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Galway castle hotel offers ‘Downton Abbey’ lifestyle

By Bob Taylor

Ballynahinch Castle Hotel in Galway, Ireland, has been described in one word that perfectly characterizes it: “poetry.”

This manor and its 450-acre woodland estate in the spiritual heart of the Connemara region reflects the spirit of Irish hospitality with its rich history and nostalgic location. Nestled on the shores of the Owenmore River at the foot of the 12 Bens Mountain range and just 5 miles from the Atlantic, the popular luxury hotel resembles a sporting estate more than a traditional castle.

Ballynahinch was built in 1684 for the Martyn family. Since 1946, when Ballynahinch became a hotel, the property has thrived upon the distinction of offering superb accommodations and award-winning dining in luxurious, but unpretentious, surroundings.

Ballynahinch blends a “Downton Abbey” lifestyle with a rustic atmosphere that immediately embraces its guests by wrapping them in a world that only seems to exist in period novels and films.

The fishery located on the property is recognized throughout the world as providing some of the best salmon and sea trout fishing. It’s a “riverdance” for anglers.

Among the list of characters associated with Ballynahinch was Maharaja Ranjitsinhji, whom many regard as one of the greatest cricket batsmen in history. In addition to being an Indian prince, he was a member of the English cricket team and played first-class cricket for Cambridge University.

Outside the cricket pitch, Ranjitsinhji became the chancellor of the Indian Chamber of Princes in 1907 and later represented India at the League of Nations.

Ballynahinch Castle offers casual elegance with individually furnished rooms in a variety of sizes that conjure impressions of a bygone era.

Sequestered within the idyllic forests of Connemara – in the west of Ireland – Ballynahinch will not overwhelm you with pomp and ceremony. Rather it welcomes you with all the sensations of a genteel lifestyle where living is quiet and uncomplicated. Just the way it used to be.

Details: www.ballynahinch-castle.com.

Bob Taylor of Charlotte leads group tours and organized the Magellan Club.
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