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Ireland's Greatest Houses and Castles

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Fly into: Dublin Fly out of: Dublin
Total Duration: 10 days

For an up-close look at the Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous—antique style, nothing beats a visit to Ireland's stately homes and castles. Architecturally, they run the gamut from Gothic to Georgian. On this trip you'll see the largest private home in Ireland, as well as shockingly grand castles and country estates.

    This Trip's Top Experiences:

  • Art and Culture
  • Architecture
  • Food and Wine
Days 1-2
shutter/Fodors.com member

1 Dublin

Castle Rock

  • Dublin Castle, once the seat of British rule, has opulent State Apartments where Irish presidents are inaugurated
  • Newbridge House is one of Ireland's greatest stately homes—its drawing room is an 18th-century red-velvet stunner
  • The medieval hall in Malahide Castle is the only one in Ireland preserved to its original form
  • Slane Castle's owner likes to use its public grounds to hold enormous rock concerts
  • Art and Culture
  • Architecture
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Days 3-4
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2 County Kildare

Palladian Perfection

  • Think of Castletown House as an Irish Versailles. It is the finest example of an Irish-Palladian style house
  • Russborough House pulls out all the stops to achieve Palladian perfection; it is an Irish Xanadu
  • If touring castles and stately homes isn't enough, spend the night in one like Barberstown Castle, now a hotel
  • Art and Culture
  • Architecture
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Day 5
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3 Eastern Midlands

If These Walls Could Talk

  • Emo Court and Gardens is a prime example of life on the grand scale. The showstopper is the domed rotunda
  • If these walls could talk…Belvedere House was once the byword for debauchery and dissipation thanks to the hijinks of the lady of the house
  • Tullynally Castle is the largest castle in Ireland that still functions as a family home
  • Art and Culture
  • Architecture
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Days 6-8
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4 County Tipperary

Rock of Ages

  • The Rock of Cashel, "Ireland's City of the Kings," was once the center of tribal and religious power for more than 1,000 years
  • If you love turreted Lismore Castle, it can be yours—for a high rental fee of course. Owned by the dukes of Devonshire, it is now graced with contemporary art works
  • For high drama, head to Cahir Castle, perched on a rocky island on the River Suir
  • Art and Culture
  • Architecture
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Days 9-10
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5 Cork City

The Loveliest City in the World

  • Visit Blarney Castle to line up and kiss the Blarney Stone, and acquire the gift of gab
  • Fota House, located next to a wildlife park, has an unadorned exterior but the real treasures lie inside
  • Treat yourself to a meal or an overnight stay at Ballymaloe House, the fountainhead of New Irish cuisine
  • Art and Culture
  • Architecture
  • Food and Wine
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