Kildare’s historic Kilkea Castle will re-open to the public on October 27 after a long hiatus of almost a decade.
Fully restored and refurnished the 12th century castle, which has eleven bedrooms including a bridal suite, will be available for private bookings costing €6,000 a night.
The castle, which dates back to the Fitzgerald family, also has several lodges available to rent to suit a more modest budget.
Located in Kilkea near Castledermot it is set on 180 acres of its own woodland, gardens and golf course. It stands majestic at the of a beech-lined avenue overlooking the Killeshin Hills, and only minutes from the ancient Mullaghreelan Woods.
The Leader was invited this week to a sneak preview of the castle on Wednesday ahead of it’s grand opening next month. The newly appointed Kildare tourism manager Aine Managan gave a presentation in the drawing room before guests from the tourism industry, as well as the Mayor, Martin Miley, Cllr Ivan Keatly, who held his wedding reception at the castle back in 2006, and Cllr Suzanne Doyle.
“We all need to be ambassadors for Kildare tourism,” said Aine, who set out the Into Kildare strategic vision for Kildare tourism until 2020. “There is so much here in Kildare to offer both the international and domestic visitor.”
On the tour of the castle there was mention of two possible ghosts, a wizard of earl and a mischievous little girl who likes to make your luggage go missing. There was also talk of the good old days spent dancing the night away in the dungeon night club back in the day.
Meanwhile the views from the round tower, where the bridal suite is located, allowed for a full vista of the grounds including the river Greese and tennis court.
The 3-bedroom self-catering lodges overlook the challenging 18-hole golf course and are catered for families or groups of avid golfers. Memberships to the Golf Course are also now available.