Welcome to Ballynahinch Castle Hotel, one of Ireland’s finest luxury castle hotels. Voted #6 Resort Hotel in in the UK & Ireland by Travel & Leisure and #3 in Ireland by the readers of Condé Nast magazine.
Set in a private 700 acre estate of woodland, rivers and walks in the heart of Connemara, Co. Galway. This authentic and unpretentious Castle Hotel stands proudly overlooking its famous salmon fishery, with a backdrop of the beautiful 12 Bens Mountain range.
During your stay relax in your beautifully appointed bedroom or suite with wonderful views, wake up to the sound of the river meandering past your window before enjoying breakfast in the elegant restaurant, which was voted the best in Ireland in April 2017 by Georgina Campbell.
A stay in Ballynahinch Castle is the perfect destination for an activity break or simply relaxing by one of our six open log fires. Expert guides are available to assist in every activity, on the sea, the mountains, rivers and trails or in the library exploring the rich culture of this spectacular region.
Ballynahinch Castle Hotel is located along the Wild Atlantic Way in the West of Ireland. This makes us a perfect base for touring this 2,500km (1,500miles) of amazing driving route from Donegal to Co. Cork.
Local attractions in Connemara on the drive include Killary Harbour, Inish Bofin, Sky Road and Roundstone village. Visit our Locations & Attractions page for more information.
ROOMS & SUITES
Few castle hotels in Ireland offer you hotel rooms with views to match Ballynahinch Castle in Connemara. Each of our 48 guest rooms and suites are individually decorated to a very high standard with soft furnishings to compliment the surroundings.
The majority of our Classic rooms are located in the original house with three in the newer wing overlooking the grounds. The Classic rooms have views of the grounds, courtyard or mountains. All our Classic Riverside Rooms are located in the original house as are two of our Superior Rooms.
The remaining Superior, Luxury rooms and Riverside Suites are located in a newer wing, overlooking the river with magnificent views of the river & woodlands. Whichever room you choose you will find sleep comes easily in this luxurious accommodation in the heart of Connemara.
Owenmore Cottage is a large sprawling, spacious one-level six-bedroom home of 3000sq ft, surrounded by some of the wonderful forest of the Ballynahinch estate, peaceful, private gardens and views of the winding Owenmore River and only three minutes walk from the hotel.
This self catering property is a great choice for a family or group wishing to enjoy the Ballynahinch estate but the privacy of their holiday home. This recently refurnished country house has clean modern lines, cosy furnishings and picture windows to maximise the soothing views of the bright green lawns and impressive woodlands beyond.
With the six bedrooms laid out with each pair of king & twin sharing a bathroom. The bathrooms have bath with overhead showers. Enjoy a welcome hamper on arrival and a daily breakfast hamper delivered to the doorstep every morning that includes fresh juice, local breakfast affair and freshly baked items from the hotel’s kitchen ensuring you get your days off to a great start.
Equally, if you have a keen cook or two in your party, your grocery shopping can be arranged for you in advance — including some of the harvest from Ballynahinch Castle’s own impressive walled garden.
The wide veranda overlooking the gardens and river is the perfect place for pre-dinner drinks or a barbecue. For cosy evenings in, the wood-burning stove makes the perfect focal point in the 725 sq ft lounge.
Picnics can be arranged too, to be delivered to the Cottage to take out exploring the area or to enjoy in your own lush gardens overlooking the river.
Lettery Lodge is an exceptional property, offering you and your party all the space and comfort you could wish for in your holiday home in Connemara. This five bedroom property only three minutes’ walk from the hotel is ideal for those looking for extra space and privacy while enjoying all the comforts of the hotel & estate.
The ground floor master suite enjoys magnificent views of Ben Lettery with a dressing room and en-suite with a freestanding bath tub and separate shower. Upstairs has four superior rooms which can be twin or king, all en-suite with large walk in showers.
The lodge also enjoys a fully equipped kitchen with dining table, dining room, a lounge with open log fire, a games room with pool table and a yoga studio overlooking the mountain.
