The Most Beautiful Castle in Ireland: A Visual Delight of Historic Elegance

Choose the castle you think is the most beautiful!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Apr 8, 2024 06:21
Step into the enchanting world of Ireland's majestic castles and join us on an incredible journey through history, art, and folklore! Welcome to StrawPoll's "What is the most beautiful castle in Ireland?" ranking, where you can cast your vote for your favorite Irish fortress, or even suggest one that we may have missed. From the towering elegance of Dublin's Malahide Castle to the haunting beauty of the Blarney Castle in Cork, Ireland's rich heritage is at your fingertips. So, whether you're a seasoned traveler, a history buff, or simply a dreamer in love with the Emerald Isle, we invite you to explore, indulge your curiosity, and make your voice heard. Let the battle of the Irish castles commence!

What Is the Most Beautiful Castle in Ireland?

  1. 1
    73
    votes
    Blarney Castle
    Gerd Eichmann · CC BY-SA 4.0

    Blarney Castle

    Cormac MacCarthy
    The stunning medieval fortress is known for its famous Blarney Stone, which is said to give the gift of eloquence to those who kiss it. The castle is surrounded by beautiful gardens and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside.
    Blarney Castle is a magnificent medieval fortress located near Cork in Ireland. It is renowned for its stunning beauty and magical ambiance. Built in the 15th century, the castle stands tall amidst lush greenery, with its iconic stone tower reaching towards the sky.
    • Location: Near Cork, Ireland
    • Construction Period: 15th century
    • Architectural Style: Medieval
    • Features: Stone tower, battlements, lush gardens
    • Height: Approximately 90 feet
  2. 2
    39
    votes
    A magnificent 800-year-old castle located on the shores of Lough Corrib. The castle has been beautifully restored and offers luxurious accommodation, fine dining, and a range of outdoor activities.
    Ashford Castle is a stunning and historic castle located in County Mayo, Ireland. It is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful castles in Ireland, offering a luxurious and enchanting experience for its guests. The castle is situated on the picturesque shores of Lough Corrib, surrounded by lush gardens and woodlands, providing a truly breathtaking setting.
    • 1: Size: Covers an area of 350 acres
    • 2: Rooms: Accommodates 83 elegant guest rooms and suites
    • 3: Facilities: Offers a wide range of amenities including a spa, multiple restaurants, and a golf course
    • 4: Activities: Provides various recreational activities such as fishing, horse riding, and falconry
    • 5: History: Has a rich history dating back to the 13th century
  3. 3
    14
    votes
    Bunratty Castle
    Jon Sullivan · Public domain
    One of Ireland's most iconic castles, Bunratty Castle dates back to the 15th century and is a wonderful example of medieval architecture. The castle is surrounded by beautiful gardens and is home to a folk park that offers a glimpse into Ireland's past.
    Bunratty Castle is a stunning medieval fortress located in County Clare, Ireland. It stands majestically on the banks of the River Shannon and is one of the most well-preserved castles in the country. With its impressive architecture and rich history, it attracts visitors from all over the world.
    • Architecture: Gothic style castle with a rectangular courtyard and four round corner towers.
    • Location: County Clare, near the village of Bunratty.
    • Size: The castle measures approximately 60 meters long and 26 meters high.
    • Interior: Furnished with period furniture and tapestries, giving visitors a glimpse into medieval life.
    • Great Hall: Features an impressive oak barrel-vaulted ceiling and a large fireplace.
  4. 4
    22
    votes
    This stunning castle is located in the heart of Kilkenny city and is one of Ireland's most visited tourist attractions. The castle dates back to the 12th century and boasts beautiful gardens, art exhibitions, and a stunning interior.
    Kilkenny Castle is a magnificent castle located in Kilkenny, Ireland. It is known for its stunning architecture and picturesque setting, making it one of the most beautiful castles in the country. The castle's history dates back to the 12th century, with various additions and renovations done over the centuries. Standing tall along the River Nore, Kilkenny Castle showcases a striking combination of medieval and Victorian design elements.
    • Architectural Style: Medieval and Victorian fusion
    • Location: Kilkenny, Ireland
    • Construction Year: 12th century (with subsequent additions and renovations)
    • Size: Over 30,000 square feet
    • Surroundings: Situated in extensive parklands
  5. 5
    17
    votes

