up the doors of their home to the master bedroom, which also happens to be the highest room in the structure with access to the turret. You’ll also have private use of the living room, kitchen, and bath. Cahercastle is about 25 minutes from Galway City and 45 minutes from Shannon Airport.
Victoria Drummond Tower, County Louth
Located in northeastern Ireland about 45 minutes from Dublin, Victoria Drummond Tower is a Victorian structure built in 1858 in memory of the owner’s mother, Victoria. There are four floors, including the roof terrace which offers panoramic countryside vistas and nighttime stargazing. The second-floor queen bedroom with shower and bath is perfect for two. Guests may also access the ground floor kitchen and first-floor living area. Check out these things you should know before renting an Airbnb.
Hatch’s Castle, County Louth
Stay in a private room, just big enough for two, in Hatch’s castle, once a 14th-century fortified house. Guests are welcome to explore the entire castle, including the drawing room with fireplace and windows overlooking the town’s Main Street, and the walled garden and cobblestone yard. Ready to explore? Stroll out the castle into the town of Ardee, which has several shops and restaurants. Just 20 minutes away are attractions, including Melifont Abbey, the Battle of the Boyne site, and Slane castle. Here are more Airbnb castles around the world where you can stay overnight.
Ballytarsna-Hackett Castle, County Tipperary
An example of a 15-century tower house, Ballytarsna-Hackett Castle once served as both a fortress and a family’s home. Guests stay in the top story of the castle, which is accessed via 64 stone steps. The climb is worth it: you’ll find a four-poster bed, bath with toilet, library, and sitting area, as well as views of the Rock of Cashel. Kids—and adults—will love that the area comes with access to the castle dungeon, where the year 1536 is carved into the wall. Sound like a fairy-tale? Here are other real places that could have come from fairy tales.
Shankill Castle, County Kilkenny
Shankill Castle, located in Ireland’s Ancient East, about an hour southwest of Dublin, was originally a tower house that was rebuilt in 1708 as a Queen Anne-style home. The current owners are artists, historians, and archaeologists. Guests can roam the five bedrooms, the reception rooms, a mini kitchen, and the grounds, which feature a moated garden and walled garden.