Visit a castle or country house this Heritage Week!

Ireland is very lucky to have a wealth of fascinating castles and country houses scattered across the length and breadth of the country. So, whether you want to spend an afternoon strolling through the gardens of Kilkenny Castle, soak up the history of Derrynane House, or take in the views from the top of Trim Castle’s tower, there are plenty of options to explore this Heritage Week.

Here is just a small selection of castles, country houses and gardens which will be open on various dates between 17 – 25 August. Go and explore!

1. Free guided tours of Kilkenny Castle, Co Kilkenny

This Heritage Week, enjoy a free guided tour of Kilkenny Castle. Discover the magnificent Victorian stately home of the Butler family and take in the beautiful views of the surrounding grounds. This event will take place on Sunday, 25th August with tours running throughout the day. More information is available here.

2. Free admission to Cahir Castle, Co Tipperary

If you haven’t had a chance to visit Cahir Castle, why not come along this Heritage Week and enjoy free admission. Take a step back in time and explore one of Ireland's best-preserved and oldest medieval castles. This event will take place on Sunday, 25th August with tours running from 9am to 5.45pm. More information is available here.

3. Storm the castle! Athlone Castle, Co Westmeath

Get everyone together and spend an afternoon in Athlone Castle this Heritage Week. Enjoy free admission to the visitor centre and hear stories from over 5,000 years of history – a day not to be missed! This event will take place on Sunday, 25th August with tours running from 9am to 5.45pm. More information is available here.

4. Open day at Your Charleville Castle, Co Offaly

Have you had a guided tour of Charleville Castle? No? Well now is your chance! The volunteers at Charleville Castle are offering you a free guided tour for Heritage Week 2019. A great opportunity to take in the stunning castle and its grounds. This event will take place on Sunday, 25th August with tours running from 12pm to 4pm. More information is available here.

5. Free guided tours of Trim Castle, Co Meath

Enjoy a free guided tour of Trim Castle, see the keep and head up to the top of the tower! During the tour, you will hear all about the long and exciting story of the largest Anglo-Norman Castle in Ireland. This event will take place on Sunday, 18th August and Sunday, 25th August, with tours running from 10am to 4pm. More information is available here.

6. Free guided tour of Enniscorthy Castle, Co Wexford

A visit to this historic castle will include the chance to try on some periodic medieval clothing, visit the dungeon, and visit the roof to see the view from the keep. A great opportunity to experience the castle as it was for the residents over the years. This event will take place on Friday, 23rd August from 2pm to 3pm. More information is available here.

7. Free guided tours: Derrynane House, Co Kerry

A great opportunity to visit the home of Daniel O’Connell, where you will learn all about his family, career and legacy. Immerse yourself in the history of this magnificent building on this free guided tour. These tours will run throughout the day on Sunday, 25th of August from 10.30am to 4.45pm. More information is available here.


8. A closer look at Castletown, Co Kildare


Join the guides of Castletown House this Heritage Week for an evening, as they take a closer look at some of the fascinating items in the collection and the amazing stories that go with them. This event will take place on Friday, 23rd August from 2pm to 3pm. More information is available here.

9. The Earl of Meath’s Liberty, Killruddery House, Co Wicklow

Spend an hour listening to genealogist and lecturer, Sean J Murphy, presenting an illuminating talk on the Earl of Meath. Following the talk, enjoy free entry to the house and gardens, with a complimentary tour of the house. This event will take place on Saturday, 24th August from 12pm to 1pm. More information is available here.

10. Open Day at Termon House, Co Donegal

Enjoy a self-guided tour of this restored 18th Century land agent’s house. A great opportunity to see the conservation work of the Irish Landmark Trust. When you have finished touring the house, take some time to take in the stunning views and the famine wall, situated right beside the house. The house will be open for tours on Sunday, 25th August from 10am to 4pm. More information is available here.

National Heritage Week will take place from 17th – 25th August 2019 with a wide array of events happening across Ireland, come and see what's on near you.

Cover photo courtesy of the OPW, Castletown House.