    Cahir Castle

    Cormac MacCarthy
    This picturesque castle is located on an island in the River Suir and dates back to the 13th century. The castle is surrounded by beautiful countryside and is a popular location for film shoots.
    Cahir Castle is a stunning medieval fortress located in County Tipperary, Ireland. It is considered one of the most remarkable castles in the country, renowned for its imposing appearance and well-preserved architecture.
    • Construction Materials: Limestone
    • Year of Construction: 1142
    • Architecture Style: Norman
    • Design Features: Circular keep, sturdy defensive walls, moat
    • Size: Huge (approximately 13,000 square feet)
  6. 6
    7
    votes
    Dunguaire Castle
    Boomur · CC BY-SA 3.0
    This beautiful 16th-century castle is located on the shores of Galway Bay and offers stunning views of the surrounding coastline. The castle is famous for its medieval banquets and is a popular location for weddings and events.
    Dunguaire Castle is a stunning medieval tower house located on the southeastern shore of Galway Bay in County Galway, Ireland. It is widely regarded as one of the most picturesque castles in the country, attracting visitors from all around the world.
    • Location: On the southeastern shore of Galway Bay, County Galway, Ireland
    • Architecture style: Medieval tower house
    • Construction period: 16th century
    • Creator: Martín Óg Hynes, the Hynes Clan
    • Material: Limestone
  7. 7
    11
    votes
    This beautiful 15th-century castle is located on the shores of Lough Leane and is one of the most photographed castles in Ireland. The castle is surrounded by beautiful scenery and offers a range of outdoor activities such as fishing, boating, and hiking.
    Ross Castle is a striking medieval fortress located on the shores of Lough Leane in County Kerry, Ireland. It stands proudly amidst the scenic landscape of Killarney National Park, surrounded by lush greenery and reflective waters. This iconic castle is considered as one of the most beautiful castles in Ireland, captivating visitors with its elegance and rich history.
    • Location: On the shores of Lough Leane, County Kerry
    • Style: Medieval fortification
    • Materials: Limestone and local sandstone
    • Size: Three-story tower house with a square plan
    • Architecture: Traditional Irish tower house style
  8. 8
    10
    votes
    This dramatic castle is located on the north coast of Northern Ireland and offers stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean. The castle dates back to the 13th century and is a popular location for film shoots and music videos.
    Dunluce Castle is a medieval castle located on the dramatic cliffs of the North Antrim coast in Northern Ireland. It is renowned as one of the most iconic and picturesque castles in the region. The castle's ruins stand as a testament to the rich history and turbulent past of the area. Perched on the edge of a basalt outcropping, it offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape and the Atlantic Ocean. Dunluce Castle is a popular tourist attraction, captivating visitors with its striking location and fascinating history.
    • Location: North Antrim coast, Northern Ireland
    • Type: Medieval Castle
    • Architectural Style: Gothic
    • Construction Period: 13th - 17th century
    • Materials: Basalt, local stone
    Dunluce Castle in other rankings
  9. 9
    5
    votes

    Donegal Castle

    Hugh O'Donnell
    This beautiful castle is located in the heart of Donegal town and is one of Ireland's most historic landmarks. The castle dates back to the 15th century and offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside.
    Donegal Castle is a stunning medieval castle located in County Donegal, Ireland. It is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful castles in the country, attracting numerous visitors each year.
    • Location: County Donegal, Ireland
    • Architectural Style: Medieval
    • Construction Year: 15th century
    • Materials Used: Stone and mortar
    • Features: Square keep, rectangular courtyard
  10. 10
    6
    votes
    Lismore Castle
    Ingo Mehling · CC BY-SA 3.0

    Lismore Castle

    King John of England
    This stunning castle is located in the picturesque town of Lismore and dates back to the 12th century. The castle is surrounded by beautiful gardens and is a popular location for weddings and events.
    Lismore Castle is a magnificent castle located in County Waterford, Ireland. Situated on the banks of the River Blackwater, it is renowned for its stunning architecture and picturesque surroundings. The castle has a rich history dating back over 800 years, making it one of the oldest castles in Ireland.
    • Location: County Waterford, Ireland
    • Architectural style: Medieval
    • Year built: 1185
    • Ownership: Currently owned by the Duke of Devonshire
    • Size: 20,000 square feet

Missing your favorite castle?

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Ranking factors for beautiful castle

  1. Architectural beauty
    Consider the castle's architectural style, intricacy, and overall design. Look for unique features, impressive towers, and well-preserved or restored facades.
  2. Historical significance
    Take into account the castle's history and its role in Ireland's past. A castle with a rich and interesting history may make it more attractive and fascinating to visitors.
  3. Location and surrounding landscape
    A castle situated in a picturesque location with beautiful scenery, such as rolling hills, lakes, or coastal cliffs, will likely be more visually appealing and add to its overall beauty.
  4. Interior features and decoration
    Consider the castle's interior design, including its preserved or restored rooms, furnishings, and artwork. The more impressive and authentic the interior, the higher the castle should rank in terms of beauty.
  5. Condition and preservation
    A well-preserved and maintained castle will naturally be more attractive than one that is in a state of disrepair. Restoration efforts and the current state of the castle should be considered when determining its beauty.
  6. Gardens and grounds
    Beautifully landscaped gardens and grounds can greatly enhance the appeal of a castle, providing a stunning backdrop and adding to its overall beauty.
  7. Accessibility and visitor experience
    A castle that is easily accessible and offers an enjoyable visitor experience should be considered more favorably than one that is difficult to access or not open to the public.
  8. Size and scale
    Larger and more expansive castles may be considered more impressive and beautiful than smaller ones, simply due to their grand scale.
  9. Overall atmosphere and charm
    Finally, consider the overall atmosphere and charm of the castle, including any legends, stories, or local lore that may contribute to its appeal and allure.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most beautiful castle in Ireland. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or castle is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!

Statistics

  • 1961 views
  • 204 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each castle once every 24 hours. The rank of each castle is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

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More information on most beautiful castle in ireland

When it comes to castles, Ireland has no shortage of magnificent structures with a rich history. From ancient fortresses to grand estates, the Emerald Isle boasts some of the most beautiful castles in the world. These castles have been the backdrop for countless battles, love stories, and political intrigue throughout the centuries. Today, many of them are open to the public, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the fascinating history and architecture of Ireland's past. In this article, we will explore the most beautiful castles in Ireland and discover what makes them so special. So, whether you're a history buff or simply looking for a stunning backdrop for your next vacation, join us as we delve into the world of Irish castles.

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