ManicMammy's Blog

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Castle Celebrations

Posted on | October 20, 2009 | No Comments

Last May I had a significant birthday, yep, one of those with a zero on the end. My 30th birthday was spent in labour and giving birth to our first child, Oscar. So it was rather special and going to be hard to compete with. This time around I would be happy to settle for something rather less painful and exciting. I know, I know, getting auld….

It turned out to be brilliant. My fabulous sister, Paula organised a surprise weekend in Clomantagh Castle.

The castle is located a short drive from Kilkenny city near Freshford. It was perfect for a relaxed gathering of family and friends. It sleeps 10 so there was no problem accomodating me, my husband, three brothers, three sisters and my mam. School and college pals slept in decent B&Bs that were located a short taxi ride away.

The castle is basically a towerhouse which was built in 1430s and an adjoining farmhouse (1800s). There’s a fairly extensive history  and plenty of photos of it on the Irish Landmark Trust site here.

I loved the stone spiral staircase, deepset windows  and the mix of very old building with modern comforts. The kitchen/dining room was a great size with a range for cooking and the sitting room was very cozy by candlelight and open fire. The master bedroom had a 4 poster bed and was huge.

It was excellent just to eat, drink, chill out and catch up with friends and family and this was a perfect setting in which to do so.  To add it all, the weather that weekend was gorgeous, unlike most of Summer 2009, so we were able to make the most of it by sitting outside in the courtyard enjoying the sun. Our kids had a most excellent time the following day, exploring and running around the grounds. The covered over old well, church and graveyard were highlights.

Definitely consider Clomantagh Castle if you fancy a relaxed weekend or week with friends, away from hassle, somewhere a bit different.

I had a very memorable birthday celebration, good enough to keep me going for another decade. Huge thanks to all who made it happen and who enjoyed it with me.

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