Holiday in this Castle, with 400 Years of Irish History
There are many families who live in castles, some have just started their castle experience, bought a castle and started to refurbish it, whilst other properties have been lived in by generations of the same family. Ballinlough Castle is one of the latter of these Irish castles, just an hour's drive from Dublin.
The castle was built in the early seventeenth century and the O'Reilly coat of arms sits over the front door showing the date 1614, along with the O’Reilly Latin motto ‘Fortitudine et Prudentia’, meaning Courage and Prudence.
The Nugent family at Ballinlough were originally called O’Reilly, but assumed the surname of Nugent in 1812 to inherit a legacy; very convenient! Ballinlough Castle sits in the gently rolling countryside of Westmeath, but what makes this such an interesting place is that it has been in the same family for over 400 years.
This castle has a total charm and offers a bit of the old and beautiful newer exterior; interestingly this new wing overlooking the lake was added by Sir Hugh O'Reilly (1741-1821) in the late eighteenth century and is most likely the work of the amateur architect Thomas Wogan Browne, also responsible for work at Malahide Castle, the home of Sir Hugh O'Reilly’s sister Margaret. Yes, history oozes out of the walls of this castle.
We had a simply wonderful stay and Alice and Nick and the whole family were so welcoming. Nothing was too much trouble for them and all the auxiliary staff could not have been friendlier. I felt that we came as strangers and went as friends and it was a lovely homely experience. Linda, United States
Today the castle is the family home of Alice and Nick Nugent and their two daughters and the old and new is reflected in the interiors, however, do not be deceived…this is a modern luxury home, complete with exquisite 18th-century plasterwork and marble fireplaces. A lot of the interiors are credited to the successful partnership with Todhunter Earle Interiors; Kate Earle is a personal friend of Nick and Alice. Together they have projected the transformation of the castle, room by room.
Thank you all for making our week in Ballinlough Castle truly outstanding. You have the most beautiful home, but more, you truly made it feel like our home too. We were so blessed. We could not have designed such an extraordinary week, or set of experiences. Private Guest USA
The castle is let out on an exclusive-use basis with full staff and can sleep up to 18 people in 9 rooms. Yes, you move in and get the whole castle to yourselves! You can rent the castle for 3 to 7 days, or longer. We tend to see many families take the castle for a week at a time, but outside the main holiday season it does get used for 3-day-weekend lets for special celebrations for family and friends; 50th and 60th birthday parties have proved very popular over the last few years.
Guests tend to arrive with high levels of excitement, looking forward to the Irish charm that this castle envelops you in, and leave with wonderful memories, and a desire to return to do it all again!
There were 15 family and friends from around the United States gathered for a hen party (Bachelorette), overall 9 women and 6 men from 28 to 63 years old. Ballinlough Castle did not disappoint. The accommodations were lovely and the owners and staff were outstanding. They helped plan an epic trip where we experienced a little of Ireland throughout the week to include local music at the castle one night. The chef did an amazing job and everyone was so pleased. I can't imagine a better experience -- even more than we dreamed of. The hosts are amazing!!! Laura, United States