Gregans Castle Hotel
Co. Clare, Galway, Connemara and the West, Ireland
At a Glance
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
Understated ecologically-minded luxury throughout the property
Best time to Visit
Good time to visit
Average time to visit
It is very difficult to predict the weather in Ireland - in the summer from May to late September is generally seen as the most pleasant time to visit. Rainfall is difficult to predict - but Ireland does not receive as much as many are led to believe! In the winters, temperatures do fall, but there is nothing better than finding a remote pub with a roaring fire to sit beside after a long walk in the country.
To start planning your holiday to Gregans Castle Hotel
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.
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.
There are 21 rooms and suites at Gregans Castle and each is designed and furnished unlike any other. Many have items collected by the owners on their travels around the world, private gardens and all have amazing views of the gardens, bay or the mountains. Provided in each room are complimentary REN toiletries, mineral water, tea and coffee making facilities and WiFi. However, refreshingly, televisions are not found in rooms in Gregans Castle. There are four categories of room.
With views over the gardens or across the Burren to Galway Bay, these rooms are the perfect retreat to enjoy from the comfort of an armchair or window seat. Either a queen-size bed or twin beds are found in these rooms accompanied by antiques and original artwork.
Some of these rooms have access to the gardens and all have great views across the garden or the bay which can be enjoyed from the comfort of sofas, armchairs or king-size or twin beds. A larger option than the Classic rooms, a more spacious sitting area and luxurious bathroom is included.
With plenty of living space, king-size beds and luxurious bathrooms, each junior suite is uniquely decorated with original artwork and antique furniture including comfortable armchairs and sofas. Two of these suites have private garden areas whilst another has impressive views of Galway Bay.
These are the largest residences at the hotel, The Galway Bay Suite is located on the first floor with glorious views of the mountains and Galway Bay and a super king-size bed. The O'Loughlen suite is on the ground floor, also with a super king-size bed, sofa bed and its own door leading out onto beautiful gardens. The Martyn suite features an impressive four-poster bed, fireplace carved from stone and private courtyard garden. Each of these suites has a BOSE sound system and their own private sitting rooms.
Children are welcome at Gregans Castle with some rooms suitable for families and a children's menu is available. Children under the age of seven are welcome to eat in the dining room with their parents no later than 6pm, those over seven years can join their parents at any time. There is also a babysitting service and telephone listening service and cots and highchairs available. Board games, DVDs and the glorious garden are great options to keep the children occupied!
Modern and innovative dishes are served in the Dining Room by head chef David Hurley whilst The Corkscrew Bar offers a drink by an open fire or afternoon tea after a busy day.
Around Gregans Castle Hotel there is much to explore like Aran Islands, cliffs of Moher and Ailwee Cave, Doolin and Kilfenora villages. You may even want to have tea at Father Ted's house! Other activities include horse-riding, golf, cycling, sea kayaking, rock climbing and walking excursions.
Cordelia Nicholls (Staff)
Just the kind of place you'd like to come back to after a day's walk in the Burren - warm and cosy just like an English country house, with a lovely sitting room in which to relax or a Irish bar for a drink. The food is sensational!
Milly Walker (Staff)
Gregans Castle is a really lovely country house with a warm homely feel. Somewhere you can head out for a long walk on the Burren and then come back to a warming cup of tea in the drawing room followed by famously good dinner.
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.
Grand Tour of Ireland
Belfast, Antrim Coast, Donegal, Ashford Castle, Clare, Kerry, Cork & Dublin
from £8100 pp inc flights & transfers for 14 nights
- A comprehensive luxury private journey round the whole of Ireland
- Discover the extraordinary beauty of Giant's Causeway, Connemara and Kerry
- Offers the chance to enjoy Ireland authentically and off the beaten track in Donegal and Sligo
County Clare, Killarney, County Cork, Dublin
from £8300 pp inc flights & transfers for 8 nights
- Experience the very best of Ireland from West to East in authentic style
- Discover the incredible landscapes of Killarney National Park and the Burren
- Enjoy the vibrant culture of Dublin and taste the culinary delights of Kinsale
Location & directions
Co. Clare, Galway, Connemara and the West, Ireland
Gregans Castle is situated 5km south of Ballyvaughan village in County Clare.
How to get there
The easiest way to reach Gregans Castle is to fly to Shannon Airport followed by a one-hour drive.
- 100% financial protection
- 24/7 emergency assistance
- Firsthand knowledge
- Renowned service
- Award-winning tour operator