Ashford Castle

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Truth be told, I wasn’t going to blog about our last visit to Ashford Castle. It’s a place I have had the true pleasure of visiting many times, and I’ve already blogged about it a couple of times.

But, truth be told, I am disgusted with the state of our country right now, and looking at photos of places I love is one escape that seems to lower my blood pressure and soften the rage at the people who have sold out our country to a maniac.

So, this Travel Tuesday, in my blog and in my mind, I am at the majestic Ashford Castle, on the shores of Lough Corrib in County Mayo Ireland. Both Ashford Castle and the little village of Cong where it is located are well-worth a visit if you ever head to Ireland.

On our last Ireland trip, we decided that a stop at Ashford on the way home from Achill Island would be a great way to break up the journey and give us a chance to have a snack and stretch our legs.

We arrived as the light of the day was starting to lower, casting a warm glow all over the castle and Lough Corrib.

Ashford Castle gin cocktail We were quickly brought to the lounge and seated with views of the lake, handed leather-bound cocktail menus to peruse.

My mother-in-law went with one of the castle’s imaginative gin cocktails, which had muddled blueberries, cracked black pepper, and grapefruit.

I have long been a fan of the Manhattan at Ashford, so I tucked in with one of those and a copy of The Irish Times. It was one of those lovely, cozy moments where we were all a little sleepy from Achill sunshine, so we just sat back and enjoyed the gorgeous surroundings.

Manhattan cocktail

Ashford Castle For lunch, the Smoked Salmon BLT was the obvious choice; I eat Irish smoked salmon and Irish bacon every chance I get, and this was one incredible sandwich.

 

smoked salmon BLT

Stuffed and in need of a bit of waking up, we did what we always do after a meal at Ashford; we took a long walk around the grounds. This is really one of my favorite things to do, and looking below, you can probably see why. Try to get there near sunset.

Ashford Castle Ashford Castle Lough Corrib

We didn’t expect to go to Ireland anytime soon, but it turned out the best rates to Italy this summer actually go through Dublin. This means I get to spend four glorious days in July in one of my favorite places. Having things to look forward to, big and small, are helping to keep me positive during these dark days.

Tell me, where do you go (even if just in your mind) when you need some uplifting?

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Tags: Ashford, Ashford Castle, castles, cocktails, Food, Ireland, luxury, luxury travel, Mayo, Travel

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.

Isle of Inisfree

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.

Ashford Castle

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.

Ashford Castle boat house

 

 

Lough Corrib

 

Ashford Castle from Lough Corrib

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!

Lough Corrib  Lough Corrib

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. boat from Ashford Castle

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.

Ashford Castle We were dressed for boating and decided to sit in The Prince of Wales Bar, which felt a little more casual.

Ashford Castle   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.

whiskey tasting Ashford Castle Ashford Castle

 

Happy 9th anniversary to my love, Eric! There’s no one else I would rather have as my adventuring partner-in-crime.

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Tags: Ashford Castle, Ireland, Mayo, Travel, travel blog, travel blogger, Travel Tuesday

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