Dunguaire Castle is a 16th century tower house located on the southern shores of Galway Bay. It was built in 1520 by the Hynes Clan. Legend has it if a person stands at the front gate, and asks a question, they will have the answer to that question by the end of the day. I did some research on this castle after we came home, and Dunguaire is thought to be one of the most photographed castles in Ireland! Funnily enough we didn’t even know this castle existed before our trip.
We left our B&B that morning and began our journey to Liscannor, where we would be staying the next couple of nights. It ended up taking us the entire day to get there! There were so many things we came across and we stopped at all of them. We were passing through a small, Irish town when a castled popped up out of nowhere! We had a just driven around a curve, and directly in front of us was the castle! We were so excited to see our very first castle! We had been warned that castles would be everywhere, but this one is special to me now. We drove past the castle and parked in the free parking lot down the road. It’s a small parking lot, but it is free. We crossed the street and walked a couple minutes to the castle. It’s a very picturesque castle with the Irish countryside on one side and Galway Bay on the other side.
Dunguaire is run by Shannon Heritage and it was in very good condition. I think Bunratty is the only castle we saw that beats it in condition. The have the rooms set up as you imagine they would be in medieval times. We paid a small fee in order to tour the castle. It was awesome! The spiral staircase starts on the first floor and continues to the top. You are able to enter the rooms at each landing. In some cases you had no choices, but to get off at a landing in order for the people coming down to pass you.
The Great Hall is set up just as you imagined it would be. The table went around the room with the lord and lady’s chairs at the head. I’m not sure if your allowed to sit in the chairs, but I did!
We became very familiar with spiral, stone staircases on this trip. On the top floor there is a couple of steps that lead you outside to battlements. You are allowed to go up and walk around. Some of my favorite pictures were taken here!
It was so beautiful! The views of Galway Bay and the irish countryside were amazing! They did a wonderful job restoring this castle. I’m so glad we stopped. Sometimes deviating from your plan gives you such unexpected surprises!
The castle is open from April- October 1, 10am- 4pm. The admission for the castle is as follows:
Adult- 5 euros
5-16 children- 2.95 euros
0-5 children- free
Seniors- 3.50 euros
They also offer the Dunguaire Banquet. We didn’t know this was offered, but we did do the Bunratty Medieval Banquet. They are both run by the Shannon Heritage, so I’m sure this one would be fine also. We really enjoyed our banquet. The banquet is offered at 5:30pm and 8:45pm. Reservations are required. Reservations can be made at Dunguaire Castle or on their website http://www.shannonheritage.com/EveningEntertainments/DunguaireCastleBanquet/.