Ancient Castles Tour
Over 30,000 castles and castle ruins stand in Ireland, which means you cannot travel too far without seeing one on the way. Most of them were built as fortifications by the Normans, who conquered Ireland during the 12th Century. Our Ancient Castles Tour takes you to some of the most beautiful castles in the country: Kilkenny Castle, Cahir Castle, and the Rock of Cashel. You will immerse yourself in Ireland`s fascinating past. Our tour also includes an optional gift shopping at Kilkenny Design.
Kilkenny Castle was built in the 12th Century, soon after the Norman conquest of Ireland. For six centuries, it was the seat of the Butlers, earls, marquesses and dukes of Ormond, which made Kilkenny become an important city in the country. The castle has been remodelled in Victorian times and is now open all year round to visitors, who can also walk through its 50 acres of parkland. Sightseers can visit the castle`s library, drawing room, nursery and bedrooms decorated in Victorian style. Visitors can also see the collection of paintings of the Butler Family, which is available at the Picture Gallery. The view of Kilkenny town and River Nore from the castle walls and the beauty of the gardens provide visitors with a remarkable experience.
Located in Cahir town, County Tipperary, Cahir Castle was built in the 13th Century and is one of the best-preserved castles in Ireland. A big part of the original structure remains. Originally built as the fortress of the Butler family, the castle fell to the earl of Essex in 1599 and was besieged twice more during the Irish Confederate Wars. It fell into ruin in the late 18th Century and a partial restoration took place 1840. The extraordinary audio-visual tour to Cahir Castle gives sightseers the chance to learn about its history and architecture. The castle is also a major attraction for Excalibur fans, as it was featured in the production of the film in 1981. It was also used in 1973 as a filming location for the television film The Conflict, in the early 2000s for the TV show The Tudors and in 2021 for the film The Last Duel.
Rock of Cashel
One of the most visited tourist attractions in Ireland, the Rock of Cashel is an iconic structure of the utmost importance in the history of the country. Located in Cashel, County Tipperary, it was once the seat of the kings of Munster. Legend has it that in the 5th Century, Saint Patrick himself went to the Rock of Cashel to convert King Anghus to Christianity. In 978, Brian Boru was crowned High King of Ireland at Cashel and made it its capital. In the early 12th Century, the site was granted to the Catholic Church and Cashel became one of the most important ecclesiastical centres in the country. Visitors can see several remarkable monuments at the site, such as a round tower, a high cross, a Gothic cathedral, an abbey, the Hall of the Vicars Choral, a Tower House from the 15th Century and the Cormac`s Chapel, which contains the only surviving Romanesque frescoes in Ireland