Our beautiful riverside suites, enjoy unrivaled comfort with spectacular views over river and woodland. Our one bedroom suites occupy 645 square feet the two bedroom suites occupy 882 square feet.
Beautifully appointed bathrooms with separate dressing rooms and exquisite furnishings combined with a magnificent 4 poster bed and a spacious lounge to provide that sense of luxury. The second room offers the option of twin beds or a king size double. This room has views to the gardens.
THE OWENMORE RESTAURANT
There are few restaurants in Ireland that enjoy an aspect as breath-taking as the Owenmore at Ballynahinch Castle. Overlooking the magnificently appointed terraces above the majestic salmon river the Owenmore Restaurant offers a relaxed elegance that reflects the subtle understated sophistication of the Kitchen.
Our team of chefs extract the very best in flavour and texture from the abundance of wonderful produce the region has to offer. Cooking with a sophisticated and light touch without over complicating their dishes the team present the very best in Irish food.
A visit to the Owenmore restaurant is a treat for all the senses. Following a considered and elegant refurbishment guests can feast their eyes on the beautiful collection of art that adorns the walls, complementing the artistry of the kitchen works.
While savouring the delights of the kitchen you can take in the works of Gerard Dillon, Louis le Brocquy, Jack Yeats , Mary Swanzy, Walter Frederick Osborne, William John Leech and Leo Whelan. A thoughtful and subtle collection that sits comfortably in this most beautiful of restaurants.
THE FISHERMAN’S PUB & RANJI ROOM
The Fisherman’s Pub and Ranji Room at Ballynahinch Castle represent all that is great about Connemara. Celebrating authentic local produce and producers the menu showcases the larder of Connemara in a relaxed and friendly environment.
Seasonally informed dishes are the norm. Wild Atlantic salmon and Killary prawns, delicate fresh fish landed at Rossaveal or slow cooked pork from our own pigs and organic venison and woodcock; whatever the season dictates our team of chefs capture and present it in this most atmospheric of pubs.
A favourite with both locals and visitors; guests enjoy the unique atmosphere surrounded by records and images of past fishing exploits and join in the celebration of anglers returning in triumph with their salmon to weigh and record.
Following a hike in the Connemara landscape walkers warm themselves by the fire, cyclists park up their bicycles while others just enjoy a pint with the paper. Whether dining by the fire or enjoying a drink with the locals, an evening in The Fisherman’s Pub & Ranji Room is always a must do when visiting Ballynahinch.
THE PERFECT WEDDING VENUE IN CONNEMARA, GALWAY
To celebrate your wedding at Ballynahinch Castle is to make a statement. You are having a House Party. This is not your average wedding reception; it is a celebration with friends in an exclusive yet unpretentious castle.
A wedding party at Ballynahinch Castle echoes the great house parties of a time past. Your closest friends and family are welcomed to your “House in the Country” to join you for fun, food and festivities.
Every bride to be has her own vision of her wedding and in this regard all celebrations at Ballynahinch Castle are bespoke, individually designed with you to reflect the style and atmosphere that you wish to create. Ballynahinch Castle is not a typical Galway wedding venue.
To this end we cater for very few weddings each year which adds to the exclusive nature of those which we do host. As we enjoy a great deal of repeat business it is not possible for us to host a wedding through the summer months as all our regular guests and fishermen are with us at this time.
As Irish Brides Magazine said; “You can’t help but fall in love with the Connemara scenery surrounding Ballynahinch Castle. This legendary hotel in Galway is renowned for its laid-back luxury and a wedding here is guaranteed to be as romantic and chilled out as you can handle…
Winter is an especially gorgeous time as the place looks wonderful with its Christmas decorations, ivy, candles and roaring log fires. Guests will love pre or post wedding day activities like a clay shoot followed by soup and sandwiches in the cosy, fire-warmed pub. Combing casual charm with authentic country living this 4-star gem is as magical as it gets.”
A weekend wedding requires all the hotel’s 48 bedrooms to be taken exclusively by the wedding party for a minimum of two nights. For the wedding reception a minimum of 100 adult guests and a maximum of 140 adult guests can be accommodated in our restaurant.
