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Some Favorite Irish Country Hideaways
By Mike Thiel

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.

Spring 2003

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