Your Own Little
Cabin Castle in the Woods Moor
By: Sarah Delaney, guest blogger, London
When you’re driving down an Irish lane and an anonymous castle jumps unannounced from around the bend, it is an intimate moment with the country – especially when you realize it’s not a frilly castle sitting there waiting for ticket sales. It doesn’t have opening hours or a gift shop and roped-off nooks you are forbidden to see. This one is all yours.
From the peat-brick fireplaces to the six-story top of its turreted roof, where you can lie all night and watch the stars beat back the sunset, this castle is simply waiting for…you.
The best news of all? Renting your own castle can be the cheapest accommodation around. Ireland boasts 27 self-catering castles offering a range of experiences along the “luxury” spectrum. Prices dip as low as 22E pp/pn depending on season, length of stay and whether you fill all the (average of eight) beds. Trust me, if you tell your friends and family you’re renting a castle in Ireland, they will come!
Corofin’s 15th century Ballyportry (pictured above) is authentically furnished, giving your family textured hints of what it might have been like for its original occupants. Think: heavy wooden doors that need a bit of coaxing, real straw mattresses and simple wood-plank floors that allow you to hear the sneezes of your travel-mates in the bedrooms above. If you’ve ever wondered what it was really like to live in a castle, here’s your chance to flirt with reality - while keeping your hot water, towels and dishwasher.
Helpful links: www.ballyportry.ie, http://www.celticcastles.com/self-catering-castles/ and http://www.irelandyes.com/castles.htmlwww.ballyportry.ie, http://www.celticcastles.com/self-catering-castles/ and http://www.irelandyes.com/castles.html (scroll down to “Castles for Rent”)
*Delta flies non-stop to Dublin and seasonally to Shannon
Photo credit: Sarah Delaney