June 26, 2018: Canada Day Edition
June 06, 2018: Expedition Cruising
May 2018: May Flowers in Iceland and Greenland
April 2018: April Showers Bring Canadian Flowers
March 2018: Happy St. Patrick’s Day! We Love Ireland!
February 2018: International Polar Bear Day – Name Our Bear Mascot Contest
January 2018: There’s a Place in the Sun
With World Sleep Day and St. Patrick’s Day falling consecutively on Friday, March 16th and Saturday, March 17th, I thought it’d be only fitting to look into the idea of sleeping in an Irish castle. I mean, who hasn’t dreamed of spending at least one night like a prince or princess from a fairy tale?
Ireland offers up a lot of great choices for a castle stay. Here are three choices, but there are many others.
Ashford Castle, County Mayo
The original castle construction began back in 1228, so some of the castle’s stonework is approaching 800 years of age. The famed Guinness brewing family purchased the castle in the mid-1800’s and put about $75 million into the massive renovation to upgrade the interior. With additional modern renovations the castle now features its historic façade and “bones” along with stunningly restored interiors and a state-of-the-art spa. Not just a place to lay your head, it’s an experience, the chance to live a dream of staying in a genuine castle, but still having all the creature comforts we’ve come to expect.
Dromoland Castle, County Clare
Built in the 16th century, the limestone, medieval castle with its statuesque turret sits on 450 acres of lush green grass and verdant gardens. Since the 10th century Dromoland has been the ancestral home of the O’Briens, Barons of Inchiquin and descendants of Brian Boru High King of Ireland during the 11th century. For the next 900 years a branch of the O’Briens lived and ruled from this castle. Retaining all the grandness of bygone eras the castle has been upgraded to a very comfortable standard, offering everything the modern day, discerning “royalty for a day” is looking for.
Ballygally Castle, County Antrim
In real estate it’s said that location is everything, and Ballygally Castle has that in spades! This turreted treasure has been standing guard over the spellbinding Causeway Coastal Route since the 17th century. Rumoured to be one of the most haunted buildings on the entire island, Ballygally boasts more than one spectre, including former residents Lady Isobel Shaw and Madame Nixon. If you’re brave enough you can visit the Ghost Room in one of the turrets!
Read about more Irish castles where you can sleep like royalty:
Irish Times, Ireland’s Top 10 Castles to Stay In
Ireland.com, 6 Luxury Castle Stays
Scotland Slowly by Sea – travel solo and pay no single supplement! More single cabins have been made available on this expedition cruise in Categories 3 to 7. Explore the coastline and hidden gems of Scotland on this small-ship adventure June 11-21, 2018. Subject to availability, so call now for best options! Read More >
My maternal Grandma, Hannah Muirhead, emigrated to Canada from County Antrim, Ireland (now part of Northern Ireland) back in the late 1800’s. Two of her brothers and a sister had sailed to Canada a few years earlier. Sadly, her sister died of black fever on the crossing and was buried at sea, but her brothers arrived safely and made their way west to homestead at the Derry Corner, near Douglas, Manitoba. They then invited Hannah to come and join them. I can’t imagine leaving my family and everything that was familiar to me and sailing across the Atlantic to an unknown place, all at the age of 19. The courage to do that seems unimaginable. Read More >
Every now and again I read something that makes me say “H’uh? Really? Wow!”, and this story was one of those.
Posted by Yahoo Lifestyle based on a posting to Reddit, it’s about a tourist that drew a map on an envelope in lieu of an address to a remote farm in Iceland, and it actually got delivered! https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/tourist-drew-map-postcard-lieu-195106212.html Read More >
In the age of online booking sites, using a travel consultant may feel like going the way of the dinosaur. But, consultants are more useful than simply selling airline tickets, trips to Disney World and cruises. Many consultants provide services or have knowledge that you just can’t get online – and sometimes, especially in times of crisis, working with a real live person is just plain superior. Read More >
Being at the Guinness™ brewery in Dublin got me to thinking about the Guinness™ Book of World Records. Was it related to the famous Guinness™ stout I’d learned so much about at the Guinness™ Storehouse?
When I was in Dublin in March I visited the Guinness™ Storehouse at St. James’s Gate. A seven-story, converted warehouse where you learn all about the Guinness™ story, it is Ireland’s #1 tourist attraction according to TripAdvisor®. The centre court is built in the shape of a monstrous Guinness™ glass, reaching from the ground floor all the way up to the 6th story. They’ll even tell you how many pints of Guinness™ it would take to fill that gigantic glass! Read More >