Have you ever wanted to stay in a castle in Ireland? Are kings, queens, knights, and dragons the stuff your dreams are made of?
Wondering “where in Ireland can I stay in a castle?” At Ballintotis Castle in Castlemartyr you can indeed stay in a castle in Ireland cheap! Step back in time in this cozy castle tower and play king or queen for a day at one of the most fanciful secret escapes Ireland has to offer!
You’ll think you’ve been transported to another time and place when you enter this magical 16th century “rustic castle stay” in Ireland.
Place that crown where it belongs, atop that royal noggin of yours, put your feet up, and enjoy every last regal moment in your own fortress tower.
Have I mentioned yet that you’ll have exclusive access to this rustic castle! That means you don’t have to share the castle and it’s accompanying approximately half acre of land with anyone!
Table of Contents
Where is Ballintotis Castle located?
Ballintotis Ireland castle accommodations is a real hidden gem. It is located in a somewhat unique setting in that it is in a secluded area of the Irish countryside in County Cork. The isolated and off the beaten path location is something that was quite endearing to me. The closest towns are Midleton and Castlemartyr.
Ballintotis Castle Address / GPS Coordinates: (note, Google maps lists the spelling as BallintoTAs Castle)
just plug them into your navigation or follow this link to Google Maps!
Getting to the Castle
- Cork Airport (ORK):
Located in County Cork in the Republic of Ireland, the closest airport is in Cork City. Ballintotis Castle is only 22 miles (35 kilometers) from Cork Airport.
- Shannon Airport (SNN):
If you’re looking at coming from the Shannon Airport in County Clare it’s just a two hour drive away.
- Dublin Airport (DUB):
Dublin Airport is almost 3 hours away by car.
A train will get you to Midleton, which is the closest town of site to Ballintotis.
Do you need a car to get to Ballintotis Castle?
From the train station in Midleton you will either need a car or a taxi to get to the castle. The castle is approximately 4 miles (7 kilometers) from the train station in Midleton.
There really aren’t any amenities within walking distance and the area around the castle isn’t very pedestrian friendly. Having your own transportation is a good idea. Your closest places to rent a car are either Cobh or Cork.
Alternatively, you could schedule a drop off (Taxi or a ride share service like UBER) for a couple of days but make sure you bring everything you’ll need for your stay including groceries.
Let’s take a look inside Ballintotis Castle
You’re probably wondering what the inside of the castle looks like.
If you’re looking for luxurious accommodation look elsewhere. If you’re looking instead for a rustic retreat then you’ve come to one of the best castles in Ireland for overnight guests!
These thick stone walls emit a strong presence of generations who roamed these rooms long ago.
To really add to the authentic experience the castle is furnished with antique furniture.
To give you a brief overview of the layout of the castle tower: The castle has 3 interior levels or floors. The entry floor has an open area and guest rooms are on the 2nd and 3rd floors. Continue up another flight of stairs where you will emerge into an open area at the top where you are treated to a great view of the Irish countryside!
Let’s explore the floors in greater detail.
The first floor / ground floor / entry
Make your way through the arched “hobbit” door to the entry level of the castle. On this floor you’ll find a very small drawing room, a dining table, and an area to store your luggage.
The master bedroom: A bedroom fit for a King…or Queen!
Have you ever wondered “what does it feel like to live in a castle?” Well now is your chance to find out!! Go ahead and make yourself at home in this cozy bedroom.
The second floor is the location of the master-bedroom. It has a bathtub and tiny bathroom.
Love four-poster beds? There’s a gorgeous old four-poster bed in the master-bedroom (a great place to relax!), plenty of candles for creating a cozy atmosphere, and a heater you’ll be able to set to your comfort level.
The bedroom window is tiny, just big enough for an archer to lower his arrow to protect the castle from an attack!
a word of caution about the bathtub:
The tub is perfect for soaking and is quite unique. We made the mistake of filling the tub too full. Water leaked through the floor, soaked everything in my suitcase in the room down below, as well as the electrical box! yikes!
The third floor of the castle:
The third level of the castle has a common area / living area with a skylight, dining room / kitchenette, slab type bed and another tiny bathroom.
The Battlement / viewing platform
Up up up and out! Head up one more flight of stairs to the top of the castle where you’ll be treated to panoramic views of the oh so green Irish countryside!
Many years ago this was probably a place where castle occupants could survey the surrounding area for signs of impending attack. Today, you’ll find an open sitting area where you’ll be treated to views of nothing but miles of the lush green Irish landscape surrounding the castle.
My husband and his sister were particularly fond of the spectacular views from the top…and who could blame them!
