The Irish National Heritage Park is delighted to offer you a unique opportunity to experience life in Early Medieval Ireland. From August 2012 onwards, you can avail of the chance to stay in a perfect replica of a 1,500 year old Irish ringfort, living as our ancestors did for a night or two. We see it as particularly suited to families looking for something completely different, whether these are domestic visitors or overseas visitors, perhaps travelling by ferry, who could top off their holiday in Ireland with something unavailable anywhere else, and only 30 mins from the ferryport.
The ringfort is modelled on that of a middle-ranking member of the Gaelic nobility, in the newly Christianised Ireland of 1500 years ago. It is surrounded by a strong oak palisade with a tall watch-tower. Our guests will stay in the big house in the ringfort, which has stone walls and a thatched roof, with a central hearth. It will sleep 6-8 comfortably. There is just one room in these houses, with the sleeping accommodation on platforms along the sides (one of which is a ‘double’ bed cubicle curtained for privacy and warmth) and one raised loft area. Cooking is over an open fire in the centre of the house (but there is also a fridge hidden away at the back to keep food fresh overnight).
‘Check-in’ will be after 2pm but visitors are welcome to come in earlier and take a guided tour of the whole Park with our compliments. When the time comes to move into the Ringfort, our guests will be given costumes from the period as well as a full briefing on everything they need to know, from lighting the fire to looking after the animals (yes, there are animals too, in season! – 2 Dexter Cows called Zeus & April).
While the Park is open, the Ringfort remains open to all visitors, but access to the big house will be restricted – people can see in but only our guests have access to the interior.
Because they will be in costume, our guests are likely to attract attention and questions and we will encourage them to play along, assume a role if they want, or if not they can simply chat to visitors or get on about their own business.
At 6.30pm, all that changes: the park closes and only the ringfort occupants are left on site. They have complete freedom to roam as they like, explore the woods, watch the wildlife and enjoy the views across Slaney Estuary. For evening meal, our guests can either cook for themselves or we can arrange to have a cauldron of stew delivered, to be heated over the fire and eaten with good brown bread. Guests are at liberty to bring their own wine and beer with them, or we can supply beer and mead of the period. There will be plenty of fuel for the fire and full private wash facilities (inc shower) are just down the path. ‘Check-out’ will be at 12.00 next day.
The overnight rate for the ringfort is €300. This is a flat rate for up to six people (additional charge per head of €25 for each extra occupant). Evening meal can be arranged for €10 a head, to include hot dish and bread. Wine and beer at cost.
We feel that most of our guests will just want to relax and enjoy the experience, but if they want something more, there are a number of things we can arrange at an additional cost. We can organise traditional archery sessions in the afternoon using modern and traditional bows of thousand year old Irish design. Sessions take place in the Castle and include an opportunity to shoot at targets through the arrow-slits of the wooden battlements. In the evening, we can arrange a private ‘Hawk Walk’ through the grounds of the Park, in the company of our falconer and one of his magnificent birds. Guest will learn to fly the birds and have them land again on their arms. We can also organise rudimentary Bush Craft sessions, teaching the essentials for survival in the wild.
For further information or to book a Stay over in the Ring Fort at the Irish National Heritage Park Please contact our reservation desk
Read some of our reviews
John: Best night ever (staying at the Ringfort overnight). Recommend to anyone. Thanks to all!
Helen Ryan: Wexford: Had a lovely time staying at the Ringfort with friends. A great experience and I am very glad I did it.
Elizabeth English: St Louis, USA: Thank you so much! This was an epic adventure for our group – very fun, educational – a blast!
Tom Sharp: New Hampton, USA: Thank you Maura, Damien & Paul. A cold night, but warm hearts. Great fire and friendship & cozy sleeping for 14! We’ll be back!
Darley Barton: Los Angeles, California, USA: What a wonderful experience! Thank you for your hospitable accommodation.