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Biking Around the Castle

While we were in our castle hotel in Ireland, we did more than just sit in the lounge, sip bourbon and read books on our Kindles (though we did do a whole lot of that, too). I don’t care how lazy you are or how much you try to convince yourself you’re “on vacation” (and thus can justify imitating a sloth)—you can’t stay in such a gorgeous setting and not want to get out and explore! Plus, we had one of two pretty days during our whole time in Ireland while at Dromoland, so we definitely weren’t going to waste it.

Dromoland Castle, County Clare, IrelandI mentioned that there are several activities on the castle grounds that guests can do, but one of the complimentary ones is bike rentals. So we started our day by borrowing a few from the activities center.

Dromoland Castle, County Clare, IrelandDromoland Castle, County Clare, IrelandThere are a number of different paths to explore around the perimeter of the castle, some flat and easy, others a very steep incline. We tried to stick to the flat when we could.

Dromoland Castle, County Clare, IrelandThis was a complete flashback to my childhood days: My mom has always been overly active—I think this “superhuman energy” as SVV calls it might just run in the family—and so she always liked to get Kari and me out on our bikes as kids. We even rode to and from school sometimes once they finished the sidewalk when I was in elementary.

Dromoland Castle, County Clare, IrelandIt had been many years, though, since any of us had done any cycling other than in the gym—and er, remember the last time I hopped on one after a long hiatus? this happened—so I was glad the saying “like riding a bike” held true (at least this time).

Dromoland Castle, County Clare, IrelandAfter what seemed like forever—but was only, realistically, a little more than an hour—we returned to the golf shop to turn in our bikes. While I only started taking golf lessons last year, I have never wanted to be a golfer more than traveling around Ireland and Scotland—so many plush, verdant courses to play. Though I wasn’t jealous of the guy who had to dig through the swamp to find his ball!

Golfing at Dromoland Castle, IrelandThere were some gardens to explore, so we meandered about, killing time until our next and only other plan of the day: dinner.

Dromoland Castle, County Clare, IrelandMeals at Dromoland are no quick endeavor. They take place in a formal dining room, and you need a reservation to eat there (even if you are a guest). Even though we only had two courses each night—and, OK, copious cocktails—we were never out of there in less than two hours! And while dinner isn’t cheap, the decadent dishes they whip up there were worth every penny (or rather, Euro cent) we paid.

Dromoland Castle, County Clare, IrelandIf our experience was any indicator, this castle stay was the perfect family vacation in Ireland. Children, adults, golfers, Disney princess wannabes, archers, loungers—I think everyone would enjoy this gorgeous spot in the countryside of the Emerald Isle. I mean, really, how could you not?

Dromoland Castle, County Clare, Ireland

 

 

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Comments ( 16 )

  1. I still don’t know how to learn a bike, although I will admit that it looks mostly lovely. I like the concept, but it’s the falling over part I can’t seem to get past.
    terra recently posted..Because if I can’t donate time, I can at least donate money.My Profile

    • And I think I recall saying that, like me, you’re the picture of grace? (Forgive me if I’m thinking of someone else.) In which case, DON’T click through to my video, because then you might never give in and learn =)

  2. Oh, I wish we had known about the bikes when we were there! We definitely would have used them. We didn’t have a lot of free time though as we were there with Brendan Vacations and they kept us pretty busy.
    Jan Ross recently posted..5 Florida Destinations to Help You Escape the SnowMy Profile

  3. Trails around the castle look inviting yet I’d rather walk than fall off a bike.
    Gaelyn recently posted..Looking down on Prescott ArizonaMy Profile

  4. Castles like these are exactly the reason I want to visit Ireland! So cool!
    Rika | Cubicle Throwdown recently posted..Where in the world is Rika??My Profile

  5. your mom is so cute. Love her!

  6. You asked about our trip with Brendan Vacations – it was a press trip so they kept us busy all over Ireland. We actually got to the castle a day early on our own so we would have some extra time there and that was a very smart idea as once the Brendan folks arrived, we spent most of our time traveling around. Cliffs of Moher, etc.
    Jan Ross recently posted..5 Florida Destinations to Help You Escape the SnowMy Profile

  7. Oh how lovely!!! I could bike those ground for hours!
    Andi of My Beautiful Adventures recently posted..San Francisco & Napa Valley: Day 4 (Part 1)My Profile

  8. I love hotels and hostels that have bike rentals. It’s usually my favorite way to get around, and it’s so convenient if you don’t have to track down a shop on your own. Even better it it’s included :-)
    Stephanie – The Travel Chica recently posted..Photos from Central and South America: the best of the best and a few more that make me smileMy Profile

  9. You know it’s going to be a good story when it starts out, “While we were in our castle…”. Adding that to the list of things I’d like to be able to say at one point in my life…
    Alana – Paper Planes recently posted..>> Moment of: Trying to Teach >>My Profile

  10. Great post! Biking is definitely my favourite way to sight-see – I always feel like I enjoy travel experiences more when I’m active. Plus, you can cover more ground, but still move at a relaxed pace. Staying in a castle must have been so magical!
    Jessica recently posted..Guest Post: Get Lost in Italy…Get Ready for AdventureMy Profile

  11. Oh that looks like so much fun – the biking looks nice and leisurely which I would totally dig. Those European dinners can kill after awhile – 2, 3 hours after so many nights I can’t take it. We usually mix it up and picnic or something so I don’t slit my wrists!
    Andi recently posted..(Not quite) Wordless Wednesday #180: Winter Desert FlowersMy Profile

  12. Biking is a great exercise . Great post.
    exotic travels and vacations recently posted..Love , Relax and TravelMy Profile

  13. This sounds like a wonderful place to stay and relax. Great photos too. It looks like you made the most of your time there.
    Kathryn recently posted..South England, from Brokenhurst to BrightonMy Profile

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