The Hawk Walk at Ashford Castle

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We had an amazing experience today.  We worked with a Harris Hawk named Aztec (with our instructor Alec) and spent an hour walking in the woods of the Ashford Castle estate.

It was actually like a page right out of a Robin Hood story, deep in Sherwood Forest. We got to see Aztec take off to hunt his own prey at one point. What a feeling to look eye-to-eye with a raptor and have him take-off and return to your gloved hand.

Alec was an excellent teacher, and you could tell he had a real love of the birds and what he was doing; we managed to learn quite a bit from him.

The program is run by Ireland’s School of Falconry, the oldest established such school in Ireland. Although based at Ashford Castle, you don’t have to be staying here to schedule a Hawk Walk.

In the meantime, I can’t even think of enough adjectives to describe Ashford Castle. Dating from 1228, this property did indeed start out as a castle. In the mid-1800s it was owned by Sir Benjamin Guinness. In 2013, the property was rescued from receivership by the Red Carnation luxury hotel group. They bought it for less than half of its previous sale price and then proceeded to invest somewhere between $50-70 million in renovating the hotel and estate.

What you have is an incredible property, perfect in every way. Accommodations include totally modern electronics (such as US electrical outlets, heated bathroom floors and one touch controls for everything in the room), along with elegant fabric-covered walls, canopy beds and a staff that makes you feel like you are their only guest.

So, from the shores of Lough Corrib, we wish you “dia dhuit” (good evening).

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About KFBuchsbaum

A lover of words, learning something new every day, exploring new places, and meeting people from different cultures is what feeds my spirit. One significant thing I learned from my years in market research is that time away from an experience dilutes the memories.  You lose the highs and lows and end up with middle-of-the-road impressions.  The reason I started to blog, was to capture experiences real-time, in the moment.  I hope my moments help you relive some of your own great adventures or maybe plan some new.

Posted on September 4, 2015, in Europe, Ireland and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. P and K Harrison

    Just knew that you would fall in love with Ashford Castle, make the most of every moment.

    Dia is Mhuire Dhuit


  2. Wow! Looks like a blast. One of our TWA pilots used to bring falcons from Saudi Arabia to Penna. They would sit on the back of the flight engineer’s seat, hooded. It was so neat to see them. Could not do that now. The pilot raised and trained them, plus monitored the falcons in the cliffs of the Penna mountains. Sounds like you are having so many neat experiences on this trip. Love, Bette


  3. You house read the book “The Apprentice” by Jana Barkley. She is the wife of a guy I went to high school with.




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