A midweek wedding, Sunday – Thursday inclusive, requires only a minimum one night exclusive rental of all 48 hotel bedrooms.
For the wedding reception a minimum of 100 adult guests and a maximum of 140 adult guests can be accommodated in our restaurant. Our wedding coordinator will assist you in contacting the registrar and advising you of the steps involved.
THINGS TO DO IN CONNEMARA AT BALLYNAHINCH.
There are some who visit Ballynahinch Castle Hotel and Estate and never leave the grounds, such is the choice of unique activities available in the heart of beautiful Connemara.
Hiking our popular trails, taking a fly-fishing tutorial, biking, or simply sitting in the tranquility of the grounds listening to the song of the river as it makes its interminable journey to the sea; there are so many things to do and ways to engage with Connemara.
One of the great attractions of Ballynahinch Castle Hotel is that all these activities are easily accessible without difficulty and delivered by professional and enthusiastic guides.
Every morning one of our experienced fishing guides, and our walking guide Noel are available in Fisherman’s Pub at 9.30am for a coffee and a chat. Whether you have already booked an activity, want to do so or are simply seeking advice; they will ensure that your day gets off to a great start.
Renowned as one of the finest fisheries in Ireland, the Ballynahinch Catchment drains an area of 68 square miles and is a diverse system of interconnected loughs and rivers, drained by the Ballynahinch River and offering the very best of fly fishing in Ireland.
This majestic river, with fishing rights owned exclusively by the Ballynahinch Estate, winds its way underneath the Castle for three kilometres until it reaches the wild Atlantic Ocean at Bertraghboy Bay, Connemara Ireland.
All salmon and sea trout entering this magnificent system must swim up this river through the Ballynahinch Castle Hotel Estate giving Ballynahinch its world-renowned reputation as a famous salmon and sea trout fishery making it the ideal place for fishing weekend.
The closure of the Irish drift net fishery in 2007 has had a profound impact on the stocks at Ballynahinch with the run of salmon doubling in the first year following the closure. The average size of salmon has also increased given that the larger fish were being taken by the nets as they returned to the coast.
Enjoy the very finest fly fishing holiday that Ireland has to offer within Ballynahinch Castle Hotel Estate Connemara Ireland.
The Castle Fishery
This really is the perfect location for a fly fishing vacation in Ireland. The river is well developed and easily accessible. The fishing beats are either a short stroll from the Castle or a small drive downstream where you will never be more than 5 minutes walk from your car.
Over 70 casting piers were constructed on difficult throws when His Highness, The Maharaja Jam Sahib of Nawanagar, better known as Ranji, owned the fishery. Casting piers and fishing huts on the seven beats on the river enable anglers of all ages and experience to enjoy fishing at Ballynahinch.
All fishing at Ballynahinch is by fly only. This should not however deter anglers who have never fly fished before. Experienced guides are available to teach all aspects of the sport and make your Ballynahinch fishing experience all the more enjoyable.
Fishing is let by the beat and may be reserved on an individual basis or shared with a partner. Anglers are moved downstream on a half-day rotation to ensure a maximum amount of water is covered during the day.
Ballynahinch Fishing Season
The season officially opens on 1st February and extends to the 30th September. The effective season, however, begins with a small run of large spring salmon, averaging 10lbs, during the month of May. Ballynahinch is, however, traditionally a summer fishery.
The main run of grilse (salmon that have been at sea for one winter) appears in early June with fresh fish continuing to turn up until the last day of the season. The Ballynahinch grilse are traditionally very large, by Irish standards, averaging 5-7lbs with grilse up to 8lbs being caught late in the season.
Located in the heart of Connemara, Ballynahinch Castle Hotel is the ideal base for walking holidays in the West of Ireland. The woodlands around the Estate offer over five kilometers of woodland, lakeshore and riverside walks suitable for all.
The Connemara Greenway with wonderful views and sheltered wooded areas is located on the edge of the estate and the route goes through the estate grounds. Further afield The Twelve Bens, Maumturk Mountains and surrounding countryside offer unlimited walking possibilities.
