A real-life tale of turbulent times coupled with heroic feats of bravery
History and Heritage
Ireland’s landscape is studded with spectacular historical and heritage sites from the largest Stone Age monument in the world to exceptionally luxurious castles.
So Ireland’s pretty old then!
Well, yes. Ireland’s history dates back to around 6000BC and covers major events like the arrival of the Celts, Christianity, the Vikings and the Normans, as well as our more modern history, including the formation of the Republic and Northern Ireland.
Okay, so what’s there to see?
There are so many historical sites in Ireland that you’d probably need a lifetime to just scratch the surface.
There’s Newgrange, an ancient passage tomb that predates the Giza Pyramids in Egypt by 600 years; Céide Fields, the most extensive Stone Age monument in the world; the Hill of Tara, the seat of the high kings of Ireland; incredible ecclesiastical and monastic sites like Clonmacnoise, Jerpoint Abbey, Devenish Island Monastic Site, and the Rock of Cashel. And that’s only for starters.
Fair enough. What about castles?
Well, there are quite a lot of castles, too, and all of them have their own particular story. Try out Blarney Castle with its famous Stone of Eloquence, Leap Castle, which is reputed to be the most haunted castle in Europe, Trim Castle, the largest Anglo-Norman castle in Ireland, Dunluce Castle, the spectacular castle-crowned crag on the famous north Antrim coast, which was shaped when the sea cut deep into the rock, and Kilkenny Castle, which has been beautifully restored.
Can I stay in one?
Of Course. Many of Ireland’s magnificent castles have been converted into luxurious accommodation. The beautiful Dromoland Castle is one of Ireland’s finest castle hotels with a beautiful location in the heart of the Shannon region. Ashford Castle has stood on the banks of Lough Corrib in County Mayo for the past 700 years and is nestled into 350 acres of private woodland. Mount Stewart in County Down is a spectacular National Trust property, which boasts magnificent gardens well worth exploring. Meanwhile, Glin Castle in Limerick is an exceptionally historic property and has been in the Fitzgerald Family for over 700 years. If you fancy checking out the kitchens, Belle Isle Castle in County Fermanagh also runs a renowned cookery school.