Have you ever wondered if the castles from Disney movies were real? I’m here to tell you they are, and I know where you can find one. BUT FIRST – the drive from Northern Ireland to Galway. We departed our farm house B&B and headed south east.
The final destination would be Galway, but before checking in for the night we were to have tea at Ashford Castle. Oh yeah, put your pinky’s out. The drive was around 220 miles total, and would be the first of a few “longer treks.”
It was on this drive I was introduced to Bewley’s and when I decided Ireland was going to steal a large part of my soul.
If the gas station coffee is better than most “real” coffee shops, you’re home.
The drive was long because of distance, and long because we stopped a few times along the way, but in the grand scheme the distance between most anything in Ireland is similar to a day trip to the mountains for me.
You know, minus the whole random castle on the way there thing.
Ashford was not at the top of my list to visit, when looking at the website it was much too bougie looking for my “I rarely wash my hair and don’t wear deodorant” lifestyle. Plus the castle is rented out as a hotel for up to $4000 a night – HARD PASS.
Alas, I was open to visiting because compatible travel partners compromise for each other, like when I wanted to walk to the end of the Cliffs of Moher. More on that later. With all that said, this was one of the highlights of the entire trip for me.
Just goes to show you can NEVER judge a book by its cover. Or by its size.
The outer grounds of the castle are never ending. Miles and miles of exploration. I still can’t justify that nightly price tag, but I can spend 40 euro for some kick ass tea and tiny sandwiches on fine china. Are your pinky’s up yet?
Our waiter was French, and so unbelievably sweet. He even tried to be modest with his shock when he saw how quickly we consumed our food. I think he thought we were joking when we initially asked if there was another tray of food coming.
The top two and bottom left photo were split between the two of us, the scones were all mine. The plates came out on a three tiered display, and the scones came a short while later. Initially the amount of food didn’t look like much, but I left Ashford in euphoric pain.
It’s a good thing they have so many acres, because I needed a walk before driving the rest of the way to Galway.
The castle was once home to the famous Guinness family, and according to one of the castles many employees, it was later used as a “party house” for the royal families. Must be nice to have a castle of this size as your getaway home.
If you want to experience royalty, but would rather spend your euros on gas station coffee and deep fried Irish grown potatoes, skip sleeping here and just go for the afternoon tea. It was worth every euro cent.
Travel Tip: Budget extra time in your schedule for unplanned stops. Some of the best sights are unplanned.