No visit to Ireland should be complete without travelling the turf to one of the great Irish racecourses. Whether you are a novice to the sport or a passionate follower of form - why not try a day at the races? Attending Irish racing festivals is a way of life on the Emerald Isle and one of life's great pleasures for the Irish.
A fun-filled family day out or simply to be enjoyed as a couple or with a group of friends - horse racing doesn't have to mean losing your shirt; it's a great social occasion and simply a great day out, whatever your budget.
Dress up in the summer or dress snugly for the National Hunt meetings in the autumn and winter - enjoy a flutter and then return to enjoy a fantastic castle stay to celebrate your success or lament your losses. Some options for you to enjoy are...
Punchestown Spring Festival in April/May.
Five days at the home of Irish jump racing. See some of the best horses and jockeys in the sport.
Fairyhouse Irish Grand National - staged over Easter weekends.
Ireland's most valuable steeplechase.
The Curragh - stages the Irish Derby at the end of June - steeped in tradition, this festival features the Derby, the Oaks and the Irish St Leger. See some of the world's top horses and jockeys compete over this three-day programme.
Some castles within an hour's drive of these race courses...
The fantastic Wilton Castle is a one-hour 30-minute drive from the Curragh and a great option for exploring Ireland.
During July, you can visit the festival of Killarney; this offers a mixture of jump and flat racing over four days. Monday is Family Day and Thursday is Ladies Day, when hats and fashion are the main attraction. Tie in a visit to Ballyseede Castle while visiting this race course.
Why not try the Galway Summer Festival for a full seven days of high fashion, fun and top class racing!
Stay with friends at one of our self-catering castles: