No matter what kind of adventure you’re looking for, Ireland’s castles are sure to capture your imagination. And with so many different styles to choose from, you’ll never run out of unique places to explore. So set aside some time to discover the wonders of these 10 castles in Ireland.
10 Incredible Castles in Ireland That you Have to See
If you want to see the following 10 castles in one trip, you can take private tours in Ireland. Not only will you save a lot of time this way, but you’ll also get to see plenty of hidden gems.
1. Dunluce Castle
Situated on the rugged Antrim Coast, this cliff-top stronghold offers an impressive view of the Atlantic Sea. The castle itself has surroundings of steep drops. Already in ruins, Dunluce Castle has stood the test of time and has been an inspiration for countless poets and painters.
2. Blarney Castle
Perched above the River Martin, Blarney Castle has long been sought out for its renowned “Blarney Stone,” a unique stone that is said to hold the key to eloquent speech. Previously, it was a cadet brand of the Kings of Desmond, and its construction dates back to 1446.
3. Bunratty Castle
Dating back to 1425 AD, this medieval structure served as the primary defense of Clan O’Brien, the former rulers of Munster province. Sitting on the banks of the River Shannon, Bunratty Castle has seen its fair share of battles over the centuries and multiple reconstructions.
4. Trim Castle
The largest Cambro-Norman castle of Ireland, Trim Castle, is often referred to as the King of Castles. Built by Hugh de Lacy in 1174 (and then finished by Walter de Lacy later), the Trim Castle was the scene of a lot of fighting during the Confederate Wars (English Civil Wars).
5. The Rock of Cashel
Commonly known as “The Rock” due to its isolated hilltop setting, the Rock of Cashel has long been a spiritual location for Ireland’s ancient kings. The Rock was once home to a monastery as well as a bishop’s palace. And it is now one of the most impressive ruins in the entire world.
6. Cahir Castle
Cahir Castle is one of the most iconic fortifications in Ireland. Built-in the 13th century, this impressive structure served as the stronghold for the Butler family. It was so strong that people believed it was impregnable, but it eventually fell in 1599 when heavy artillery was used.
7. Dublin Castle
Standing at the heart of the capital city, Dublin Castle has been the seat of power in Ireland since the early 13th century. Today, Dublin Castle is open to the public, allowing visitors to explore the castle and learn about its past. It sits on the highest point of central Dublin.
8. Dunguaire Castle
Perched on the banks of Galway Bay, Dunguaire Castle was originally built in the 16th century. This fortress was once home to the King of Connacht, and today it stands as a reminder of Ireland’s history. The castle’s 75-foot tower and the defensive wall have recently been restored.
9. Donegal Castle
Constructed in the 15th century, Donegal Castle has been modified numerous times over the centuries to keep pace with changing times. The structure’s most famous addition is the elegant Donegal House, which surrounds the original castle. It was restored in the early 1990s.
10. Kilkenny Castle
Located in the heart of Kilkenny City and built late in the 12th century, Kilkenny Castle is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Ireland. The castle stands proudly on the banks of the River Nore, offering impressive views of its surroundings, including a beautiful courtyard.