Where: Co Mayo
Castles don’t come much more opulent than Ashford, complete with canopied four-poster beds, chandeliers and creaking suits of armour. Many of the bedrooms have views of Lake Corrib, which leads down to the Atlantic at Galway, and the facilities are second to none, with everything from golf and fishing to archery, kayaking and falconry. The spa has a hammam, steam room and terrace overlooking the lake and there are several different restaurants to choose from. The Dungeon is most atmospheric, serving Irish classics beneath a stone ceiling decked with heraldic flags.