Gregans Castle is a discreetly luxurious country house hotel set among the magical landscapes of the Burren in County Clare. After a day exploring the Burren’s Neolithic sites and botanical gems, stellar cuisine and a warm welcome await at Gregans Castle.
An ideal location for exploring the magical landscapes and prehistory of the Burren
Stunning and award-winning cuisine at the hotel restaurant
Wonderfully warm and inviting country house atmosphere
No TVs in the rooms
Sitting in an enchanted corner of County Clare, overlooking Galway Bay and surrounded by the extraordinary limestone landscapes of the Burren with their unique botanical and archaeological treasures, award-winning Gregans Castle is one of the West of Ireland’s most charismatic small luxury hotels. Dating back to the mid-eighteenth century, Gregans Castle is really more country house than castle, and offers a warm and personal ambience, understated opulence and some of Ireland’s most delicious and inventive cuisine.
Each of the 21 bedrooms and suites has been personally decorated in an invitingly homely country chic style peppered with objets d’art and antiques gathered from a life of travel by husband-and-wife owners Simon Haden and Frederieke McMurray. Along with creature comforts come little touches such as REN toiletries, reading material a-plenty and complimentary WiFi and mineral water, but TV addicts might be best advised to ask for alternative accommodation, as Gregans Castle is resolutely television-free. Some of the rooms have their own private garden area and all have spectacular views of the garden, Galway Bay or the mountains of Connemara.
In an environment as warm and intimate as Gregans, it is perhaps a little surprising to find a cutting-edge restaurant, but have no doubt that meals are an absolute highlight of a stay at Gregans Castle, and head chef David Hurley serves up outstanding contemporary dishes featuring the superlative local ingredients from organic Burren lamb and wild game to halibut and oysters fresh from the Atlantic Ocean. Afterwards you can relax with a dram of Irish whiskey in front of the peat fire in the amiably higgledy-piggledy Corkscrew Bar.
The Burren and adjacent Cliffs of Moher comprise one of Ireland’s truly magical landscapes, and it’s an absolute must to head out with your private guide, preferably on foot, to explore the wealth of ancient sites from prehistoric dolmens and sacred wells to country churches sporting sheela-na-gig fertility carvings. In May and June, you can hardly walk without treading on orchids and other rare wildflowers that have colonised the limestone clints and grikes of the Burren, while the Cliffs of Moher – especially spectacular towards sunset – offer wheeling gulls and skittering puffins and guillemots. Stay an extra day, and you can also sail across to the mystical Aran Islands, and then you are in heaven.
When to visit
It’s recommended to pre-book dinner at the formal restaurant as guests travel far and wide to sample the menu here and reservations are a must.
Gregans Castle is situated 5km south of Ballyvaughan village in County Clare.
The easiest way to reach Gregans Castle is to fly to Shannon Airport followed by a one-hour drive.
Cliffs of Moher
Soaring over 700 feet, the Cliffs of Moher are a magnificent 8-kilometre stretch of sea cliffs along the Atlantic coast of Clare. Wonderful views and fabulous seabird colonies make the Cliffs of Moher a must-see natural attraction in the west of Ireland.
Irish Farm and Sheep Dog Herding
Head out for a day on the farm to experience first hand the intriguing art of sheepdog farming and watch in awe as the farmer and pup work together seamlessly as the perfect team to corral the wandering sheep.
Private Walking Tour of the Burren
The Burren landscape, with its unusual limestone rock formations, fascinating prehistoric archaeology and renowned flora and fauna, provides a spectacular terrain for a guided walk. Explore its secrets on a half-day walking tour with your private guide.
Enjoy a sea kayaking adventure as you enjoy the beautiful Irish coastline , navigating sheltered waters to hidden coves. Keep your eyes peeled for local wildlife such as puffins or seals whilst listening to the calming lap of the ocean.
The Aran Islands
Situated off Ireland’s west coast, the Aran Islands offer spectacular limestone pavements, awesome coastal scenery and a traditional way of life that is still very much alive. A day trip or an overnight stay will live with you long after you’ve returned.
The Gardens at Birr Castle
The award-winning gardens at Birr Castle in Offaly are one of the most extraordinary gardens in Ireland. With abundant rare plants, the world’s tallest box hedges, and plenty of kid-friendly activities, a visit to Birr Castle makes a superb day out.
The Irish National Stud Private Guided Tour
Ireland’s horse racing history is a source of national pride and as you tour the Irish National Stud you’ll discover the history and importance of this industry with an opportunity to stroll through beautiful gardens.
Working Sheep Dog demonstration
Experience a key part of Ireland’s farming culture as you travel to the atmospheric Caherconnell Stone Fort on the Burren to watch a sheep dog demonstration.