Back in the fall of 2014 I received and email asking for a few trip tips. The fun twist to this was that the family asking for advice was from my own community in Iowa and had 2 daughters near my own daughters' ages! (cue ‘It's a Small World') The family would be staying in County Wicklow for 2 weeks in June 2015, but were interested in a couple nights in a castle and day trips. I offered a few tips, invited followup questions, and went on to the next message.
Fast forward to July 2015, when I received this email:
Just wanted to let you know our trip to Ireland was FANTASTIC! We all had a great time. I saw your newsletter today and it just made me smile. The picture of Glendalough; so pretty.
We also enjoyed Powerscourt Gardens and waterfall. We took to train to Dublin from Bray which was nice. We really enjoyed Trinity College and the long library. My kids were a little annoyed they couldn't touch or check out any books but they got over it! St Patricks Cathedral was great too.
The highlight of our trip was two nights at Ballynahinch Castle by Clifden. Beautiful castle; 450 acres of land, trout fishing, near the national park. The hike to Diamond Hill was amazing! Best hike ever! and we love to hike. The people were so great and the food at the castle was superb. Definitely put that place on your list!
If you want a nice beach for the kids one day; Brittas Bay was quite lovely; public access with a lifeguard and ice cream 🙂
You may already know all of this but you never know.
Have a great trip with the girls, my girls loved it!
I've not been to Ballynahinch Castle, so I asked Marnie if she could share what was so special about this Ireland castle hotel. Thankfully she agreed!
Beatiful Ballynahinch Castle, a 450 acre estate, is a modest size country house overlooking the Owenmore River. It was built during the first decade of the nineteenth century. The surrounding land is spectacular. You can hike, fish, shoot, bike, ride horses, go sailing, or just relax by the river.
The House was greatly altered and enlarged in the 1870’s. In the early 20th century the building was further enlarged by the addition of the present top storey. It was at this period that the building was given an overall and unifying Tudorbethan style.
There are two restaurants in the hotel. One is a traditional pub style with a large wood burning fireplace. The other has wonderful views and offers a fine dining experience for the entire family. Our daughters were treated so warmly by the staff during our entire stay. They felt like princesses. If you enjoy the outdoors but also some pampering, this is a wonderful choice! I dream of returning. My daughters are already planning on sharing this amazing place with their own families someday.
Near the Connemara National Park. Hike Diamond Hill for a breathtaking views of the sea. My family loves to hike and this one goes on the top of our list.
The challenging route up the ridge of the mountains will reward your efforts with stunning panoramic vistas of The Twelve Bens, Inisbofin and Inisturk, Kylemore Abbey, Mweelrea Mountain, and the panoramic bogs of Roundstone.
Duration: 3 ½ – 4 hours
Length: 7 km
This was my first trip to Ireland. I considered it a bucket list item I could check off. But now, I can't wait to return to this magical place and I hope you do as well.
Huge thanks to Marnie for sharing this magical bit of her family's Ireland vacation!
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