Whether aboard a cruise for two on Lough Corrib, on horseback in the wild County Mayo landscape, or in a tranquil corner of the sunken gardens, a bottle of something special on ice nearby, there are innumerable romantic settings in which to get down on one knee at Ashford Castle. Our staff are delighted to assist with any special requests, from arranging a photographer to capture the happy moment to delivering her favourite blooms right on cue. With the castle an unbeatable backdrop, here’s how to plan the perfect proposal.
The ultimate private setting
To really get away from it all, the Hideaway Cottage is the ideal romantic bolthole for two. Step into Ashford Castle’s former boathouse, lovingly restored with luxurious décor and replete with a fully stocked bar to toast the special occasion. Dinner is served à deux on the private terrace overlooking Lough Corrib, the silence of the sinking evening woven through with the calls of coots on the lake… and, of course, a thrilled ‘yes’ in response to your question!
In the great outdoors
Whether it’s on foot, bicycle or horseback, Ashford Castle’s 350-acre estate has plenty to explore. Endless country trails lead through spectacular Irish wilderness to romantic tucked-away enclaves. The castle’s kitchen is happy to prepare a gourmet picnic and cold bottle of Champagne for your romantic serenade in the heart of nature. There’s no need to venture too far afield, though. The Estate Gardens feature a fountain, ornamental flowerbeds, shaded benches, leafy terraced walks and woodlands peppered with ancient trees—all prime locations for the perfect proposal.
A table for two
What used to be the castle’s secret subterranean passageways have been reinvented as Ashford Castle’s Wine Cellars. Their walls gleam with racks of the hotel’s extensive wine inventory, and the cellars’ cosiest alcoves are now home to exclusive private dining rooms. It’s the ideal setting for an indulgent wine dinner, where exceptional cuisine is paired with New and Old World wines, carefully chosen by our sommelier. Steeped in exclusivity with ambient low lighting adding to the romance, there are few places that offer as much privacy to present an engagement ring.
On the open water
Sporty types can pick up an oar and paddle out in kayaks over the glassy surface of Lough Corrib. Drift in the gentle currents, ducking out into a quiet corner of the lake to pop the question. If kayaking sounds a little too much like hard work, step aboard the Isle of Inisfree for a cruise across the lake. Hop off on one of its beautiful remote islands. Inchagoill is a shock of emerald green in the centre of the lake, whose ancient ruins and peaceful woodlands make an ideal setting to get down on one knee. Conveniently, Inisfree also has a fully stocked bar in readiness for such occasions.
For the perfect proposal in a beautiful rural Irish setting, book a trip for two at Red Carnation Hotels’ Ashford Castle.