The arrival of spring at Ashford Castle marks a flurry of activity. As the days get a little longer and the temperatures milder, it’s the ideal time to make the most of the hotel’s impressive array of outdoor activities. Put your driving skills to the test in the new off-road experience, have a go at climbing Ireland’s tallest tree or treat the family to an aerial ropes adventure course. Those who prefer a gentle pace needn’t miss out either, thanks to the hotel’s exceptional seasonal dining options and luxury wine dinners. Here’s our pick of what to do at Ashford Castle in spring.
Off Road Driving
New for 2019, Ashford Castle’s off-road driving experience is a seriously adrenaline-pumping activity. Available as a pulse-raising 90-minute course or as a half-day or day excursion, slide in behind the wheel of a Land Rover and learn how to navigate tricky terrain, including water crossings and boggy hills. Guests can choose from a range of exhilarating routes across Ashford Estate, designed by off-road specialists to combine adventure with the stunning natural landscape.
Inspiring wine dinners
Known for its exquisite fine dining and lavishly stocked wine cellars, Ashford Castle is delighted to host a series of wine dinners this spring. The first takes place at the end of February and sees the hotel join forces with the acclaimed Château de Fieuzal vineyard, owned by Irish couple Brenda and Lochlann Quinn. Located in Bordeaux, the vineyard has held the official status of Graves Grands Cru Classé wine since 1953. Alongside a carefully curated five-course menu, diners can enjoy a memorable evening with Château de Fieuzal’s own winemaker Stephen Carrier, who expertly pairs each dish with the estate’s finest vintages.
In March, the hotel hosts a dinner in collaboration with two neighbouring Northern Rhône estates, Domaine Alain Graillot and Domaine des Lises, both certified organic within the Crozes-Hermitage appellation. Guests enjoy a thoughtfully prepared tasting menu, carefully paired with a flight of wine – including the region’s renowned Syrah – by Domaine des Lises’ winemaker Thomas Schmiettal.
Tree Hoppers Aerial Adventure
No menu of what to do at Ashford Castle would be complete without a nod to its zip-lining adventure course. Intrepid explorers of all ages can enjoy a pulse-raising flight through the treetops in this fun-packed aerial experience. Located in a forest that forms part of the castle’s estate, you’ll climb and swing through a series of challenges, safe in a secure harness system.
Climbing Ireland’s tallest tree
Known as Monty and standing at an impressive 164 feet, this Monterey Pine tree on Ashford Estate is believed to be the tallest tree in Ireland and planted in the late 1800s. Guests can scale its trunk with our assisted system to appreciate spectacular treetop views. Suitable for both adults and children, keen climbers are thoroughly briefed on safety and fitted with a secure harness before tackling their choice of ascents.
Cullens at the Cottage reopens
Spring marks the return of our seasonal dinner service at the charming Cullen’s at the Cottage. A thatched cottage that was formerly home to Cong Cinema, Cullen’s is a cosy and informal dining option. On a fine spring evening, take a stroll over the bridge from Ashford Castle and feast on Connemara lobster cooked in the restaurant’s charcoal oven.
From exquisite wine dinners to high-adrenaline adventures, there’s a wealth of things to do at Red Carnation Hotels’ Ashford Castle this spring.
Image credits: all images courtesy of Red Carnation Hotels.