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When I discovered a day trip from Galway to a local castle with victorian gardens was available, I couldn’t resist signing up. On my very first trip to Europe, I visited Neuschwanstein in Germany. It was the first castle I ever experienced, and one of the most magnificent castles in all the world. It left a strong desire to continue seeking out these architectural beauties as I continue to travel. Kylemore Abbey Castle was one of the highlights of my trip to Ireland. I saw a few other castles along the way (like Dublin Castle), but none were as enchanting as Kylemore. Like most of my time in Ireland, the skies were gray and the rain fell, but even bad weather couldn’t put a damper on this lovely castle and its victorian walled gardens.
The castle was first built as a private home in the 19th century! Can you imagine calling a place like this home? 33 bedrooms! While the castle had over 70 rooms when built, only a few are open to the public today. The estate is managed by nuns who maintain the gardens and property to keep it open for public visitors. Since its restoration, more than half of the garden space is used to grow food and herbs for the restaurant and tea shop on site. In addition to the castle and victorian walled gardens, you can also visit the gothic church, explore the woodlands, and walk along the nature path by the lake. You would need a full day to explore all of these beautiful options. I only had a chance to visit the restored rooms, the gardens, and take a quick peak inside the chapel.
If you’re interested in more european castle’s, check out this lovely post from Rebecca at WhereToThisTime!