Ashford Castle – Cong Ireland

Ashford Castle is a glorious 17th century castle, hotel, garden and golf course worthy of Downton Abby.  My brother and I first visited this location in 1999 on our first trip and we were really taken by it.  We didn’t have enough money to stay there and still don’t but we love to visit.  Located on the outskirts of the Quiet Man village of Cong, Ashford castle is for the rich and famous.  Once owned by the Guinness family this updated medieval castle sits on the lovely Lough Corrib next to a pretty wooded golf course. Visitors can walk the grounds and visit the gardens and even take boat tours.  However, they are no longer allowed inside of the castle without a reservation.  (Boo!)

The adjacent town of Cong is possibly one of the most charming small towns in Ireland.  Cong and Ashford sit on the cusp of Connemara, Ireland’s nature wonderland.  This area is worthy of a visit to bask in the thousands of shades of green available to you. Rest, relax, and renew and have your photo taken with the statue of Maureen O’Hara and John Wayne while you are there.



If I ever redesign my back yard I would like it to look like this…


Keeping guard over the castle.


Official family selfie at Ashford Castle. Say hello to the Collins clan.





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PS.  Rest in peace Maureen O’Hara.  I wrote and scheduled this post prior to her passing.  What a lovely Irish movie legend…

Five things to do at the Guinness Store House – Dublin

No visit to Dublin is complete without a visit to the Guinness Store House.  The museum and bar are built on the hallowed grounds Arthur Guinness first built his empire over.  On the banks of the river Liffey Arthur managed a brilliant 1759 coup by establishing a 9,000 year lease for 45 pounds per year to use the boggy waters of the Liffey for his famous silky black drink.  Who would have known at the time it would become as big as it is.   Guinness is the largest maker of stout in the world after all.


The Store House has a splendid industrial feeling tour dictating the history of the drink which certainly parallel the history of Dublin and Ireland itself in some ways.  One can understand how beer is made, how the advertising industry works, and what the beer means to the Irish people.  About the time museum goers get tired they arrive at the 360 degree bar.  The bar overlooks the great city of Dublin.  Visitors can enjoy a crisp cool pint with a view in the modern and scenic panoramic bar.


Head down to the shop to adorn yourself with some Guinness swag and set out recharged in to the Fair City of Dublin.

Five things to do at the Guinness Store House

  1. Take your photo in front of Saint James Gate
  2. Enjoy the Guinness advertising history taking your photo in the interactive advertising sign
  3. Toast a pint in the 360 panoramic bar while pointing out Dublin sites from above
  4. Buy a t-shirt and other mementos in the awesome Guinness shop before you go
  5. Walk around the corner and see Arthur Guinness’s family home while walking off your buzz

*If beer isn’t your thing be sure to check out the Jameson’s distillery on the North side of the Liffey.



Who can resist getting their photo taken here?


Love the advertising they had on display at the Guinness Store House


Don’t mind if I do…


How any museums let you walk around with a beer in your hand?


The dwelling of Mr. Arthur Guinness


My folks at Saint Jame’s Gate

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