1. Ashford CastleTHC
Cong, Co. Mayo
Ashford Castle occupies a commanding
site on the banks of the Cong River
where it flows into Lough Corrib,
Ireland's second-largest lake and one of
its most revered fishing venues. The
walled, 350-acre estate is near the town
of Cong, the setting for the movie The
Quiet Man. Once inside, you?re in for a
regal experience—suits of armor at the
entryway, coffered ceilings, and gothic
windows are royal reminders of the
past. Sumptuous public areas are filled
with antiques, and each room you visit
seemingly surpasses the previous one.
The castle offers just 83 guest rooms
and suites, many with sweeping views
of the river and lake. Our room was certainly
spacious, with attractive antique
furnishings and an elegant bathroom.
One of Ashford?s main draws is its
diverse sporting attractions, from river
and lake fishing to tennis courts, a
nine-hole golf course, a complete
equestrian center, a sporting clays
course, bicycle rentals, lake cruising,
archery, and even a school of falconry.
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