What do you love to seek out when you travel?
When we aren’t otherwise chasing beautiful landscapes or diving into the local history, we love love love ruins. Just the way nature starts reclaiming what man once built, that beautiful decay. Picturing how it all looked long ago, what each room was used for. If walls could speak, right?
Every ruin is uniquely beautiful, both in the original architecture and in how much vegetation has taken over. And we love it all.
Howth Castle was one such find, and it’s so much more than a ruin. In fact, it’s mostly still functional! Over 750 years old, parts have been renovated to serve modern purposes. Namely, it now houses a luxury hotel, spa, golf course, and culinary school.
There’s an interesting tradition surrounding unexpected guests to the castle. Apparently, when the Gaelic chieftain attempted to visit the resident baron in 1576, she was turned away because the family was at dinner. Enraged at the slight, she abducted the grandson, only releasing him when they promised to leave the gates open and an extra setting at every meal. The baron’s descendants still honor this practice today.
While we weren’t coming for dinner, we did find the gates open, and we enjoyed a casual stroll of the grounds, admiring the old castle.
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