Castle in the Eire
Driving through narrow roads and scenic routes from Cork to the Ashford Castle in Ireland this summer was a wonderful experience. Called the emerald isle, Ireland is just picking up from its economic downturn and tourism is one of its main attractions today. Old castles are always fascinating and staying in one was a dream come true. A South African company now runs this luxurious hotel, which was home to the Guinness family at one time. Dating back to 1228, the castle has a spa and swimming pool, a 32-seat cinema, a billiards room and cigar terrace. Each bedroom has a view of the sprawling garden, the flowing river or the wide waters of Lough Corrib. The golf course, equestrian centre and fishing are the other attractions. I took the two-hour Lough and Corrib lake cruise at Ashford Castle to explore the pristine surroundings and soak up the scenery.