Bunratty Castle is located by the famous Shannon River in County Clare, Ireland and was built around 1425. The current structure is the last of four castles to be built on the site. This castle is what I picture when I envision a classic medieval fortress. It is tall, square and the best part about it is the four towers in each corner which have six stories each. The main block has three floors, consisting of large rooms and banquet halls. The banquet halls reminded me of something from Harry Potter.
You can climb up each towers claustrophobic winding staircases that will lead you to all 6 levels and eventually up to the open air top of the castle where you can imagine what it would be like to keep watch or shoot an arrow off the top.
Some of the highlights of the castle, especially for the kids is the drawbridge and the dungeon you can look way down into.
This castle is probably my favorite castle that I’ve been to in Europe.
Bunratty Castle is surrounded by the Folk Park which is a recreation of a 19th century village with lots of vegetation. It was pretty dead when we were there but it was fun to stroll through some of the cottages on your way out of the castle. I wouldn’t recommend spending a whole day here as the village is not a must see.
Bunratty Castle offers a medieval banquet in the castle every night year round as well as various other special events. Our tour only made a stop at the castle so we were unable to participate in this. The banquet includes food and wine accompanied with music and song. I think this would be an absolute riot if you have time to schedule this in your trip!
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