It’s the perfect little secret place for watching the sun rise and set! and surely one of the best places in the whole castle!
attention to detail in the castle:
The charming little details in the castle really add to the immersive experience. Everything seems so old!
While the castle is actually quite old, if you are looking for medieval castles to overnight in this one just missed the mark. With its history dating back only to the 16th century, the castle still gives the feeling of the medieval era and if that’s what tickles your fancy, then you will not be disappointed!
The stairs….lest we forget those stairs!
Those wonderful, crooked, ancient looking “please don’t break your neck” limestone stairs.
All jokes aside, as you can see in the photos, the stairs in this castle, 55 steps in total, are quite treacherous.
The first set of steps are not too bad, but the flights get progressively worse as you go up.
The history of the castle
The history of this well preserved late medieval Irish Tower House dates from the 1500’s. The castle tower was most probably constructed by the Imokilly Fitzgeralds and later passed onto the Boyle Family branch, whose main house was at the Castlemartyr Estate. A Geraldine or Fitzgerald Family Castle, it is generally assumed that the tower was built in the 16th century as an outer defense for the nearby Castlemartyr Estate. (source: Daft sale listing, 2023)
Does the castle have free wi-fi?
What’s missing in this vacation rental? flat-screen tvs, elegant rooms, and wi-fi! Bring a good book and take the opportunity to relax and unplug. The original occupants got by just fine without such amenities!
Outside the castle is quite nice too!
There’s no need to spend all of your time holed up in your castle.
Take stroll through the countryside: Ballintotis walking trail.
If you’re looking for outdoor activities, the walking trail, with direct access from the castle, does a short loop around the castle. It is the perfect place to take a stroll through this wonderfully remote piece of the Irish countryside.
THIS is the Ireland I came for! Fresh air, nature, and the astonishingly beautiful places around the Emerald Isle….the green, so much green!
The trail is a 2 mile flat surface loop (about 3.2 kilometers) with an “easy” rating. You can get more information on the trail at Sport Ireland.
Here is a map of the Ballintotis Walking loop. I can’t seem to get the map to go full circle but it will give you an idea of what you’re in for. (point A is the castle)
Video of Ballintotis Castle
Video of the inside as well as the outside of Ballintotis Castle and you’ll clearly see why this is one of the best Ireland Castle accommodations!
(Thank you to Angela Marie Kunze for sharing this video of Ballintotis Castle with us.)
How I spent my time as Queen of the Castle
On our first full day at the castle, my travel companions headed off to Cork leaving me as the lone occupant of the castle!
I walked the Ballintotis Walking Trail, explored the country roads a bit, had a mini spa-day…took a long bubble bath, deep conditioned my hair, lit all the candles, and headed to the four-poster bed with a book. I read, I napped, read some more, napped…you get the picture. It was a blissful day. (Need a more “professional touch” for your relaxing spa day? You’ll find the Castlemartyr Resort 6 km down the road, check out their spa services here.)
Important information: Booking Ballintotis
Contact Information Ballintotis Castle:
You can contact the host of Ballintotis Castle on airbnb. If you are unable to locate the property on the airbnb website keep checking back. At last check, they had stopped accepting guests but this is hopefully a temporary situation.
If you need anything during your stay Maureen and her husband, the castle caretakers who live across the road, are very helpful.
The price of this castle Ireland stay and how to book:
If you’re on a budget, then Ballintotis is a great option! It’s one of the most inexpensive castles to stay in in Ireland!
You can have this authentic, magically rustic old 16th-century castle all to yourself for under $150 per night?!!!! a great option for the budget minded.
For two nights, I got to be co-queen of this cozy castle. It was magical and wonderfully FANTASTIC. My husband, sister-in-law, and I split costs. Split three ways, our cost per person was just $42 per night making it one of the best value secret escapes that Ireland has to offer!
Many vacation rentals require a several night booking. If you only have a short break, or are just passing through like we were, Ballintotis is perfect because they allow for single night bookings.
Ballintotis Castle can be booked on airbnb. Note: as of November 18, 2022 the link to book Ballintotis Castle airbnb rental is not currently active. I am attempting to contact the castle for updated information. Please continue to check back and I will update information whenever possible.
Information about the area:
Before arriving at the castle, we picked up food at Jasmine Chinese Restaurant in Midleton.
The Farmgate Restaurant and Country Store, also in Midleton, is a good place for picnic items to take back to the castle (sandwiches, soups, baked goods.)
Just a short drive away is the Hunted Hog traditional Irish Pub in Castlemartyr. They serve up decent pub food in a lively atmosphere. It was full of locals watching the soccer game. Come on, does it get any more Irish than that?
