A Spectacular Irish Castle
By Don Heimburger
Lismore Castle is a unique destination ideal for family holidays, a special gathering of friends or even a romantic wedding. The layout of the castle means it can feel intimate with 8-12 guests yet spacious with up to 27 and there is room for many more in the Banqueting Hall for larger events. A dedicated staff is on hand to offer help on every aspect of your stay.
Originally built in 1185 by King John, Lismore Castle was owned in turn by Sir Walter Raleigh and Richard Boyle, First Earl of Cork, before passing to the Fourth Duke of Devonshire in 1753. The castle, located in the southern county of West Waterford, is designed in Gothic style and contains some of the finest examples of domestic Pugin furniture still in private hands. The gardens, laid out over eight acres within the 17th Century outer defensive walls, are believed to be the oldest in Ireland and retain much of their original Jacobean form. In recent years, the castle has been extensively restored and upgraded by successive Dukes but the historic charm remains intact. In addition, the West Wing has been renovated as a contemporary art gallery.
Fine food is the highlight of any guest’s stay; everything is made from scratch in the castle kitchens. Seasonal food is a must for Lismore Castle chefs, and the ever-expanding kitchen gardens offer a plentiful supply of home grown produce to provide accompaniments to locally sourced seafood, fish and meat.
From hikes and hot air balloon rides in and over the nearby Knockmealdown Mountains to beachcombing and rock-pooling with botanists on White Bay Strand, to sea kayaking and surfing in Ardmore Bay, to cycle tours along the river and leisurely strolls along Lady Louisa’ Walk, Lismore and the surrounding area is paradise for lovers of the outdoors. Take part in the Sean Kelly Cycle Tour and pedal the hills and valleys where Ireland’s greatest cyclist’s bike once flashed over the cobbles or enjoy a day out at the Tramore Races Festival.
The Blackwater fishing season, an example of one of many festivals in the area, runs from February 1st to September 30th. Enjoy casual casting on a charming stretch of river beneath the castle walls or test your skills and on famed stretches nearby. The Kilkenny Arts Festival (renowned multi-arts festival) and Spraoi, a free urban festival in Waterford city are also within easy reach of Lismore.
Lismore Castle offers packages which include multi-night accommodation with breakfast, afternoon tea and dinner; private airport transfers and more.
Magnificent views across the Blackwater Valley