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13th Century Lakeside Castle in 7 Acres of Park and Woodland

Bedrooms 7
Space 200 m²
Property type castle
Minimum Stay 5 - 7 nights


About the property

Castle, 7 Bedrooms, 2 Baths, (Sleeps 10-12)

Surrounded by seven acres of lawns, park and woodland, Carraigin Castle is an idyllic holiday home in a beautiful setting on the shores of Lough Corrib, one of Ireland’s biggest lakes, famous for its brown trout and its multitude of picturesque islands. From the Castle one can enjoy boating and fishing on the lake, walking, riding and sightseeing all over Galway and Mayo, or just relax by the open hearth and contemplate the charm and simple grandeur of this ancient dwelling, a rare and beautiful example of a fortified, medieval “hall house”.

Family groups or close friends will love the relaxed atmosphere of this authentic 13th-century manor house, which has been restored by the present owner after languishing for more than two centuries as a crumbling, roofless ruin. Carraigin's church-like structure sits on a rise reached by an avenue across the tree-lined Pleasure Ground. The ancient-looking, nail-studded front door on the ground floor, often mistaken for an authentic antiquity, was actually made by the owner during the building's restoration in the 1970s. Round the corner, an imposing stone staircase leads to another grand entrance, into the lofty, oak-beamed Great Hall featuring a wide, stone-arched fireplace that provides a comforting aroma of turf and wood-smoke.

The Great Hall is the central living and dining area of the castle. It features a mix of old oak and comfortable modern furniture surrounding the welcoming hearth. Its white walls are extensively decorated with art including tapestries, brass rubbing portraits of ancient kings and knights and a magnificent triptych featuring a Galway galleon (as on that city’s coat of arms). There is a tiny but well-equipped kitchen next door with a view over the tall trees of the Pleasure Ground.

On the same level as the Hall is an oak-beamed double bedroom with a king-size bed and bathroom. A stone staircase winds upwards over this master bedroom to a family loft room overlooking the Great Hall. Another winding stairs leads up to a little single bedroom in the corner tower. From both of these second-floor rooms you can stroll out onto the castle parapets with fabulous views of Lough Corrib and the hills of Connemara and Mayo, and even those of Clare, on the other side of Galway Bay.

The rest of you sleep in the four cosy 'Vaults' on the ground floor below, their walls also lined with tapestries and other artworks. The Vaults have much picturesque charm with their oak-timbered partitions, arches and vaulted ceilings, and they work if you know each other well as the rooms lead one into the other. Vault I, the largest of the four, sleeps two in bunk-beds and features a fair-sized work table and chairs for busy teenagers and a mini-sofa for one or two in the window embrasure. Vault II (off No. 1) has a double bed and a similar window seat. Vault III (also off No.1) has one double and one single bed and a window seat. Vault III in turn gives access to Vault IV, a small single room with a three-light gothic window looking out at the standing stone sundial on the lawn.

Keywords: Manor

More Details

Member since: 2010
Speaks english, german, italian
Response time
Within a day
Response rate
Calendar last updated:
19 September, 2018

About Annemarie

When Christopher bought the site of Carraigin Castle, his friends and family panicked at the idea of his attempting to restore what looked like a shapeless heap of stones. Even the builder who undertook to have a go at putting the place together thought he was 'cracked'. Chris had grown up near a ruined castle, and it had been his childhood dream to restore one. He was, therefore, quite determined to go ahead with the project. By doing a lot of research into medieval hall houses and visiting nearly every castle in Ireland, Chris lovingly designed every corner and corbel of the building, including the roof and the original door latches. I am particularly fond of the down-stairs front door. It took Christopher 7 years (!) to design it and collect the materials – hand-forged nails, oak planks etc. Finally he took one whole month off to build it, and although I am his wife and I say so myself, the result is quite delightful. In spite of its authentic medieval appearance, Carraigin is as warm and comfortable as any modern holiday home.

Annemarie purchased this castle in 1969

Why Annemarie chose Headford

Chris had grown up near a ruined castle on the other side of the lake. After a long search all across the West of Ireland he found (and fell) for the ruin.

