Submitted: May 11, 2013
Stayed: April 2013
Can't match the price, location and family friendliness of Carraigin. Restored in the 1970's, it blows my mind the amount of work, creativeness, finances, put into building this place from a pile of near rubble(I saw the before picture)! The grounds are gorgeous with walled off entry and gate; adjoining "enchanted forest" looking quite primevil- the kids and I spent tons of time there; and the hauntingly beautiful Lough Corrib, covered with islands and the occasional swan.
The castle provides a rustic, comfy lived in feel with medieval touches, "great room" with fireplace(we made a fire every night, easy to do with firestarter and peat bricks that produce a wonderful smell). Plenty of heat, turned furnace off at night. No drafts or mosquitoes.
One enters through the side on ground level: an entry way, straight ahead bathroom with large tub and stacked washer/dryer(Yes, a dryer, my wife loved it. Easy to use); the 4 vault rooms, each with their own door, cute and comfy; moreover, every room in the castle has it's own window. Go up the original stone stairs to the mainfloor, great room, master bedroom and bath(with small gargoyle which the kids named Gregory).Good secured wifi; cable TV.
Opposite end, tiniest most well equipped kitchen ever. Full size fridge, and the spiral staircase to the small but romantic tower room. If I were alone or a kid, I would stay here: small bed, sink, 2 lights, windows to all directions, doorway to roof
The parapets are about a meter up- little chance of falling off unless one stupidly stands up on the edge. Rules for the kids: not out by the lake or on the roof without a parent. The level above the great room has large comfy bed and small one and entrance to roof.
We rented the boat, no time to use. The boatman took us out, showed us how to avoid the rocks/ shallow spots. Get a boatman if you really want to fish or visit an island.
A caterer lives down the road and made a great meal, leftovers for 2 days. Both her and her husband are warm and welcoming. Indeed, better than the castle is the genuine Irish kindness.
Cute town 3 miles; good grocer/atm, Chinese + hotel bar food. Stay local: Our sights- Cliffs of Moher; must do Ashford Castle/Cong + falcon school; Galway(get gelato), Connemara, Kinvara/Castle Banquet, Aran Isl. Dublin airport 2 1/2 hours on great motorway.
Housekeeper always quick to help. I talked to the owner- thanked him for making a kids dream come true. Indeed, thanks to all!
Families with Teenagers,
Families with Young Children,
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