Every trip to Ireland takes another little piece of my heart and makes it that much harder to leave. Our visits to Ashford Castle, just named world’s best hotel, are always special treats. We visited Ashford last fall for lunch on our last Ireland trip, and this time around we decided to take a boat ride on the Isle of Inisfree. The day we chose ended up being the only cloudy, windy, rainy day we had in 10 days, but despite the weather we enjoyed a gorgeous cruise on Lough Corrib.
You can board the boat either at Ashford Castle after paying five Euros per person to have access to the grounds, or you can park at the pier in Cong and hop on just for the price of the cruise. Since we knew we would want to have drinks in the hotel after, we parked on property.
Soon enough we were being whisked into Lough Corrib, tossed about by the swells from the windy day, surrounded by the freshest air and green scenery.
Lough Corrib is home to 365 islands, one for each day of the year. The boat ride from Ashford Castle typically stops at Inchagoill Island so that passengers can explore monastic ruins, some dating back to the 5th century. Unfortunately for us, due to the rough conditions of the lough, we couldn’t safely land the boat, and that portion of the trip was cancelled. It just gives us another reason to return!
In addition to the natural beauty of Galway and Mayo, one of the best parts of the trip was the musician on board. Martin Noone sings, plays accordion, tells stories, and has passengers on their feet, dancing and singing. He was so sweet and so part of what I love about Ireland, song, story, tradition, and good fun.
After the cruise, we were a little chilly and more than ready to warm up inside Ashford Castle. I can never get over how grand it is.
What’s better than an Irish whiskey tasting in a castle? We were warmed right up as we explored different notes of the whiskeys and chattered as we listened to the rain hit the window. It was one of those perfect moments that you think about later and just want to be in again.
Happy 9th anniversary to my love, Eric! There’s no one else I would rather have as my adventuring partner-in-crime.