What makes this castle unique

We come for the fishing, fabulous walks, fireside chats and peace and quiet aplenty. There's a boat to rent, with outboard, life jackets, fishing rods and an introduction to Lough Corrib by a local fisherman.


Accommodation and facilities for this holiday castle rental in Headford

Property Type:
  • castle
  • Guests provide their own meals
Floor Area:
  • 200 m²
House Rules:
  • Check-in: 5:00 PM / Check-out: 10:00 AM
  • Max. occupancy: 12
  • pets considered
  • children welcome
  • non smoking only
Location Type:
  • Lake View
  • Lakefront
  • Clothes Dryer
  • Fireplace ...
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating ...
  • Internet ...
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided
  • mobile phone
  • Telephone ...
  • Towels Provided
  • Washing Machine
  • Wireless Internet
  • Wood Fireplace
  • Catering Available
  • Coffee Maker ...
  • Cooking Utensils
  • Dishes & Utensils
  • Dishwasher
  • Kitchen
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Refrigerator
  • Stove
  • Toaster
  • Dining Area
  • 2 Bathrooms
  • Bathroom 1 -
    Bathroom 2 -
  • 7 Bedrooms, Sleeps 12
  • Bedroom 3 - 1 bunk bed
    Bedroom 4 - 1 double bed
    Bedroom 7 - 1 single bed , Tower room; (summer only)
    Bedroom 1 - 1 large double bed , Master bedroom adjacent to bathroom, Great hall and Gallery
    Bedroom 2 - 1 large double bed , 1 single bed , Gallery bedroom overlooking the Great Hall
    Bedroom 6 - 1 single bed , Gothic Cell
    Bedroom 5 - 1 double bed , 1 single bed , Family Room
  • Baby Crib (1) available on request
  • Books
  • CD Player
  • DVD Player
  • Satellite / Cable
  • Television
  • video player
  • Balcony
  • Boat
  • Gazebo
  • long term rentals available
  • wheelchair inaccessible
  • arboretum
  • churches
  • festivals
  • museums
  • restaurants
  • ruins
Leisure Activities:
  • boating
  • horse riding
  • shopping
  • sight seeing
  • walking
  • wildlife viewing
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • laundrette - serviced
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • fishing
  • fly fishing
  • golf
  • hiking
  • hunting
  • swimming


Wonderful! 4.9/5 -
(39 traveller reviews)

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13th Century Lakeside Castle in 7 Acres of Park and Woodland
average rating of 4.948718 based on 39 reviews

Great place for a family vacation

  • 5 of 5

Our family stayed at the castle and had an awesome experience. Plenty of room for the 8 adults and 5 children, beds for all. It is really amazing to stay in 800 year castle with décor that includes lots of wood, large fireplace, wall hangings, knights, queens, etc. Large dining table could accommodate all 13 of us. We took advantage of the recommended caterer, Tina, and she made us an amazing meal with enough leftovers to last for a couple days. She was also a lot of fun to sit and chat with, a wonderful lady. We also utilized the boat and toured around the lake. David, the owner of the boat, gave us a nice tutorial on using the boat, took us out the first day and told us some great stories about the area. The castle is close to Galway, Cong, and other sites for quick day trips. I would also recommend the Joyce Country Sheep Farm, had a great tour and demonstration of border collies herding the sheep. The host was did a wonderful job and was very entertaining. In addition, the farm itself is in a beautiful valley. In all, I highly recommend staying at Carraigin Castle, it is a great place to vacation.

  • Review Submitted: 26/06/2018
  • Date of Stay: June 2018
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you for your kind words. It was a pleasure for everyone to have you as a guest!
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Margy B

  • 5 of 5

Wow, wow, wow! We had an amazing time! An incredible setting. My imagination had my expectations fairly lofty and it did not disappoint. We were royalty for the week. The housekeeper was extremely helpful and reachable yet we were left alone to enjoy. The lovely women down the road came and catered our vow renewal and it was amazing. We were able go to many of the sites we wanted to see easily from the location. We are already hoping that one day we can have the fantasy Christmas at this splendid castle. You are in for a rare treat! I cannot say enough about our experience, a memory that will be cherished.

