An Irish Fairy Tale – Solis Lough Eske Castle
As you turn into the long drive and spot the bronze sculpture of a dragon almost hidden among trees, thoughts immediately turn toward fairy tale romance. Soon after you get your first glimpse of the house itself and that impression is strengthened – you have discovered a real fairy tale Irish castle in the heart of the Donegal countryside.
It’s hard to believe that the castle burned in 1939 and the ruins were allowed to become derelict. A few years ago no expense was spared to bring the place back to life with all the modern comfort and luxury you can only get from a 5-star hotel.
The modern bedrooms are all large with marble bathrooms and every possible luxury. Ours was in a modern wing with French doors opening out to the gardens. The public rooms are in the castle proper. It was delightful to relax by the fire in the sitting room, borrow books from the relaxed library and to sip whisky in the Gallery Bar. The greenhouse has been transformed into a spa with 19 metre swimming pool, thermal suite, fitness centre and treatments rooms specialising in massage and aromatherapy.
There are lots of excellent walks in the 43 acres of woodland, along the lake and further afield into the Bluestack Mountainsm, so ask for a walking map at reception. Even a short walk along nearby Lough Eske is highly recommended.
If you can be persuaded to leave all this luxury and pampering, County Donegal really is connoiseur’s Ireland – all the wild natural beauty of Galway or Kerry but without the hordes. From the hotel it’s just a short drive west of Donegal Town to beautiful Gaelic speaking villages and the stunning beauty of the cliff tops at Slieve League (which have been described as “the thinking man’s Cliffs of Moher”). Further north toward Derry there’s the desolate beauty of the Inishowen Penninsula.
For more information on Solis Lough Eske and available special offers, click here.