Spend some time with our on-site walking guide to get a wonderful insight into the rich history, archaeology and ecology that Ballynahinch has to offer.
ON THE ESTATE
Our extensive grounds offer the perfect opportunity for a gentle amble by the Owenmore river before dinner or for a more prolonged stroll around the Castle’s picturesque shores of Ballynahinch Lake and woodlands.
There are over 10 miles of walks mapped out around our 700 acre estate all of which contain stunning scenery and natural beauty. In addition the Connemara Greenway runs through the Ballynahinch Estate, this 6km route encompasses some wonderful views, sheltered wooded areas and is perfect for those who wish to explore the area away from the main roads.
Our in-house walking guide can also take you on a 2.5 hours guided tour of the estate. Our guided tours will bring you on a journey around some of our beautiful estate.
Along our journey, stunning lakeshore views, mountain scenery and majestic trees will form the perfect backdrop for tales about the Castle’s history, archaeology and some of its more colourful residents…
OFF THE ESTATE
Why not try walking further afield in the magnificent Connemara National Park, The Twelve Bens and Maumturk Mountains? Visit Letterfrack and climb Diamond Hill or for a more epic adventure you could try the famed Glencoaghan Horseshoe, this is truly a walker’s paradise.
Our in-house walking guide can take you on a guided tour of some of these stunning locations around Connemara. Our narrated walks include everything from local lore and legend, the history of the surrounding landscape and environment as well as the area’s flora and fauna.
For further information about our guided walks around Connemara please click on the links below to view a small sample of what we have to offer. Why not also contact our team who can help you plan your trip?
Simply let us know what you would like to do and we will assist you to have a safe, memorable experience here in the West of Ireland! Whatever you decide, the log fire, a freshly made bed and all of the comforts of our hotel await you upon your return. Correct clothing and footwear is required on all walks.
Diamond Hill will allow you to enjoy the varied range of landscapes that Connemara enjoys. The journey from Ballynahinch Castle to the start of the trail by car takes in some of the most beautiful sites that the region has to offer through the hills of the Mamturks and the Mountains of the Twelve Bens.
The route traces its way through some of the 3,000 hectares of woodland, bog and mountains of the Connemara National Park. The challenging route up the ridge of the mountains will reward your efforts with stunning panoramic vistas of The Twelve Bens, Inisbofin and Inisturk, Kylemore Abbey, Mweelrea Mountain, and the panoramic bogs of Roundstone.
Departing from the hotel, this walk will include a spectacular drive through the rolling hills of the Mamturk’s and foreboding peaks Twelve Ben’s along the shores of Lough Inagh.
Upon arrival at Killary Harbour you will be greeted with stunning views of Connaught’s tallest peak; Mweelrea. Our walk will then guide you along the edge of this beautiful glacial sea inlet allowing you to appreciate the mountainous backdrop, the jagged cliffs, the abundant flora and fauna and the fjord’s rich history.
Nestled at the foot of Errisbeg lies the fishing village of Roundstone, the perfect starting location for the ascent of this rugged mountain. The short cycle from the hotel to the base of the route provides a different experience of the roadways of Connemara and the village of Roundstone.
This short walk allows the walker to experience many sites of local lore and legend against the backdrop of wild ocean breakers. The sea air, vast ocean and striking coastline of Western Ireland are all wonderfully experienced at the top of this fine mountain.
Ballynahinch Castle Hotel is located at the heart of the Ballynahinch Estate. Comprising 700 acres of beautiful woodlands, gardens, lakes and rivers, this sporting country estate offers a secluded retreat of peace for any visitor.
The terraced gardens by the river, the walled garden and the ten miles of river and lakeside paths, provide the perfect environment for a quiet and reflective walk. As you stroll the grounds of Ballynahinch Castle you might encounter some of the other inhabitants of our area.
Among the many species of wildlife one can expect to meet are mallard, teal, foxes, maybe a view of a swooping kestrel or merlin or perhaps if you are lucky you may glimpse the elusive tree dwelling Pine Martin.
