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.
36 thoughts on “Ashford Castle”
kathy @ more coffee, less talky
high tea in the castle?! YES PLEASE! we do high tea in hotels downtown but I’d love to have it in a freaking castle!!!
EPIC AF. No other words. I’m officially obsessed with high tea. 😂
Josie @ Literature Mistress
Loving all your Ireland recaps. You should definitely travel more! =)
Thank you! That’s the plan. 🤗
$4,000 a night! Whew, I’ll save that for when I marry rich =P
Same. 💁🏻 Or maybe they’ll just let me stay for free. Dream big.
A Bea's Life
Ok so your trip looks amazing and those pictures are absolutely stunning!
Thank you! The trip was life changing.
What a great idea! You can still enjoy the castle and the grounds without the price tag! I absolutely loved our trip to Ireland, but never made it north of Galway, even though we were there for two weeks. It’s definitely on my list! Love your pictures!
The southern area was my favorite, but Northern is still a must see!
Well it certainly wasn’t cheap at 92E but better than 4000E per night. That food looks amazing!! And those grounds! Well worth the stop -Kat
Exactly lolol. Worth everything!
Ohhhhh more castle fun!!! I have always wondered if Disney movie castles were real, your pinky better be out! I can’t believe gas station have tasty coffee, now that’s surprising. OMG I new I loved you, Brittany, I hate wearing deodorant also, I know that sounds weird but you get it. Ashford Castle is stunning!!! Afternoon tea looks lovely and look at all the beautiful pastries, I want them all in my mouth asap
Deodorant is GARBAGE! I’ll use a pat of baking soda sometimes, but no mas! Hahaha. So glad we’re on the same page.
I love those white park benches! So ornate! Those tea cakes though. MOUTH. IS. WATERING.
Yay, someone likes the benches as much as me! 😝
Love that travel tip. There’s a lot of fun to be had in the random things that come your way if you’re open to them.
Your photos are absolutely gorgeous. Can’t believe how green it is there! Also, that gas station coffee looks amazing!
I was in shock by that coffee. I could have cried, because everything just kept getting better and better. HA.
An Unrefined Vegan
Beautiful. I’m pretty sure it’s impossible to take a bad photo in Ireland :-)! And High Tea. Waaaaay back when I was 17 I had High Tea at Harrod’s in London. It was a highlight of my trip. Adorable little cakes, mounds of sweet whipped cream, hot tea. Heavenly.
That sounds magical. It’s something I won’t forget.
Your pictures look stunning- I hope to visit there one day! 🙂
Thank you, I hope you get to go! It was life changing.
My pinky is up and I’m ready, Maybe we could crash on the castle grounds and skip the nightly price tag. You’ll have to share the scones with me though. 🙂
For you, I’d share an entire HALF of the scone. That’s saying how much I love you.
I can’t imagine spending that much to stay there either, but I would definitely go visit! Looks awesome!
I didn’t even know that kind of price tag existed for a hotel. Ooofda.
I wonder how much to pitch a tent on that immaculate lawn? I looks beautiful, you always say you want a small place to live but I can see you in a castle…. 😉
Ahhhaha I like your thoughts. I’ll take a tiny castle!
Rachael @ Catch Me If You Can
wow!!! this is beautiful!!! i would absolutely have tea here if not maybe possible consider spending a night…but im posh like that when i travel lol. is that a bird next to you…if it is its GIANT!!!!!
It’s a statue! But my mom totally thought it was real too.
That tea set is stupid beautiful! This looks like an amazing experience.
Also, on that dessert, is that a chocolate disc with their logo on it? I would like chocolates with my business logo on them, please.
Ahhhaha right?! They then gave away free boxes of discarded chocolate as we left. The disks that didn’t quite visually make the cut, but were still legit chocolate.
I can eat those right as they come off the line:)
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