Ireland is scattered with castles, many dating back more than 1,000 years. Some were built to protect families from neighbouring clans; others were used as fortresses against the British.
All are steeped in tradition and have a wealth of stories to tell. These are some of the major castles you’ll find on your travels through Ireland.
Converted into a 5 star luxury hotel and voted the third best resort in Europe by Condé Nast Traveller.
The Earl of Leicester was commanded by Queen Elizabeth I to take possession of the castle.
Charleville Forest Castle
Supposedly haunted by a young girl called Harriet, the youngest daughter of the third Earl of Charleville.
Surrounded by one of the finest gardens in Ireland.
This Anglo-Norman stone castle shows the power of the medieval Norman occupation of Ireland.
A gift from a newlywed man for his wife.
In 1844, Mervyn Wingfield inherited the Powerscourt estate when he was just 8 years old.
Tourist attractions in IrelandThe Blarney Stone Bru na Boinne Bunratty Castle The Burren Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge The Cliffs of Moher Croagh Patrick Dingle Peninsula Garnish Island The Giant's Causeway Glendalough The Guinness Storehouse Hill of Tara Lakes of Killarney Newgrange The Peace Bridge Ring of Kerry Wild Atlantic Way
Irish citiesBelfast Cork Derry Dublin Galway Limerick Waterford
Tourism articlesTripAdvisor's top 10 destinations in Ireland for 2015 Top holiday destinations in Ireland - as voted by the Irish Top holiday destinations in Ireland - as voted by tourists Ireland's favourite heritage site The most romantic city in Ireland Hidden gems in Ireland The top ten Irish beaches Where would Irish people take overseas guests? Tips for first time visitors to Ireland What not to do when visiting Ireland Ireland's top sacred pilgrimage sites Eight reasons why Irish pubs are Ireland's top attractions What do you like about Ireland? Local Irish pubs number one attraction for tourists Tourists happy with 'value for money' on visits to Ireland Video - initiative to promote 'Ireland's Ancient East' Ireland can boast the best 'cliff view' in the world Most visited tourist attractions in Ireland in 2014? Industry warned not to 'repeat the mistakes of the past' Dublin 'favourite worldwide city' for young travellers Which tourist attractions in Ireland made the Lonely Planet's ultimate guide? Dublin is one of the world's top three cities say Lonely Planet Ireland has three of the world's four friendliest cities
Did you know?Fans of Game of Thrones can soon visit some of the key filming locations in Northern Ireland, in a move that will provide a huge tourism boost for the area. Find out more.
Have you heard about…A two-minute film from showcases Irish dancing in all its glory. It sees Cork trio Kieran Hardiman, Alan Kenefick and Ciaran Plummer performing their perfectly choreographed routine around the grounds of University College Cork. Find out more.
What about this…Female Irish warrior Grainne Ni Mhaile, or Grace O’Malley is one of the most colourful characters in Irish history. Born around 1530, she was a Pirate Queen and became a constant thorn in the side of British Queen Elizabeth I. Find out more.