I notice on Google Maps that there is a road network on the Ashford Castle grounds. Is this open to the public, or only to castle guests? Thanks in advance....
We visited six years ago and drove through the castle grounds to board a boat ride on the lake. Afterwards we had lunch at Cullens which was close to the castle. At that time they did have a guard posted to prevent non-guests from entering the castle itself.
Can't swear to it, but I think there is a charge now to go inside the front gates to the estate itself.
We were at Lisloughry lodge in November and went over to Ashford for a drink. We were told if the watchman was at the gate they will charge 5e per adult to get in, but hes not always there. There was no one there when we arrived to go in with no charge.
its now ten euros, and you cant even get a glimpse of the building without paying
And personally, meh, it's not even a real castle. I certainly wouldn't bother especially if they are charging.
Simplest way to access the grounds of the hotel is to park at the church car park in Cong and walk through the abbey grounds to cross the pedestrian bridge leading to Cong Wood.
Having crossed the bridge, turn left and follow the riverbank to the "front lawn" of the castle; you can wander around the castle to reach the Lough Corrib shoreline and a nice walk as far as the chalet that romantic Lord Ardilaun built for his wife.
The hotel itself is not open to non-guests; will advise when I figure out how to get in........
we were there in Sept 2015 and the guard was charging 5E per person to walk the gardens and grounds. He actually gave us a two for one deal and we paid 5E for the two of us. The gardens are very nice and a great place to walk. you cannot enter the Castle unless you are a guest however.
We were there 2 weeks ago and stayed at the Lodge at Ashford Castle (overpriced, I don't recommend it, but I didn't pick it and still a lot cheaper than the castle). To get to the lodge, there was no guard or checkpoint and we could walk to the castle from the lodge. We never encountered anyone whom questioned our being on the castle grounds or saw a place to pay to enter the grounds.
We did a Hawk Walk at the Falconry School which I can't recommend enough. It was outstanding, a true highlight of our trip. We did the Extended Hawk Walk. Again, we drove there and never encountered a manned gate or checkpoint to charge people. There is probably a main entrance that people are getting stopped at but I don't know.
We were told at the Lodge that we couldn't visit the inside of the castle without a tour. However, when we walked over to view the grounds, my father-in-law, whom is very chatty, struck up a conversation with one of the valets and the guy let him go inside. My husband and I did not.Edited: 24 June 2016, 13:23