  • Review Submitted: 26/09/2016
  • Date of Stay: September 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Experience of a Lifetime

  • 5 of 5

I found Carraigin Castle on VRBO several years ago and added to my 'bucket list' immediately. My wife and I visited Ireland in 2009 and we made a pact that we would return. So, we finally planned a trip with my brother-in-law and his wife to stay a week in Carraigin Castle. I read all the reviews here and there is no hyperbole; the castle and grounds are a dream come true. It's beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. The castle had already captured my imagination, but actually being there we all went around as if we were in a dream. We were met by Marian the overseer and she was warm and charming showed us how everything worked and dropped by a couple of days later to see if we needed anything. We had arranged with Tina the gourmet cook catering lady, who lives about a half mile away, in the prettiest cottage in Ireland. We just told Tina that we wanted dinner after traveling almost 20 hours to get there in planes, buses and cars. She told us she would have a nice Irish supper waiting for us and she did not disappoint. She prepared an Irish feast of chicken, lamb roast, potatoes (5 different ways), cheesy baked cauliflower, cabbage and turnips, sausage stuffing, Irish soda bread, scones, 2 other loaves of bread, after dinner cheeses, fruit and to top it off a wonderful apple tart with home made vanilla custard sauce. We ate leftovers all week and still couldn't eat it all. The grounds are beautifully kept and the views are 360 degrees of picture perfect. The location is perfect; only 4 miles from the village of Headford where you can get anything you need at Joyces Grocery (a big modern supermarket with a great Deli). We took roads trips during the week to Cong (where 'The Quiet Man' was filmed) a drive through the Connemara mountains (very scenic) to Leenaun, Kylemore Abbey and Clifden. We drove to the the Cliffs of Moher (spectacular) and of course to Galway. Anne the owner recommended a restaurant in Galway, 'O'Grady's on the Pier', I give it 5 stars and the setting is terrific. You will make a wonderful memory if you stay here, we sure did.

  • Review Submitted: 21/09/2016
  • Date of Stay: August 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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3 0

Magical accomodation in a delightful setting

  • 4 of 5

The novelty of staying in our very own castle made the first week of our holiday in Ireland a time to remember. Nine of us, two families loved the space, the views and the freedom Castle Carraigin offered. The spacious main living area and access to the parapets add real character, snoozing in front of the open fire after a day out doing one of the numerous activities locally was a great feeling. The extensive grounds give a real feel of “being away from it all” and early mornings gazing across the lake were rejuvenating. Some of the bedrooms felt a little damp and the size of the kitchen made more than one person at a time a challenge. We all really enjoyed a fantastic roast dinner prepared by Tina, who amazed us with just how much she provided, more than enough for two very large dinners! Great accommodation, wonderful setting and a fantastic introduction to a truly majestic country.

  • Review Submitted: 06/09/2016
  • Date of Stay: August 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
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2 0
Portland, Oregon, USA

Beautiful Carraigin Castle

  • 5 of 5

My family and I were lucky enough to spend a week at Carraigin Castle. As soon as you turn in the gates of this amazing castle you will be blown away by how beautiful it is. Its location on the shores of Lough Corrib is simply perfect. There was plenty of room for 10 of us, including teenagers and little ones. Each morning I took my cup of tea down to the lake to sit and take in the incredible view and watch the swans. On the mornings that it rained we sat in the window seats in the castle and watched a fox trot by along the waters edge! The kids ( including the young at heart )had a lot of fun playing games in the woods and on the huge lawn! We enjoyed meals together at the enormous dining table and took turns sitting at the head of the table being "King or Queen" of the castle 😀. The kitchen is small but compact and contains everything you need to cook your meals or you can contact a local lady Tina, who will cook meals for you. After spending the day sightseeing we loved to light the fire and sit around it, chatting, sipping wine or reading. The owner Annemarie was wonderful, always willing to answer questions and recommending places to eat and visit. The housekeeper Marian is your first contact when you reach the castle and she is so friendly and welcoming, and always available if you need help with anything! If you want to experience a little bit of Irish history and hospitality you should treat yourself and stay at Carraigin Castle. Many thanks to Annemarie for sharing it with us! We had a fabulous time.

