This week at Ireland Ways, we’ve put together a list of our favourite castles along The Wild Atlantic Way. Prepare to awaken your senses, enlighten your imagination and become transported back in time.
Ballycarbery Castle – Co. Kerry
Travellers who veer a little off the beaten track will be rewarded by the mystical Ballycarbery castle. Laying eyes upon this solitary ruin with its stone walls adorned in ivy you’d be forgiven for thinking that you had walked straight onto the pages of a fairy-tale.
The absence of any barriers or entry fees make Ballycarbery castle quite the hidden gem; visitors are free to roam through corridors and climb the spiral staircase to take in the views of nearby Cahersiveen which the castle overlooks. You can stumble across this magical little spot on section three of the Wild Atlantic Way.
Dunguaire Castle – Co. Galway
The castle was built in the 1520’s on the shores of picturesque Galway Bay and can be found on section five of the Wild Atlantic Way. Visitors to the castle between mid-April to mid-July are in for a real treat when the castle opens its doors each night for the Dungaire Castle Banquet. Visitors are promised an evening of music and storytelling accompanied by decadent food and wine and complemented by dim candlelight and long oak tables typical of the medieval era.
Donegal Castle – Co. Donegal
Built in the 15th Century in the heart of Donegal town, the building was restored in the late 1990s after it was left in ruins for the most-part of the last two centuries. Once upon a time this castle was regarded as the largest and strongest fortress in all of Ireland.
The castle is located on a bend in the River Eske, near the mouth of Donegal Bay and is surrounded by a magnificent boundary wall. Visitors to the castle can discover information panels chronicling the impressive history of its owners through the centuries. Donegal Castle is featured on section nine of The Wild Atlantic Way and can also be found on The Bluestack and Slí Cholmcille Way
Carrigafoyle Castle – Co. Kerry
These picturesque ruins are located just a short distance north of Ballylongford on section five of the Wild Atlantic Way. What can be seen today of the majestic five story castle is just what remains after the damage incurred at the violent siege of Carrigafoyle in the Easter of 1580.
Once upon a time this castle was known as the guardian of the Shannon because of its strategic command of the shipping lanes that supplied the neighbouring trading city of Limerick.
If you have visited any of the castles on the list we would love to hear about your experiences! To find out more about The Wild Atlantic Way castles or to book your next walking/cycling holiday contact one of our Travel Specialists.