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The dramatic and evocative ruins of Black Castle perch on a rugged, rocky promontory that overlooks the encroaching sea. They are a forgotten gem of Ireland and well worth a visit. Those staying in hotels in the town of Wicklow itself will be able to take an easy stroll to see the remaining ruins, but visitors in hotels anywhere in the county will find the castle just a short, but very worthwhile, drive away.
The ancient castle of Wicklow Town is separated from the mainland by a large artificial fosse. Its precise twists and turns of ownership and construction have been lost in the mists of time but it is possible to delineate the main parts of its history.
The date of its construction is uncertain but it is believed to have been built by an ancestor to the Earls of Kildare. The castle was once a formidable presence and central to the protection and development of Wicklow.
Glance around when you visit and you will see how the low-lying nature of the coast north of the castle left the area open to invasion. For this reason control of the castle became key to controlling the immediate surrounding area.
The mountains of Wicklow, which are now a main reason to visit to enjoy peaceful walks, were once home to marauding indigenous clans who descended regularly to attack the castle and its Norman occupants and later its English keepers.
The castle’s decay began in the 17th Century and time has certainly taken its toll. Today, very little remains of it: there are just a few small, forlorn wall fragments but they make an evocative image and breathtaking sight. There is a fine vantage-point for views over the town and the northern coast of Wicklow from the ruins.
You can find a range of hotels in Wicklow itself that place you on the doorstep of the ruins. You can easily walk to the Black Castle from Wicklow Town Main Street by turning onto the South Quay and walking up the hill. From here you will soon see the ruins just beyond the large cannons.
You may, however, prefer to get away from it all and base yourself in one of the many hotels situated in the delightful countryside of County Wicklow that still place attractions such as Black Castle within easy reach.
Within County Wicklow you can find everything from luxury hotels to great value two star accommodation. For those with a love of sport there are hotels with golf courses in their grounds and for those with a love of animals you will not struggle to find a pet-friendly hotel. Romantic hotels suitable for couples looking to enjoy the beautiful countryside offer privacy and tranquillity whilst family-friendly hotels offer larger rooms and often have a play area outside.
Wherever you want to stay in County Wicklow you can find great deals on your accommodation with Expedia.