Classiebawn Castle, Sligo
Although you can’t visit Classiebawn Castle as it’s privately owned, as you travel the coastal route from Sligo to Glencolumbkille, this striking castle appears. It’s a stunning sight, with Benbulbin behind and the ocean to the side of the Castle.
It was a former home of Lord Mountbatten, great-uncle to Prince Charles who was killed when his boat was blown up Provisional Irish Republican Army.
Visit the village of Mullaghmore and enjoy the stunning beach with shallow waters, perfect for kids.
Castle Island, Lough Key, Roscommon
Image © Sonder Visuals
Castle Island in the middle of Lough Key is a most romantic sight. There is reference to Castle Island in the annals of Lough Ce as early as 1184. During this time the park was called Moylurg and the Kings of Moylurg were the McDermotts, their official residence was on The Rock, now called Castle Island. As space was limited on this small island they had another residence on the mainland where the Moylurg Tower stands today.
You’ll enjoy the amenities at Lough Key Forest & Activity Park, including woodland walks and trails, Tree Canopy Walk high above the trees, Boda Borg, an Adventure Playground, and more.
Clough Oughter Castle, Cavan
Image © Tourism Ireland
Clough Oughter Castle dating back to the early part of the 13th century is part of the Marble Arch Geopark, and is situated beside the picturesque Killykeen Forest Park which has accessible nature walks. The castle itself sits on a Crannog (man made island) and so is only accessible by boat or canoe. You can rent canoes from Cavan Canoe Centre, they also offer guided day trips to the castle.
But if you don’t fancy a canoe trip, then you can view the castle from several spots. It eventually became the last remaining stronghold for the rebels during the Cromwell era, but sometime in March of 1653 the castle fell to Cromwell’s cannons. The castle walls were breached and the castle was never rebuilt after this point.
Enjoy a visit to the Marble Arch Caves and Geopark afterwards.