I still can’t believe our week and a half in Ireland flew by so quickly! We had been planning this trip for almost a year after deciding (following our trip to Alaska with Carly & Garrett) that Ireland would be our next destination. After months and months of planning, we met up in Dublin and started our journey driving a full circle around the island. It was a bit of an ambitious trip (I’ll be sharing the full details of our itinerary) because a lot of driving was involved and we had to be quick about how much time we delegated to each place (we could keep exploring for hours and hours…), but we got to see so much! We also had the beautiful summer weather on our side along with extra long days thanks to the sun setting close to 10pm.
When we decided we wanted to go on our trip to Ireland, the very first hotel that stood out to us was Ashford Castle. Conceived of in 1228, it’s had a number of prominent owners including the Guinness family and was established as a hotel in 1939. We heard so many wonderful things from friends and family that had stayed there! Unfortunately, we waited a bit too long to book and by the time we went to reserve online, they were sold out for our dates! We tried to see if we could rearrange our schedule and sadly, they were still booked solid. We quickly realized that there was a smaller lodge on the property (as sister hotel, you could say) that allowed guests to still enjoy some of the benefits of the castle while staying there. I have to be honest and say that if you’re planning on staying here, just be aware that you’re not actually allowed to go into the castle or the restaurants. We were surprised as we were told differently when booking, but regardless the Lodge was still a great hotel & it was nice to be able to roam the gardens and rent bikes (as well as horseback riding the following morning!). Plus, the castle is absolutely striking in person from the outside, I can only imagine the opulent decor on the inside. On the day we arrived, our drive in from the outskirts of the property indicated that there was a ton to see, which would require some form of transportation to properly explore the grounds. We picked up rental bicycles and set off into the forest, eventually turning and riding along the riverside and then cruising along the backside of the Castle, making our way into the multiple gardens (my favorite part!).
Our favorite garden on the property was the Walled Garden which was bursting at the seams while still being finely manicured. We ended our bicycle ride back across the river and over the bridge and then off to have dinner in the warm sunshine of the evening. After departing the property, we all agreed that it was one of, if not the, most amazing properties we’d ever set foot on. On our next trip to Ireland we know that we’ll be staying longer at Ashford Castle! Just booking way further in advance next time :)
I hadn’t expected to wear such summery pieces while in Ireland, but the weather really was showing off for us! There were a few days when we were good to go in just simple sun dresses and sneakers. Luckily I had packed a few options amongst the many layers I brought, and one of them being this J.Crew gingham dress (that I last wore in Napa here). I absolutely love this dress- so ideal for summer. It’s lightweight, hits below the knee and has pockets. It really doesn’t get any better than that. I also love how the blues and greens pull out the natural colors in the gorgeous sceneries around Ireland. This time, instead of sandals, I paired it with my sneakers, very similar to this look I wore in Rome last summer.
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