Throughout the trip, we toured four different castles and great Value Vacations provided the international flight for us, they also provided the rental car that we used and they arranged all the accommodations for us as well at each of the castles.
Each of the castles is a hotel. All that being said I’m going to come to go through what we did each day and where we went each day and let you all see that. While we were on the trip I did take footage and hopefully, you can get some ideas if you decide to do these specific tour things you can do while you’re in Ireland. So we left on a Saturday we flew out from San Antonio to JFK and then from JFK, we caught our international flight to Air Lines. We ended up arriving at around 6 am in the morning so when we arrived on Sunday we went by our rental car location which was Dan Dooley Rentals and they gave us Nissan Micra which is basically a compact car and we drove that Nissan Micra for the entire week. It was automatic.
So once we got our rental car and set out on our way, we took off to Cabra Castle which is the first stop with the Great Value Vacations tour. Cabra Castle is located little ways outside of Kings Court. The castle itself sits on a pretty huge estate, as you’re driving up the driveway to the castle. You can see just beautiful green it’s actually a big golfing area all throughout it. So that was really cool. As we pulled up the castle it is quite breathtaking as well. We checked in and got to our room, and the room was really nice I mean it was what you would expect I think of a mid-century castle that has been converted to a hotel. So because it was the first day and we were incredibly jet lag -we played it a pretty cool first day.
We did go down and have dinner in the restaurant. We both had Irish steak which was incredibly delicious! So after we got to breakfast we took off to New grange! Make sure you go to the visitor center first they actually shuttle bus you to new grange. New grange is the oldest known burial site of mankind.
It’s older even than the pyramids by I think 500 years or something and if you’re a little claustrophobic just be aware that you do go inside Grange, but it is very tight so if you are a claustrophobic person you should be aware that. We woke up the day of St.Patrick’s day – Tuesday morning and checked out Cabra Castle. On the way out we said goodbye to the Irish Wolfhounds a little bit because they’re pretty cool. Then set off to Donegal to head to castle #2 which is Lough Eske castle – pretty sure I’m saying these names wrong. Lough Eske Castle is in Donegal and once again the views were breathtaking on the way. Lots of countryside, lots of sheep lots of cattle, passed a tractor or two. Lough Eske contrasted quite a bit to Cabra Castle in that it was a little more modern. Lough Eske castle also had a full spa. It would have been really cool to stay there a little bit longer because that room and that hotel was just so nice and it’s the only castle that I think is actually relatively close to a decent sized city. I think if that’s something Great Value Vacations would want to rethink or redo is giving you an extra day at Lough Eske. So we ended up finding the Slieve League cliffs and I am really happy we did those.
The Slieve League Cliffs are actually free right before you hit the cliff there’s a little cafe restaurant that gives you information on them as well as gives you a little gift shop and has different snacks and beverages. They also do have fine dining. We did eat at their restaurant. The grounds are actually very pretty and there was a lake right nearby as well which gave a lot of picturesque views and they also have different paths you can walk. That was cool too we kind of went outside and got some fresh air and did some trekking. It does seem to be very popular, there seems to be a lot of weddings that happen there and I can see why it would be a great location for that. We kind of played it cool the next day, we really just relaxed and just kind of slept in. We just hung out at the castle. Because at this point we’ve been driving every day for at least 2 – 4 hours getting to different places and seeing different things. One thing about this trip that was kind of hectic is it is a good amount of driving. So if you live in a place where you know being in a car for 30 minutes is like so long for you. This particular vacation might not be up your alley because you are driving a lot. We checked out of Kilronan Castle and drove straight to Dublin for the day and spent the day there.
We found a random parking garage I think on St.John’s Street and explored Dublin we went to St.Patrick’s Cathedral which you have to go to St.Patrick’s Cathedral, and while we were there a young choir was practicing which was really cool because they’re voices filled the halls of St.Patrick’s Cathedral.
We definitely fit in compared to most of the rural cities that we went to which were predominantly Caucasian. Being a minority and Ireland to me didn’t feel that weird because it’s not like they were looking at me as if I were a threat. I think in America an African-American you tend to get looked at with this kind a just like confusion or just like a projection of just automatic fear. In Ireland, most people just kind a looked at me with I think just excitement. Someone we don’t usually see! They’re staring at you, but its a different kind of stare. It’s a different kind of stare; it’s more like an excitement honestly. Dunboyne Castle is. I wouldn’t consider it a castle wouldn’t consider that a castle. It’s a really pretty building, the room was pretty basic nothing too extravagant about it they have really great wifi! Dunboyne – best wifi! For sure! And I liked their bar area, and their bar food was good.
So, that was the whole trip through the castles of Ireland tour that we took with Great Value Vacations. All in all, it was a really great experience and I feel like we definitely got our money’s worth working with Great Value Vacations to get the whole trip planned was pretty easy. It didn’t take much at all. Every hotel knew we were coming and there wasn’t any taper reservations snafu anything like that.