Ireland is a lovely place – from the great beer to the friendly people, and while I loved the time that I spent in Dublin city, I will always look fondly upon the little town of Bansha, where I had my first encounter with Irish hospitality and had my first stay in an actual castle.
Bansha Castle was the location of BlogHouse 2013 and my home for my first 3 days in Ireland – the great vibe that we had throughout our workshop was definitely helped along by this wonderful place. Here’s a more in-depth review of my castle stay:
Bansha castle is located south of Dublin – If you’re coming from Dublin airport, you need to:
- Take the Airlink bus 747 to Dublin’s Heuston Station (6 euro one way, 10 euro round trip, about 1 hour journey)
- Take the train toward Cork and stop at Limerick Junction (it cost me 61euro round trip from the counter, about 1.5 hour journey)
- Take a cab or have someone pick you up from the train station and drive to Bansha castle (about 15 min)
Tip: If you know what trains you want to take exactly, buy your tickets online at www.irishrail.ie. It is A LOT cheaper than buying it at the counter – for the train timings that I took, it would have cost me only about 30 euro instead! >_<
THE CASTLE GROUNDS
Bansha castle looks less like a castle than it does a large mansion – sorry to disappoint if you were expecting turrets and moats (I was, a little), but this is not that type of castle, though an old picture shows that it did have turrets at least!
There’s a lot of room for you to roam around outside for nice strolls. The Castle itself is pretty isolated – when you stand outside, you don’t see any other houses! However you can walk to the nearby Bansha town in about 5 minutes though it’s pretty quiet as well.
The castle has 9 unique bedrooms, which sleep 22-24 people in total, each with their own character and ensuite bathroom. The bedroom I stayed in was called The Castle Room and faced the entrance of the castle. It came with 2 poster beds, 1 single and 1 king, a dresser and cupboard and a fair amount of space for 2 messy girls to spread out their luggage bags quite comfortably.
There was a Tower Studio room up high in one of the towers, and another room with a ginormous bath tub! More over here. You can’t just book a room though, you need to rent out the whole place so it’s suitable only for large group gatherings like family reunions or weddings.
THE CASTLE INTERIOR
The rooms are mostly on the second floor. From where I explored on the first floor, you had 2 dining rooms, 1 large living room attached to a room with a billiards table,a kitchen and an outdoor patio that overlooks a walled garden. You could honestly get a little bit lost in here because there are so many hidden stairways and doors!
The owners John and Theresa stay in one of the castle wings, so you can always get help from them if you need, but otherwise they’re pretty unobtrusive folk. They also prepared the food for some of our lunches during the workshops, though we settled our breakfasts and dinners on our own, with someone driving out to pick up all our food from nearby.
AROUND THE AREA
If you’re looking for a bar, of course you have to go to Nellies (more here), but honestly, we didn’t have much time to explore the sleepy little town, though it seemed like a pretty quiet one.
On our last day though, me and one of their other Bloghouse folks A had some extra time to spare (because our more expensive tickets had open timings, the others had to catch a specific train), we decided to check out the nearby Glen of Aherlow which Nelly (of Nellies, of course) said we had to.
The owner Tom offered to give us a lift, and so we departed separately from the rest of the group who were headed to the train station. It was a nice way to enjoy the lovely scenery – I can imagine myself returning to just take a scenic drive around the place, and I know A ended up doing that later on!
We made a short stop at the lookout point, which is where the Christ the King statue is located, on the
You can find our more about the Glen of Aherlow and how to get there here.
We didn’t stop here for very long – headed out to the train station after awhile and actually managed to catch up with the other group who had left earlier! Going to Dublin and then staying in a small private hostel room was a bit jarring after the fun rowdy time we had in Bansha!
If you’re interested in finding out more about Bansha Castle, do check out their website www.banshacastle.com and get in touch with for more info.