Castle Hopping

On the Island that is Ireland

Kilronan Castle, Ballyfarnon, County Roscommon, Ireland

Castle Hopping is a term invented by Travel Expert Stephanie Abrams to describe a seminar she gave yearly, always with new and different information, about visiting castles by day and overnighting in castles and historic homes and manor houses by night. The concept came into being on one of her trips to Ireland with her husband, Remote Producer Mark Abrams, when they visited Bunratty Castle in County Clare, King John’s Castle in Limerick, had lunch with the 29th Knight of Glin, Desmond FitzGerald and his wife, Olda, at Glin Castle, stopped by Oranmore Castle in Co. Galway, owned by a decendent of the Leslie family, Leonie King who recently deceased husband, Alec Finn was a revered and renowned Irish musician, all in the same day. The impact of immersion in castles built by the Normans, castles that are 800 or more years old was enormous but then something odd happened. The Abrams checked into “the g,” a very contemporary modern hotel in Galway Town. Stephanie described the experience of going from immersion in medieval times to being confronted with chrome and glass and modern art wrapped up in Swarovski Crystals was, as she described the experience, “like going from a sauna into a snow bank or like having nachos for an appetizer followed by a dinner of Chinese food. It was jarring! And in that moment, “Castle Hopping” was born: Visit castles by day and overnight in castles and historic homes by night so that the mind, body and spirit has the time to enter and ease through the feeling of life in another century. While some who write guidebooks and articles and give speeches on travel and tourism have opted to use the designation which Stephanie invented and offers to those who would like to use it with her compliments, Castle Hopping is just one of the many legacies Stephanie Abrams has gifted upon the travel industry.

Here, for your viewing pleasure, with hopes that it provides the motivation for your next Castle Hopping adventure, are photo galleries of wonderful castles and historic hotels in various places in Ireland. If budget allows, plan your next adventure with stops on Stephanie’s Castle Hopping Trail which you will find in her soon-to-be-published travel guide, “1001 Reasons to Visit Ireland.” Note that the gallery photos are marked as Visit, Tour, and Overnight since some castles are museums, some are homes that you can tour or you can only see from the exterior as they are inhabited, like Glenarm Castle in Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland and Burr Castle in Co. Offaly, in the Republic of Ireland, and some are open for dining and/or overnight stays. Note that some castle properties only serve meals and tea time to guests in residence.

For more views of some of the castles shared herein, watch Episode 8 of Travel TV WITH Stephanie Abrams, Castle Hopping in Ireland. Enjoy!

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