Dominating the small village of Glaslough, the estate's accommodation encompasses the Lodge, Mews, and Castle with a cluster of quaint Cottages in the village itself. From your arrival through the stone pillars and along the gravel path, you feel as though you’ve entered another world. Which isn’t surprising considering the 1000 acre estate boasts its own church, three lakes and equestrian facilities (yes, even horses can have holidays).
The Leslies have lived here since the 1660s, making it one of Ireland’s oldest castle estates still owned by the founding family. Over the centuries a panoply of guests, from the Churchills to Mick Jagger, have enjoyed their hospitality. And the colourful patriarch of the family, nonagenarian Sir Jack Leslie, can still be seen enjoying his home and conversing with guests.
Today's castle was built in the 19th century in Scottish Baronial style, and each of its twenty history-steeped bedrooms is individually named and designed. Once favoured by Poet Laureate Sir John Betjeman, The Print Room features a solid stone tub and megalithic shower. The Nursery is resplendent wih a hand-painted alphabet frieze and ensuite hidden in a large dolls house. And the top-of-the-house Eagle's Nest affords sweeping balcony views of the estate. The communal castle space is no less evocative with a library, conservatory and dining area among the rooms exuding that grand historic vibe.
At the entrance and overlooking the Equestrian Centre, the equally atmospheric Lodge has been sympathetically renovated to provide contemporary accommodation with distinct period details. The Victorian Spa is the perfect spot to unwind with Steam Boxes, extensive treatments menu and a hot tub overlooking the stables. And the Lodge's award-winning Snaffles Restaurant and traditional Conor’s Bar provide the perfect gourmet and informal backdrops to your dining and imbibing experience.
A short drive down a narrow track, past horses idly grazing in emerald fields, sits the Old Stable Mews – another meticulous renovation project and the only place on the estate where children can stay. A fully-equipped kitchen and plenty of en-suite and bathroom space, along with playpark and picnic benches, ensure a spacious and fun-filled family stay. The walking routes also keep everyone active and in sync with the great outdoors.
Just beyond the castle gates, the Village Cottages provide yet more overnight options. Ideal for large groups or families, the four and five bedroom limestone cottages were built in 2006 and sit serenely around a pristine green.
Castle Leslie's unique history, authentic feel and unforced charm makes it one of Ireland’s most coveted overnights. And at just 80 minutes’ drive from Belfast, and even less from Dublin, this fabulous family home is sitting pretty for that perfect pastoral retreat.