Wild Atlantic Way, Ballynahinch Castle has a history as colourful as its riverside setting. Surrounded by 700 acres of rugged Connemara landscape, this Relais and Châteaux hotel has a big heart that captivates its many returning guests (it enchanted Seamus Heaney, who wrote his poem, Ballynahinch Lake, while staying here). Bedrooms are spacious, comfortable and recently redecorated with elegant floral wallpaper and artworks; some also come with modern four-poster beds. The big draw is the superb salmon fishing (the atmospheric, wood-panelled pub is full of memorabilia and has a famous set of weighing scales) but other activities on offer include guided estate walks on woodland trails. In the fine dining restaurant, which is hung with superb 20th century Irish art, the best tables are those overlooking the Owenmore River. Stewarding the kitchen is executive head chef Danni Barry, who took over in January 2023, and has created a sophisticated seasonal menu championing local produce and ingredients plucked straight from the hotel’s walled garden.
Doubles from £270
+353 (0)95 31006; ballynahinch-castle.com