The West of Ireland is staggeringly beautiful and yet totally unspoilt – one you've been there you’ll be amazed that more people haven't discovered it. It's an enchanting part of the world filled with wonderfully atmospheric towns and villages, long stretches of stunning coastline, soaring sea cliffs, and craggy countryside that boasts a uniquely desolate beauty with a vibrant cultural heritage to match.
This area of Ireland is famed for its outdoor pursuits, and to enjoy many of them you don't even have to leave the Ashford Estate. There's some of the best fishing in all Ireland on Lough Corrib and the River Cong – fly fishing for salmon and trout, while you can also catch some monster pike.
The hotel has its own beautiful 9 hole golf course and we're surrounded by some of the finest links courses in the world. You can enjoy shooting and archery, falconry and horse riding, cycling and boating, all in our own grounds.
The town of Galway, and its famous bay, offer a host of attractions, including boat trips to the picturesque Aran Islands.
Ashford Castle makes the perfect base for touring Connemara. Dominated by the majestic Twelve Bens mountain range it is dotted with lakes, and fringed by the deeply indented Atlantic coastline. It is broken into innumerable creeks, bays and little harbours, making this one of Ireland's most popular and memorable touring areas.
The Pilgrimage mountain of Croagh Patrick is also less than an hour away in Mayo. In 441 AD St. Patrick reached the summit and fasted for 40 days - follow in his footsteps for spectacular views of the Tóchar Valley.
Ballintubber Abbey in Claremorris is the only church in Ireland founded by an Irish king and still in use, but it's also the only Irish church where for over 781 years Mass has been offered without a break.
Beneath the wild boglands of North Mayo lies Ceide Fields, the most extensive stone age monument in the world, with field systems, dwelling areas and megalithic tombs of 5,000 years ago, bounded by some of the most spectacular rock formations and cliffs in Ireland.
Our Lady's Shrine in Knock, just 45 minutes from the hotel, attracts over 1,500,000 visitors every year - it was here that an apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Joseph and St. John was witnessed by 15 local people on 21 August 1879.
The Museum of Country Life in Castlebar is also only 45 minutes away and gives a unique insight into the unbelievably harsh way of life of the local people until relatively recent times