Like all nationalities the Irish have many talents, but one that they excel in so much further than any other nation is the act of being hospitable. They just get it. They get what it takes and it’s so natural to them. The Irish welcome people into their homes like they’ve been friends all their lives so it’s no wonder the country is packed full of the finest and most homely hotels the world has to offer.
The Wild Atlantic Way is a 2,500km driving trail passing through nine counties and three provinces. Wanting to escape London for a few days my boyfriend and I drove part of it stretching from Galway to Clare and while in Galway we called Ballynahinch Castle in picture perfect Connemara home. Never heard of it? Think a grand yet comfortable castle, place it on 450 acres of private woodland and untouched nature, mix it with easy going natural Irish hospitality and you have Ballynahinch. Every aspect of the property, from the huge roaring fire to the hearty Irish food is medicine for the soul. Come, let’s take a tour.
This was our Classic Riverside room, decorated to reflect the hues of the Connemara landscape. It was toasty warm with more than enough space for two road trippers, and as the name suggests had views over the peaceful river the hotel sits on. Although even if it didn’t have views of the river I would imagine it’s extremely hard to have a room with a bad view at Ballynahinch, the estate and landscape it just too beautiful.
Ballynahinch Castle is the type of place you could go and escape everything, you could just walk and walk for miles without leaving the property and on your journey come across nature in its most raw and beautiful form.
Having said that, the hotel is also not a million miles from civilisation and if you want to nip to the local pub and enjoy some traditional music and a pint of the black stuff with some true Galwegians then that is more than doable and more fun than you knew was possible.
Now, let’s get back inside.
The hotel personifies country living with every aspect making the guest feel right at home. After a long day of walking through Connemara’s woodland guests can kick off their wellies and get cosy next to the open fire in the Fisherman’s Pub or pull up a chesterfield sofa in the connecting Ranji Room.
While the bar is cosy country, the restaurant is elegant country and offers way more than you would expect from a hotel restaurant. The Owenmore Restaurant takes complete advantage of all the beautiful fresh produce the region has to offer showing guests that Irish food is second to none and when paired with a wine list longer than your arm it becomes a dining experience you want to replicate day after day and one that sticks in your mind long after you’ve left Ballynahinch.
For those of you who want to escape the monotony of daily life, Ballynahinch is for you. Or for those who dream of downtime surrounded by undisturbed nature and wildlife, Ballynahinch has you covered. And finally, for those of you who want to experience true Irish, effortless hospitality you could no find a better place. Ballynahinch Castle has and is everything this great country has to offer all rolled into 48 guest rooms and 450 acres of woodland.