Every turn brings a new delight to discover and walking maps are available at reception. For those feeling a little more energetic there are bikes for hire and of course fly-fishing for salmon on the famous Ballynahinch River. There is so much to see and do without even leaving the grounds of Ballynahinch Castle.
ISLAND & LOBSTER EXPERIENCE
Take a guided boat trip on Roundstone Bay and visit the deserted, picturesque island of Inishlacken with one of the staff of Ballynahinch, John Sullivan; an experienced skipper and lobster fisherman from the nearby island of Inishnee.
On your journey you will visit the grey seal colony located in the Ballynahinch estuary, whilst also spotting numerous sea birds such as Terns, Guillemots, Gannets plus other thriving fauna.
The highlight of the trip for most is the visit to Inishlacken, an idyllic island of stone walls, white sandy beaches, nesting sea birds and ruined houses; echoing of a way of life now lost. With a population of nearly 200 residents in 1900, the last Islanders departed in the 1980s. This is the perfect way to explore the Wild Atlantic Way.
Connemara offers wonderful coastline cycling and stunning countryside cycling tours, which allows you to experience the joy of the natural Galway landscape.
Whether you simply want a leisurely, gentle cycle tour or are an experienced cyclist looking for an active cycling challenge, we can help you to arrange your cycling trip so that there’s no surprises! For those travelling with their own bikes we have a secure lock up and a work stand for your use. Bicycle hire is also available.
You can follow suggested routes or hire bikes and discover the beautiful scenery for yourself – the cycling distance will wholly depend on your own choice and the detours you may want to take; we can advise you on distances and cycle routes to suit your plans for the day (or the entire holiday).
This makes Ballynahinch Castle Hotel an ideal base for weekend activity breaks in Ireland. The completed 6km section of the Connemara Greenway located just off the grounds of the Estate which is ideal for those who wish for an easy route away from the main roads.
For the more adventurous why not take on the magnificent Derroura Mountain Bike Trail. The Derroura Mountain Bike Trail is a 14 km long track with wonderful views north into the Maam valley and West to the Twelve Bens. This trail offers you some incredible mountain biking in some of the most spectacular scenery in Connemara.
You will face long climbs and thrilling descents with great views overlooking all of Lough Corrib from the half-way point of the trails. We can arrange your mountain bike hire. And of course you will have the luxury of returning to the Castle to a warm welcome, a cool drink and a delicious meal each evening.
For those wishing to trek on the beach, we recommend Cleggan Beach Riding Centre a 40-minute drive from the hotel. The most popular choice is a fabulous ride to Omey Island across beautiful Omey Beach, an experience not to be missed.
Judy & her team also offer shorter treks and smaller children will also be accommodated. Cleggan Riding Centre has a wide range of Connemara ponies, Irish cobs and Irish Sport Horses to suit all ages and standards.
Ballynahinch Castle Hotel Connemara is unique in that it is the spiritual heart of the magical region known as Connemara, Galway.
Situated as we are at the foot of the majestic 12 Bens Mountain range, on the shores of the principal artery, the Owenmore River and 5 miles from the Atlantic Ocean every attraction in this region is within easy reach.
If leaving the estate in search of activities or attractions then there is a multitude of choices all of which can be arranged by our team or they will happily plot a route for you.
Connemara championship golf links course is just down the road overlooking the sea and within a 1 hour drive of the hotel there are a further 5 golf courses to choose from.
The angler who wishes to try other water than Ballynahinch Castle has the mighty Corrib Lakes half an hour away and a further 5 game fisheries to choose from. The fishing villages offer activities on the sea for cruising or angling and a trip to the Aran Islands and Inis Bofin is always recommended.
For those in search of a little shopping the village of Roundstone, the Market Town of Clifden and the larger town of Westport all make great days out.
The National Park, the world famous Kylemore Abbey and a number of stables sporting the renowned Connemara Pony are all just nearby making Ballynahinch Castle Connemara the perfect location for Short Breaks.
Throughout the year there are loads of different quirky festivals to delight the visitor; Connemara Pony shows, Omey Island Races, Clifden Arts Festival, Killary Mussel Festival and many many more provide for a great day out. Our reservations team and concierge are very happy to help you plan your stay.