Spoil yourself with a luxury St Patrick’s Day break in Ireland 

Ballynahinch Castle Hotel

Why not celebrate St Patrick’s Day with a luxury break on the island of Ireland and enjoy the premium pleasures it has to offer.  

Whether your passion is sport, fine food, wellness, visiting filming locations or revelling in the great outdoors, the island of Ireland has you covered. With stunning mountain-to-sea landscapes, the very best in luxury accommodation and authentic experiences to enjoy, you’ll easily find your perfect St Patrick’s Day break. 

If golf is your top pick, you can choose from any number of world-class courses and links around the island and stay in five-star luxury nearby. Why not tee up on Royal Portrush golf course which is set to host The Open 2025. The course, located on the stunning Causeway Coast, is one of the most challenging in the world and a favourite with top professional players.  

A new five-star hotel, Dunluce Lodge, is opening later this year situated alongside the fourth fairway of Royal Portrush, providing the perfect indulgent accommodation for avid golfers and one to put on the wish list. Until then check out other great accommodation nearby including the chic boutique glamour of Me & Mrs Jones in Portstewart and the quiet luxury of The Bushmills Inn

Another great golfing experience is the championship links at Royal County Down set at the foot of the majestic Mourne Mountains and within putting distance of the luxury Slieve Donard Hotel. The hotel reopened in autumn 2023 following major refurbishment by its new owners (Marine & Lawn), which has transformed its interior into opulent elegance that reflects its 125-year history. 

With a base in the Slieve Donard, you can enjoy hiking in the Mournes, since 2023 part of a new UNESCO Global Geopark and also the magical landscape that inspired CS Lewis to create Narnia. The Mournes is also a popular mountain biking spot, with traditional and e-bike hire widely available. 

Maybe you’d like to try your hand at a quintessentially Irish sport? Head to Ballyfin Demesne, County Laois, where during your luxury stay you can learn the basics of either Gaelic football or hurling, believed to be the world’s oldest field game. Lots of other outdoor activities are available on the extensive estate, from archery to falconry and clay pigeon shooting. Ballyfin also has its own period costume collection available for hire to lend a dramatic touch to the evening’s candlelit dinner. 

If you’re touring the many locations on the island of Ireland that have starred in big screen productions, you will want to include Cong in County Mayo, where the classic movie The Quiet Man was filmed way back in 1952. The 350-acre estate surrounding 800-year-old Ashford Castle, now a multi-award-winning luxury hotel, provided some of the stunning backdrops.  

A stay at Ashford Castle is the ultimate indulgence with a range of outdoor pursuits available in the estate and the finest dining and décor within. Among its many magnificent features is a 32-seat cinema where you can enjoy daily movies including regular screenings of the John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara classic. 

Ashford Castle Wins Hotel of the Year, Ashford Castle, Castles in Ireland, Irish Travel, Travel Ireland,
Ashford Castle

Perhaps a whiskey trail is more to your taste and with the recent boom in whiskey distilling on the island you will not be short of options. A stay in stately Lough Eske Castle in County Donegal, one of Lonely Planet’s top regions to visit in 2024, provides an excellent opportunity to sample the unique local whiskey blends in the hotel’s new whiskey cellar. These include the double distilled whiskey produced by the Crolly Distillery in the Gaeltacht (Irish speaking) area and the nutty single malt from Sliabh Liag Distillery.  

Further on down the Wild Atlantic Way is Ballynahinch Castle Hotel in County Galway. One of Ireland’s finest luxury castle hotels, it is set in a 700-acre estate of woodland, rivers and walks in the heart of ruggedly beautiful Connemara. The castle has an infamous history being once the ancestral home of the ‘Ferocious O’Flaherty Clan’. Nowadays, Ballynahinch is world renowned for its salmon and sea trout fishery making it ideal for a fly fishing weekend. Experienced anglers will relish the challenge and there are tutorials for those new to the rod. 

If hiking, biking, golfing, fishing and other outdoor activities sound too much like hard work, you’ll find your ideal break at the Armada hotel in County Clare. Here you can simply sit and listen to the sound of the ocean, take part in a yoga or knitting session or exercise your elbow in a wine tasting class. 

But it would be a shame not to experience the breath-taking beauty of the Armada’s coastal location. So be sure to get out and enjoy a walk along the beach and, if you’re brave enough, dive in for a swim in the clear Atlantic waters.