Of all the places we've been and all the places we'll go, Temple House is one place we'll never forget - a unique combination of house, room and grounds to explore- all hosted by an extremely personable owner.
We're a family of 3 who stayed 1 night. We were greeted by Temple House owner Roderick Perceval and the other house masters (a group of 5 of the most enthusiastic, but well-behaved dogs) as soon as we got out of our car. Roderick gave us the lay of the land and showed us to our room known as the 'half-acre.' The room was actually two rooms with an outstanding en-suite - perfect for our family of three. Always a huge plus for our teenager to have his own room while on vacation. The main suite was absolutely huge - you could literally have a catch in the room - and wonderfully appointed with period furniture. Huge light-inviting picture windows overlooked sheep-filled pastureland.
The entire estate is an attraction in and of itself. 1000 acres that include the huge Temple House itself, adjacent castle house ruins, a lake to explore by row boat, a giant ruined walled garden with wild rose bushes and crab apple trees, and a big old ruin of a centuries-old stable house - and that's all we could see in the 3 short sun-filled hours we had to roam the estate. Particularly memorable of our Temple House adventure was the unexpected company of three of the Perceval dogs - two black labs and a very water-friendly spaniel(?) joined us for the entire afternoon - it was almost like they were showing us their own favorite places around the estate - no map required. Even when our son went his own way to explore for a while, the smaller of the two labs went with him while the other two dogs stayed with my wife and I - the larger lab always with a fetching stick at the ready...
Because this was the only night during our Ireland trip we had to see Benbulben, we had dinner up in Mullaghmore (just a bit north of Sligo) at a wonderful seaside restaurant called Eithnas - all very convenient to Temple House.
The next morning, a delicious made-to-order breakfast was served up in the company of two friends traveling on holiday from Philly. After checking out, just a 5 minute drive away, we headed over to 'Eagles Flying' for an amazing show of birds of prey.
If/when we are fortunate enough to be back in Ireland, we will go out of our way to be sure we can spend more than a just one night at Temple House!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Temple House, in Sligo, is a classical Georgian mansion set in a private estate of over 1,000 acres, overlooking a 13th-century lakeside castle of the Knights Templar. The Perceval family home since 1665, the present manor was redesigned in 1864 and exudes the authentic and unpretentious country house atmosphere. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Temple House Hotel Ballinacarrow