Lisheen Castle, County Tipperary (Vrbo): It’s the season of gorgeous silk dresses, of dance cards, of gossiping about the latest courting pairs, and of visiting ballrooms found in only the finest estates and castes. Yes, it’s the season of the return of Bridgerton and in honor of Shonda Rhimes’s latest installment, we think it’s only appropriate to don your finest gown and rent a castle. While you are preparing the invites for your week-long ball in the Irish countryside, we recommend ensuring no Lady Whistledowns make your list.
In 2000, the new owners gave Lisheen Castle a thoroughly respectful renovation. While they implemented some much needed modernization, they kept the historical spirit of the centuries-old home, making sure to preserve as much as the original vision as possible from the furniture down to the door knobs.
Forget everything your mama taught you (ok, maybe not everything) — sharing is not caring when you’re on vacation. While some castles rent out their distinguished accommodations by the room (a decidedly undistinguished move), at Lisheen Castle the option is the whole shepherd’s pie or nothing at all. That means, for a little over $1k, you can secure the castle exclusively for you and yours.
Oh the horrors of having to eat in the same dining room every single night. You will not face any such incivility here where you can enjoy the pictured 16-person formal dining room or take your repast in the more approachable setting of the warm and homey kitchen.
Big, cozy fireplaces are a requirement in the Irish countryside. You can sit by the fire and read the latest Sally Rooney novel or spend some time gazing through the window and counting the shades of green of the perfectly manicured grounds, or what we like to call “Irish meditating.”
This is just one of the three rooms that features a hand-painted mural on the vaulted ceiling. All three abide by that classic home decorating rule: a ceiling mural is never complete until a fancy chandelier is installed.
Cozy nooks may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of castles built in the early 19th century, but here is the photographic evidence that maybe they should change. We’re getting major Repunzel vibes from this staircase and balcony.
There are nine bedrooms here that can sleep a total of 16. No two rooms are alike, with each having its own personality and flair which means, while there are plenty of beds to comfortably sleep your whole party, you can keep the tradition of fighting over rooms alive.
We know what you’re thinking: you’re not actually a member of royalty and the thought of putting on airs and pretending you are has you shaking in your jewel-encrusted kitten heels. Well, we have a little secret that will sweep that imposter syndrome away. Lisheen Castle isn’t actually a real castle, either. It was originally built as a plain old gigantic country estate in the 18th century, but at some point in the Victorian Era, one of the original owner’s descendants decided to add some castle flair by way of the crenelations and turrets that now grace the exterior.
Because Lisheen Castle is located in the middle of the country, it is a great jumping off point for day trips to see so much more of Ireland. You can up the prestigious ante on your vacation and opt to have the staff at the castle plan a week full of touring fun that is tailored to the preferences of your crew.
If the adults get to vacation in the castle of their royal fantasies, it’s only fair that the wee ones have their own palace to repair to for some quality holiday playtime.
If you squint, you might just feel like you’re playing at Wimbledon when you’re hitting the balls on this court. You know you’ve truly made it into the aristocracy when you have a tennis court in your own (temporary) backyard.
Ah, yes — we wouldn’t want to forget the requisite suit of armor. This is a castle after all.
Now it’s time for our favorite choice that isn’t really a choice at all: will your party make use of this industrial chef’s kitchen to whip up your 16-person feasts or will you take advantage of the owners’ offer to hook you up with a catering team? There is only one right answer.
When you’re a member of the landed gentry, your closest neighbors are often of the four-legged variety, which makes for an especially picturesque view. In Bridgerton, families throw balls to assert their dominance in society. We recommend modernizing that concept by throwing a holiday that will be gossiped about for generations to come…or at least until next summer.
Book Your Stay: Lisheen Castle, County Tipperary, Ireland: $1,230/night via Airbnb