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ashford castle

Stop what you're doing and prepare for a second dose of Royal wedding fever, because Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are rumoured to be enjoying some quality time in Ireland as we speak. 

According to reports, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are staying at the 5 star  Ashford Castle in Cong, Co. Mayo, which has previously played host to other high-profile guests such as John Lennon and former US President Ronald Reagan.

Locals in the area claim there's a huge security presence around the grounds of the castle, with all perimeters and local roads being patrolled. 

It was previously reported that the newlyweds would likely travel to Ireland shortly after their wedding, however it was originally thought that the pair would attend a series of events over the two-day visit. 

While there has been no official confirmation of a Royal presence in Ireland, all signs seem to indicate the newlyweds are in town! 

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Okay, nobody panic, but if your Hogwarts letter never came then this family event could be something to drag your kiddo, little siblings or nieces or nephews to (not that they wouldn't enjoy it too, but just in case you needed an excuse).

 

Aspiring wizards and witches will descend on Co Mayo this Halloween for some seriously spooky lessons at Ashford Castle.

 

From potions to defence against the dark arts, the castle is holding its annual Wizard School running from October 28 to November 4, and we'll be brushing up on our Harry Potter trivia for the occasion.  

The family friendly event involves a two-day magical program that includes a Forbidden Forest Family Treasure Hunt, a visit to the hiding place of Dingle the Owl, an afternoon of creativity in the Chamber of Art, and a Wizards Dinner before a supervised Harry Potter Movie Evening.

On day two, you and your mini Dumbledore's Army will become the House Elves' little helpers at Cookery School before an afternoon Chamber of Witchcraft & Wizardry and another Harry Potter Movie Evening in the hotel cinema.

With its towering stone walls and hidden passageways, the 800-year-old Ashford Castle is the perfect backdrop for this magical stay.

It also helps that the hotel was named as one of the top 25 travel experiences in the world in the Chad Clarke Certified awards recently. Casual. 

There is also tennis, golf, cycling and falconry on the grounds which are set on 350 acres on the shores of Lough Corrib with a stunning backdrop of woodlands, lake, river, and mountains.

 

At €1,080 for the full two-day package (two adults and two children) all this wizarding isn't cheap so you'll need to start saving all that Muggle Money.

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When you see the glitz and glam of other countries around the globe, it's hard to believe that Ireland could have something that's branded 'BEST IN THE WORLD'. (Sorry Ireland, we love you, but a lot of you is fields and sheep and cows).

However, the Ballyfin Demense in Co. Laois has been named the best hotel in the entire world.

Conde Nast Traveler Readers' Choice Awards wrote: “If you’ve ever dreamed of summering at a country house, you couldn’t do much better than this stately, 20-room Georgian home.

“But the real highlight? Having a butler row you out on the lake before enjoying a sumptuous lunch at the picnic house."

Conde Nast did a poll in which 300,000 people voted and the Laois Demense came out on top.

Another two Irish hotels were also voted in the top ten; Waterford Castle came in seventh place and The Lodge in Ashford Castle came in ninth.

Ballyfin Demense scored a 99.11 rating in the poll, Waterford Castle scored 98.6 and The Lodge at Ashford Castle scored 98.38.

Have you been to any of these places?

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It has been reported that Courteney Cox and Johnny McDaid are going to be having an Irish wedding after all.

The couple were said to be blown away by Ashford Castle which lies on the Mayo-Galway border and are planning on tying the knot there at the end of the year.

This Irish wedding will then be followed by a massive Malibu party to celebrate their nuptials stateside.

Friends actress, Courteney, and Snow Patrol musician, Johnny, became engaged back in June and had been spotted in Ireland this past month.

Will this make for a Friends reunion? Well, they did go to London after all!

 

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