Photo Blog: Stunning Castles of Ireland
Posted on May 03, 2018 by Dawn Rainbolt
Who doesn’t love a good castle? Feast your eyes on photos of the castles of Ireland!
One of the most stunning aspects of the Emerald Isle is the sheer diversity of the castles of Ireland. Irish castles are often underrated, and overlooked in favour of fairytale-esque German or French castles – and the few you’ve heard of, like Blarney Castle, are crowded.
To inspire you, take a look at some of the amazing yet lesser-known castles of Ireland.
On this list, you’ll explore castles like :
- Parkes Castle
- Rosslee Castle
- Bunratty Castle
- Birr Castle
- Rock of Cashel
- Dunluce Castle
- Ross Castle
- Glenveagh Castle
- Augnanure Castle
Parkes Castle, Lough Gill, Co Leitrim
Longtime home to the O’Rourkes, Parkes Castle is a fortified manor house on the idyllic shores of Lough Gill. Deep within Yeats Country, the the panoramic Lough Gill has been immortalised by the Irish poet WB Yeats in poems such as “The Lake Isle of Inishfree.”
- Visit the charming lakside castle as you peddle through Yeats Country on our Biking and Yoga Escape through the northwest.
Rosslee Castle, Easkey, Co Sligo
Located on Easkey Beach, this Irish tower house can trace its foundations back to 1207, and stayed in the O’Donnell family for nearly 500 years. Today, the surrounding Easkey Beach is renowned for its great surfing waves.
Bunratty Castle, Co Clare
A huge and impressive fortification, Bunratty Castle is also home to a folk park dedicated to Irish life in the 18th and 19th centuries. Though the site is much older, the first stone castle dates back to the late 1200s built by a descendant of the famed Norman warrior Strongbow (though the present structure is from the 15th century).
Birr Castle, Co Offaly
Located in the middle of the country in Ireland’s Ancient East, Birr Castle, built in Victorian neo-gothic style, was once home to the world’s biggest telescope during the 1800s!
Rock of Cashel, Co Tipperary
Not exactly a castle, the Rock of Cashel is actually a collection of religious buildings, but started out as the pre-Norman seat of the Kings of Munster. Legend has it that the rock on which the fortified structures were built originated from Devil’s Bit mountain – landing where it is today through the force of St Patrick banishing Satan from the mountain.
Dunluce Castle, Causeway Coast, Co Antrim
Dunluce Castle is a dramatic medieval clifftop fortress along the beautiful long-distance route, the Causeway Coast, a stone’s throw from the Giant’s Causeway. One of the most impressive castles of Ireland, this 13th century castle might remind you a bit of Scotland’s castles as it was long held by Ulster Scots clans. It’s also said that the castle inspired writer CS Lewis’ imaginary castles and worlds in Narnia.
- Visit the spectacular Dunluce Castle on our Hiking the Causeway Coast trip.
Ross Castle, Killarney National Park, Co Kerry
On the stunning shores of the lakes of Killarney, this spectacular castle – a walled and fortified tower house – dates back to the 15th century and was owned by the O’Donoghue Ross chieftains. The best way to visit is by hiking through the wild landscapes of Killarney National Park to Ross Castle, or via boat on the lovely Lake Leane.
- Hike to Ross Castle on our challenging hiking trip, the Mountains of the Ring of Kerry.
Glenveagh Castle, Glenveagh National Park, Co Donegal
Hugging the shores of Lough Veagh in the remote and devastatingly beautiful Glenveagh National Park, Glenveagh Castle was built during the Victorian times as a hunting lodge. Today the centrepiece of the park, the dramatic lakeside castle setting is perfect for exploring the backcountry of Donegal, voted the coolest place on Earth!
- Drink in this jaw-dropping view of Ross Castle and Lough Veagh while exploring the dramatic wilds of Glenveagh National Park on our Hiking the Causeway Coast & Donegal trip.
Aughnanure Castle, Connemara, Co Galway
Hidden in the woods surrounding the picturesque shores of Lough Corrib in Connemara, Aughnanure Castle is a 16th century O’Flaherty tower house with ties to the Pirate Queen Grace O’Malley through her marriage to one of the O’Flahertys. A formidable pirate from western Ireland, Grace O’Malley ruled the waters of Clew Bay and Galway Bay for more than three decades in the 16th century.
Inspired to discover a few Irish castles? Check out exciting Irish adventures to the castles of Ireland!
More from Culture, Photography
Posted on Jul 30, 2018 by Dawn Rainbolt
Posted on May 11, 2018 by Dawn Rainbolt