  • Review Submitted: 15/08/2016
  • Date of Stay: July 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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1 0

Carraigin Castle

  • 5 of 5

My husband, children and I along with my mother in law, sister in law, her husband and their kids spend a week at the Carraigin Castle. It was such a great place to stay and had plenty of room for the 9 of us! We loved being near the lake, taking boat rides, and fishing. We would also take day trips and visited places as nearby as Cong and as far away as the Cliffs of Moher. We didn't want to leave when our week was up! I highly recommend this castle to anyone visiting Ireland.

  • Review Submitted: 22/07/2016
  • Date of Stay: July 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Nearest Airport
56 Miles
Nearest Barpub
3 Miles
Kilbeg Pier
Nearest Ferry
155 Miles
Nearest Train
18 Miles
Nearest Motorway
18 Miles
Car: necessary


Rates & Availability

Rental Rates for this holiday castle around the Headford

Rental Basis:
per property
Owner accepts payment in:
Convert Currency
Rate Period Nightly Weekend Night Weekly Monthly Event
Early Mid Season
15 Sep 2018 - 5 Oct 2018
Changeover Day: Saturday
5 night minimum stay
Notes: Rates are based on 2 guests; add AU$24 per night, per additional guest
second Half October
20 Oct 2018 - 26 Oct 2018
Changeover Day: Saturday
5 night minimum stay
Notes: Rates are based on 2 guests; add AU$24 per night, per additional guest
27 Oct 2018 - 2 Nov 2018
Changeover Day: Saturday
7 night minimum stay
Notes: Rates are based on 2 guests; add AU$24 per night, per additional guest
2nd Half November
3 Nov 2018 - 21 Dec 2018
Changeover Day: Saturday
5 night minimum stay
Notes: Rates are based on 2 guests; add AU$24 per night, per additional guest
Low season
5 Jan 2019 - 8 Mar 2019
Changeover Day: Saturday
5 night minimum stay
Notes: Rates are based on 2 guests; add AU$24 per night, per additional guest
First Half May
4 May 2019 - 17 May 2019
Changeover Day: Saturday
7 night minimum stay
Notes: Rates are based on 2 guests; add AU$24 per night, per additional guest
Second Half May
18 May 2019 - 31 May 2019
Changeover Day: Saturday
7 night minimum stay
Notes: Rates are based on 2 guests; add AU$24 per night, per additional guest
Early June
1 Jun 2019 - 14 Jun 2019
Changeover Day: Saturday
7 night minimum stay
Notes: Rates are based on 2 guests; add AU$24 per night, per additional guest
High Season
15 Jun 2019 - 30 Aug 2019
Changeover Day: Saturday
7 night minimum stay
Notes: Rates are based on 2 guests; add AU$24 per night, per additional guest
Early September
31 Aug 2019 - 13 Sep 2019
Changeover Day: Saturday
7 night minimum stay
Notes: Rates are based on 2 guests; add AU$24 per night, per additional guest
3rd week September
14 Sep 2019 - 21 Sep 2019
Changeover Day: Saturday
7 night minimum stay
Notes: Rates are based on 2 guests; add AU$24 per night, per additional guest
My Standard Rate

Changeover Day: Saturday
7 night minimum stay
Notes: Rates are based on 2 guests; add AU$24 per night, per additional guest

Additional information about rental rates

Boat fee AU$484.88
Refundable Damage Deposit AU$808.13

There is an additional Euro90 per week charge for every additional guest. Children under the age of three are free,

Owner's Cancellation Policy

  • 50% refund if cancelled at least 30 days before arrival date.
  • 100% refund if cancelled at least 60 days before arrival date.
  • Service Fee fully refunded on cancellations that qualify for 100% refund.
Contact Owner

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