Ireland is the realm of legend and mystery – consider the likes of Cu Chulainn, Fionn Mac Cumhaill, and the Tuathau De Danaan who later went underground in the fairy mounds to become “Na Daoine Sidhe” the Good Folk. Leap Castle is considered the most haunted castle in Ireland, and Castle Leslie has its share of poltergeists; by the banks of the Shannon, you may see a “Phuca” or two. It will take a brave soul to venture amid cold drafts, shrieks and bumps in the night!!! This is a fantastic adventure tour that includes some of Ireland’s most beautiful scenery, culture, and amazing history. Stay at two of Ireland’s most esteemed and luxurious properties, Kinnitty Castle and Castle Leslie.
Day 1: Arrive in Dublin. Drive to Offaly. Stay 4 nights.
Day 2: Explore Leap Castle & more.
Day 3: Charleville Forest Castle & Killua Castle.
Day 4: Visit Clonony Castle & more.
Day 5: Castle Leslie, Glasson, Co Monaghan. Stay 2 nights.
Day 6: Glens of Antrim & Giants Causeway.
Day 7: Depart Dublin Airport.
Price: From $1,095 per person. Based on 2 people traveling. Land price only.
Day 1: Birr, Co. Offaly
Arrive Dublin Airport and pick up your rental. Drive to Offaly for your 4-night stay at Kinnitty Castle with a stop en route at Kilkea Castle, built in 1180 and the oldest inhabited Castle in Ireland. Local folklore maintains that the castle is haunted by the ghost of Earl “the Wizard” Gerald and the presence of “evil” symbolized in the famous Evil Eye Stone located there.
Horse-riding and shooting are specialties at Kinnitty Castle, and it is most famous for its long and turbulent history. The castle was destroyed in 1209 and was later rebuilt by the Norman’s in 1213. It’s said to be haunted by the 11th Earl of Kildare. Stay in Kinnitty Castle for 4 nights.
Day 2: Leap Castle
If you dare, you can visit the most haunted castle in Ireland – Leap Castle. Leap Castle certainly is home to many secrets of a dark and mysterious past. Over 400 years ago in what is now known as the “Bloody Chapel” a shocking murder occurred between one brother and his priest brother during high mass.
Another source of evil at Leap Castle is a hidden ubliet (dungeon) located off the bloody chapel. It was a small room with a drop floor. Those who were forgotten within this room suffered unimaginable pain and misery until their death. Around c.1900 workmen who were hired to clean out the ubliet made a hideous discovery, human skeletons laid piled on top of each other.
Because of its extremely bloody history Leap Castle has always had a reputation for being haunted, a reputation so strong local people avoided it at night. Completely gutted by fire, Leap Castle was boarded up and its gates were locked for over 70 years. Locals have described seeing the windows at the top of the castle “light up for a few seconds as if many candles were brought into the room” late at night. The castle laid in ruin for years.
Day 3: Charleville Forest Castle & Killua Castle
Today, visit Charleville Forest Castle, complete with Druid’s Initiation Circle as well as dark, spooky catacombs and a tower that the late Charles Bury, First Earl of Charleville, still walks. Many orbs “ghostly balls of light” have been spotted throughout the castle to remind us all that we are not alone.
Drive north to Westmeath to visit Killua Castle, one of the most romantic ruins in the country. Built in 1780 and later converted to the Gothic style, it was owned by the ancestors of Lawrence of Arabia, who visited it himself. The house was long ago abandoned, but when it was still in use, visitors often complained of things that went bump in the night. A white phantom was said to circle the ruins, and a hideous, evil-eyed figure was often sighted within the walls. This spector was said to be the ghost of an 18th century land steward called Jacky Dalton. A small, cunning man with a “weasel eye” and a strange yellow wig, he cheated his master out of a lot of money, then drank it all and committed suicide by throwing himself in the lake. A recipe for an unquiet spirit…
While in Meath, make sure you tour Newgrange; a prehistoric monument, a megalithic stone age passage tomb. It was built about 3200 BC, during the Neolithic period, which makes it older than Stonehenge and the Egyptian pyramids. This is a sight not to be missed, Newgrange will simply take your breath away.
Day 4: Clonony Castle
Visit Clonony Castle. This great, square ruin of a tower in the middle of Offaly looks creepy enough. It dates back to the 16th century, and has a connection with Anne Boleyn, whose cousins are buried in a cave beneath the castle. The ghost that people see is that of a man, seen standing on top of the tower in old-fashioned dress. His identity remains a mystery, but he is still regularly seen by passing motorists at night, who have described a tall, thin, almost skeletal figure, surrounded by a hazy, luminous light. Most unsettling.
Day 5: Castle Leslie, Glasson, Co Monaghan
Castle Leslie is set amid 1,000 acres of breathtaking scenery. For over 300 years it has been the family home of the eccentric Leslie family and has over successive generations been host to many celebrities such as Sir John Betjeman, WB Yeats, Mick Jagger, and Paul McCartney. The Castle was designed in the Scottish Baronial style by Charles Lanyon and W.H. Lynn in 1870 AD for Sir John Leslie, 1st Baronet MP. It is situated on the site of an earlier castle and, therefore, it never had any particular defensive purpose.
The Red Room in this beautiful castle is said to be haunted by Norman Leslie, who was killed during the First World War. Apparently his mother Lady Marjorie was sleeping in this room one night and awoke to see his ghost standing near the foot of her bed, apparently looking through some letters. After a while this apparition of her dead son turned to her, smiled, and then faded away. There have been many other strange happenings reported in this fascinating castle, such as bells ringing of their own accord and strange figures wandering down corridors. Stay in Castle Leslie for 2 nights.
Day 6: Glens of Antrim & Giants Causeway
An hour drive north-east of Castle Leslie you reach the provincial capital of Ulster, Belfast. Head for Carrickfergus and then on to Larne, leave the beaten track and follow the spectacular, uncongested coastal route through villages where time has stood still. Enjoy the breath-taking Nine Glens of Antrim… cross the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge and marvel at Dunluce Castle, perched dramatically on towering cliffs high above the North Channel. Visit the oldest distillery in the world at Bushmills and end the day at the amazing Giant’s Causeway.
Day 7: Depart Dublin Airport
Drive to Dublin Airport, return your rental car and prepare for your return flight home.
Price: From $1,095 per person. Based on 2 people traveling. Land price only.
- Confirmed Reservations at Irish Castles for 6 nights.
- Breakfast daily.
- Self-Drive car, including all CDW insurance & Unlimited Mileage.
- Accommodation Taxes & Service charges.
- Custom designed itinerary & concierge services of our offices while travelling.
- Deluxe portfolio of travel documents.
- List of recommended pubs, restaurants and places of interest.
- Touring map of Ireland & special attractions admissions coupon booklet.
Airfare is additional:
Take the hassle out of booking flights. Ask about our best available Economy Fares as well as our Preferred Business and First Class Offers. Our air department experts can help with competitive rates. Just let us know your preferred dates and U.S. Departure City. We will do the rest.
Kinnitty Castle, Co. Offaly
Kinnitty Castle Hotel, located in the picturesque village of Kinnitty Co. Offaly, nestled in the foothills of the Slieve Bloom Mountains, offers the perfect setting for a romantic castle break in Ireland.
Castle Leslie Estate, Co. Monaghan
Castle Leslie Estate in County Monaghan is nestled on 1,000 acres of undulating Irish countryside, dotted with ancient woodland and glittering lakes.