Ashford Castle ranks as one of the most interesting places I’ve found when driving around Ireland with my GPS. I discovered it more or less by accident while driving from Sligo towards Galway.
Sometimes GPS is great. Sometimes, it takes you on unexpected routes and this was one of those occasions. At times, I was driving on roads with grass growing up the middle of them. Scenic but scary!
You could be forgiven for believing that John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara put the Irish village of Cong on the world map during the filming of The Quiet Man. It is a charming village that oozes atmosphere.
My GPS had led me astray and as I was looking for somewhere to make a U Turn when I found myself at the entrance to Ashford Castle. Naturally I spun in the gates for a look. Dating from 1228 and currently operating as a five-star luxury hotel, Ashford Castle is one of the finest castles in Ireland although unless you are a resident you may not be able to see much of the hotel. But the grounds are beautiful. This is really pleasant place to stop for a stroll on a sunny day so if you get the chance to drop in, I would say it’s worth it.