Castlemartyr Estate (6 short km down the road) has several fine dining restaurant options, including one Michelin Star restaurant. They also offer a fancy afternoon tea service.
If you’re looking for fine dining options you will likely need to drive to Cobh or Cork. Check Tripadvisor for options.
We were traveling across Ireland on a two week journey and were very grateful to find laundry service just down the road. We dropped our dirty laundry off at the Laundry Locker in Midleton for full laundry service (3.5 miles from the castle), and picked it up the next day washed, dried, and folded! And for only 12 euros per person!
This allowed us to pack lighter, and we didn’t have to spend our precious vacation time doing laundry, win/win.
What else is there to do in the area?
Ballintotis Castle is located 17 miles from Cork City, and 15 miles from Cobh.
- The Jameson Distillery, located in Midleton, offers tours and whiskey tasting experiences.
- Midleton Park Hotel offers afternoon tea service. (order at least 48 hours in advance.) Another option for afternoon tea is the CASTLEMARTYR RESORT.
- My husband enjoyed Golfing at Fota Island Golf Course, just 10 miles from the castle. Another option nearby is the Castlemartyr Golf Resort, an 18 hole course.
- Cork city, West Cork, is just 17 miles from the castle, is the 2nd largest city in Ireland. the closest tennis courts open to the public: Garryduff Sports Centre. Cork has an 18-hole championship golf course: Bantry Bay Golf Club. The closest indoor pool: Fermoy Leisure Centre indoor swimming pool. Horseback riding: Hop Island Equestrian Center offers horse riding opportunities.
- The Blarney Castle and Rock are just 23 miles from the castle. (touristy but some people like that)
- Cobh (pronounced Cove), the 2nd largest natural harbor in the world, is just 14 miles from the castle. Formerly known as Queenstown, the Titanic made its final fateful stop here. Check out the Cobh Heritage Centre- The Queenstown Story (the story of Irish Immigration) and the Titanic Experience Museum a fun interactive experience. See Cobh’s travel site for various boating excursion options, and much more! and look at the view! For more information check out XYUandbeyond’s guide to Cobh: 18 Things to do in Cobh
If you’re willing to drive a little further:
- You’re just a 45 minute drive from Kinsale where you can begin a drive along the Wild Atlantic Way. Our next stop after leaving the castle was Dingle, County Kerry! Take a look at 22 Amazing Slea Head Drive / Dingle Peninsula Stops.
- Just a 1 hour drive from the castle is the Rock of Cashel, where Ireland’s High Kings, including the great Brian Boru, ruled. (HIGHLY recommended!)
I’m always on the hunt for unique places or unique experiences. Private experiences, because I like LESS people, are also high on my list and this place ticks all of the boxes!
Ballintotis castle airbnb is simply one of the best Ireland castle accommodations on all fronts! and to date is one of most amazing places we have ever stayed. It is an experience like no other.
Add it to your bucket list because it deserves a spot there. If you are looking to stay in a castle in Ireland cheap then Ballintotis is hands down one of the best castles to stay in in Ireland.
This rustic castle stay in Ireland offers a magnificent value for your money and may just be one of the best secret Ireland escapes! The ridiculously low cost makes this one of the most inexpensive castles to stay in in Ireland! Private and Secluded, discover one of the best secret escapes Ireland has to offer!
How to find Ireland castle accommodations / hotels?
Searching for more Ireland castle accommodations options?
Be sure to check out my affordable castle’s to stay at in Ireland article where you’ll find Ireland castle accommodation gems like these!
You can find the best castle hotels (including luxury travel castle stays/ luxury castle hotels) on these sites:
(All have map views so you can easily find something if you already have your itinerary set, like we did.)
Castles to stay in Ireland Air Bnb: Airbnb is my favorite option for the most castle stay choices and best prices on castle stays for small parties. They have a castle filter option under “unique stays.”
VROB: VRBO also has a castle filter option.
Looking for another unique experience?
Check out this fantastic Ireland travel bucket list idea! Skellig Island excursion, where there’s a stairway to heaven and the remnants of an ancient monk colony at the top! One of my best travel experiences to date!
2 weeks Ireland Scotland England
We stayed at Ballintotis Castle on a whirlwind 14 day trip that included highlights in Ireland, Scotland and England! Get our free itinerary here!
Ireland obsessed? Want to hear more about my travels around Ireland and the rest of our amazing planet? You may be interested in my Ireland page and be sure to submit your email address to my subscriber sign up at the end of the page to be the first to know when a new blog publishes!