One of County Carlow’s most visited sites is Huntington Castle. Staying in a hotel in or around Carlow, whether a luxury four star or budget accommodation nearby gives visitors a great base to visit not only the castle but all the delights of the surrounding countryside, its farmlands and historic monuments.
The castle offers a wide range of attractions for visitors. One of the most popular is the guided tour of the castle. Originally built as a garrison in 1625 on the strategic route between Dublin and Wexford, it became a family home 50 years later after the army left. The fascinating tour of the building, which takes approximately half an hour, takes in all the additions of the house, as well as the basement which was converted to a temple dedicated to Isis, the Egyptian goddess.
The gardens at Huntington Castle date back to the 1680s. The imaginative formal layouts feature an Italian-style parterre garden, a French lime avenue, dating back to the creation of the gardens, and a 500-year-old yew walk. There are also many water features, such as the stew pond and ornamental lake. These features have recently been restored, along with the planting of 10,000 snowdrops, a new rose garden and management of its woodland to encourage bluebells.
One recent and welcome addition to the castle is the children’s woodland adventure play area and farm. Boris and Hamlet, the pot-bellied pigs, wander freely around the grounds of the castle, along with the chickens, sheep and cows in the castle’s surrounding fields.
In the playground, there are balance beams, monkey bars, swings and slides for all ages to enjoy. The farm was created in the late 19th Century as a model farm and continues as a working operation to this day. Elsewhere on this magnificent estate there is the 17th century barn theatre, believed to be the oldest in Ireland. It is a popular venue for many events, from evenings of music to weddings, christenings and other special occasions.
Near to the castle are both the world-famous Altamont Gardens and Newtownbarry Gardens. All these attractions are easily reached when booking a hotel online in or around Carlow.
Booking a hotel in the Carlow area will give easy access to not only Huntington Castle but the many other attractions nearby. All the accommodation in the area, from budget to three or four star, offers guests who book online comfort, excellent service and a range of meals on the menu, prepared with care and skill from fresh local ingredients. Carlow is one of the best places in Ireland to stay, well placed to visit so many of its delights.