Winter at Ashford Castle is a truly enchanting season. The occasional dusting of snow across the castle’s turrets and surrounding woodlands transforms the estate into a wintry wonderland that’s ripe for exploration. From bracing outdoor adventures to cosy indoor retreats, Ashford Castle’s exceptional range of winter activities has something for everyone.
Go eye-to-eye with a majestic hawk under the tuition of Ireland’s School of Falconry. In a private one-hour session, you’ll get acquainted with the historic art of falconry and learn to fly a hawk in Ashford Castle’s stunning grounds. Once you’ve learnt the basics, take a stroll through its atmospheric woodlands as your hawk closely follows, flying from tree to tree alongside you.
Become lord of the manor for a day with an unforgettable clay shooting experience. Whether you’re an experienced shooter or new to the sport, you’ll receive expert guidance on how to take control of a double-barreled shotgun. Sharpen your aim by firing at the bolting rabbit, springing teal or wily woodcock clays.
Budding Robin Hoods of all ages will enjoy drawing back their arrow to practice their archery skills. The Ashford Archery Academy is the ideal place to explore this enjoyable heritage sport, with an array of rubber 3D targets to take aim at. Fun for all the family, archery is one of Ashford Castles most popular winter activities, held indoors in the colder months.
Settle into the toasty surrounds of Ashford Castle’s enchanting wine cellars to sample the finest vintages sourced from across the old and new world. Occupying the atmospheric 16th-century passageways beneath the castle, the state-of-the-art cellars make a snug retreat from the winter chill. From full-bodied Tuscans to French classics, there’s something to suit every oenophile’s palate.
Wrap up warm and saddle up for a crisp trot around Ashford Castle’s magnificent estate. Our private horse riding experiences are the ultimate equestrian adventure that’ll see you gently walking or cantering through the scenic woodlands along the shores of Lough Corrib. Alternatively, develop your jumping skills in our world-class facility.
The definitive respite from the chill outside, sink into a plush red velvet armchair in Ashford Castle’s luxurious cinema room. Gather the whole family for an afternoon matinee and settle in with plenty of popcorn and indulgent snacks to watch crowd-pleasing classics. When staying at Ashford Castle, you’ll join an illustrious roll call of film icons who have been our guests over the years, such as Brad Pitt, Jack Nicholson and John Wayne.
Following Ashford Castle’s creation of a custom made cask in partnership with Midleton Rare whiskey, the hotel is also offering a tempting whiskey tasting. Participants can enjoy sipping on Cask #70345 alongside tantalising snifters from the rest of the Castle’s outstanding whiskey collection.
Drink in the mesmerising views of Lough Corrib from the warmth of the Isle of Inisfree’s heated lower deck on a lake cruise. Local brothers Patrick and David Luskin will take you on a voyage of discovery across the picturesque lake’s glassy waters while sharing their wisdom and knowledge on sights like Lord Ardilaun’s Obelisk and the commanding Connemara Mountains.
From indoor archery to wine tasting, enjoy a wide range of winter activities when you stay at Ashford Castle.
Image credits: all images courtesy of Red Carnation Hotels.