Apr 28, 2010 1:08:02 AM
Top 11 Irish castles
Brooding ruins on windswept hills to restored masterpieces, Ireland’s castles can be looked at, walked through, clambered over, dined in – even slept in! Here are 11 of our favorites: what are yours?
1. Cahir Castle: Feudal fantasy abounds at this river-island site with moat, turrets, towers, defenses and dungeons. This castle is one of Ireland’s largest.
2. Kilkenny Castle: Rising above the River Nore, this is one of Ireland’s most visited heritage sites.
5. Rock of Cashel: This ancient fortified home of kings is just the tip of the iceberg for moody and forlorn ruins hidden away in the surrounding green expanse.
6. King John’s Castle: Limerick’s showcase castle is best viewed from the west bank of the River Shannon. Seek out medieval weapons, like the trebuchet, and walk the magnificent castle walls.
9. Trim Castle: Truly impressive castle that briefly returned to its former glory in 1996 as a location for Mel Gibson’s Braveheart.
10. Ashford Castle: Once owned by the Guinness family of stout fame. Peek into its immaculately restored interior by sleeping or dining here.
11. Donegal Castle: Guarding a picturesque bend of the River Esque, this castle remains an imperious monument to Irish and English might. Much of the castle is gutted but well worth a look.
Want to explore Ireland further? Check out our new Discover Ireland guide and see the country come to life in full color!