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  • Powerscourt Estate (County Wicklow): Restored at last to its former glory (at least on the outside) after decades of misfortune and neglect, the magnificent Palladian house at the heart of the Powerscourt estate is surrounded by some of the most exquisite gardens in Ireland.
  • Castletown House (County Kildare): This grand, whitewashed mansion was built in the early 18th century and soon became one of Ireland’s most imitated buildings. The grounds house the most delightfully named barn in Ireland
  • Trim Castle (County Meath): Trim, also called King John's Castle, restored as a preserved ruin, is a massive Anglo-Norman structure. It was all but impregnable for 4 centuries (late 12th to mid-17th c.). Until it was abandoned and collapsed in the 17th century, it never underwent any significant alteration. For anyone with imagination, Trim is a visual gateway into medieval Ireland.
  • Cahir Castle (County Tipperary): One of the largest of Ireland's medieval fortresses, this castle is in an extraordinary state of preservation. Tours explain some fascinating features of the military architecture, and then you're free to roam through a maze of tiny chambers, spiral staircases, and dizzying battlements.
  • Kilkenny Castle (County Kilkenny): Although parts of this stout towered castle date from the 13th century, the existing structure looks more like a 19th-century palace. Exquisitely restored, it also has extensive gardens; the old stables now hold art galleries and shops.
  • Bunratty Castle and Folk Park (County Clare): This grand old castle has been well restored and filled with a curious assortment of medieval furnishings, offering a glimpse into the life of its past inhabitants. This is the first stop for many arrivals from Shannon, so expect crowds.
  • Charleville Castle (County Offaly): Sometimes the castles that leave the biggest impression aren’t those in the most impressive states of repair. Not only is Charleville one of the most atmospheric castles in Ireland, it is also reputed to be among its most haunted. 
  • Doe Castle (County Donegal): This picturesque tower house is surrounded on three sides by the waters of Sheep Haven Bay and on the fourth by a moat carved into the bedrock that forms its foundation. It has a remote waterfront setting and sweeping views of the nearby hills.
  • Carrickfergus Castle (County Antrim): This huge Norman fortress on the bank of Belfast Lough is surprisingly intact and well-preserved, complete with an imposing tower house and a high wall punctuated by corner towers.
  • Dunluce Castle (County Antrim): Set atop a razor-sharp promontory jutting into the sea, these castle ruins are picturesque and evocative. Unlike many other castles, it wasn’t demolished by human enemies, but had to be abandoned after a large section collapsed and fell into the breakers below. 

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.