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This Recently Renovated Kilkenny Castle Is Airbnbs Best Kept Secret

This Recently Renovated Kilkenny Castle Is Airbnbs Best Kept Secret

So, we spent the night in Tubbrid Castle a few months back. And we had the whole place to ourselves. A whole damn castle…

Let me tell you, there’s no better way to come crashing back down to reality than going from sleeping in a castle one night, to spending a night in a tiny bungalow in a housing estate in Dublin the next.

Moving swiftly on… Tubbrid Castle is one of the most unique Airbnbs in Ireland.

And although it’s early days for John (the host) who only launched the property on the site in 2019, it’s only a matter of time before bookings go through the roof.

Welcome to Tubbrid castle in Kilkenny

tubbrid castle exterior day

A serious pile of bricks altogether

You’ll find Tubbrid Castle a handy 20-minute drive from Kilkenny City down some quiet country lanes, surrounded by lush green fields and set against the backdrop of rolling mountains.

We whacked the name into Google Maps and could see the castle from afar as we approached, as it’s perched on a hill.

While it’s impressive from a distance, it’s only when you’re stood at the entrance and gazing up that it hits you. This is an Airbnb… and you have the whole place to yourself.

tubbrid castle at night

Illuminated at night

A fine greeting

I pulled over just before we reached the entrance to the castle and these lads legged it over to us to see what we were up to.

Then they started hoppin’ about the place (forgive the dodgy footage above). It says an awful lot about how secluded and quiet the area is when the only noises that we heard during our stay at Tubbrid Castle came from cows.

Inside the castle

tubbrid castle interior two

One of several staircases

After we received a warm greeting from John, the host, he took us inside. And we were blown away.

You climb (and it is a climb) to different floors via these beautiful stone staircase Which lead to the three bedrooms and the lounge/kitchen area.

Each of the bedrooms are magnificently restored and carefully kitted out. With the pièce de résistance being the HUGE master suite found on one of the castles upper floors.

Related read: Check out 20 of the best Castle hotels Ireland has to offer (there’s something for every budget!)

It was pretty surreal going to sleep and waking up here

tubbrid castle master bedroom

The master bedroom

The gorgeous little snug areas that you can see below are found throughout the castle. Those chunky orange cushions that cover the stone base will make your arse very happy.

A perfect spot for chilling in with a book and a coffee in the morning.

tubbrid castle interior

There are loads of these lovely little snugs around the place

While the castle has been lovingly restored and still feels ‘old-world’, there are many modern features that’ll make your stay nice and comfortable, like:

  • Central heating
  • Underfloor heating
  • Rainforest style showers
  • Microwave, fridge and every cooking facility you’ll need

There’s also a high tech cooker that took us about 15 minutes to figure out how to use.

tubbrid castle sink

Baths, views and a serious aul fire 

tubbrid castle master bedroom view

The view from the master bedroom

For me, the view, the fire and the bath were the icing on the cake. When I flung open the window in the master bedroom, this was what greeted me.

And the view from the very fancy bath on the ground floor, which looked out onto some of the fields that surround the castle, was just as good.

If you read our guide to the best places to stay in Ireland (if you love a view that knocks you on your arse), you’ll know how keen I am on places surrounded by scenery. The views here are deadly!

tubbrid castle bath view

As the sun started to set

tubbrid castle bath view

In the morning as the water ran

A beer and a roaring fire

We arrived late on the Friday evening thanks to traffic and a puncture, so by the time we checked in, headed out to the local shop for food and drink, and then settled, it was late enough.

Being able to throw on a real fire, bang off all the lights and just kick-back and chill (without the distraction of a television, noise from neighbours or anything else) was incredibly special.

I could have honestly sat here for a week.

tubbrid castle fire two

Some of the castles history

In 942 AD, Muircheartach, the King of modern-day Ulster, marched his 1,000-strong army south to avenge his allies, who had been attacked by the King of Cashel.

The journey was recorded by a bard, a professional story teller/oral historian, in a poem called ‘Circuit of Ireland’.

In the poem, the bard praised the beauty of Osraí (now Kilkenny), and the hospitality of the people living there. At the edge of enemy territory and on the cusp of battle, Muircheartach’s army set up camp in Tubbrid, on a plain that a millennium later is still called Bán an Champa (the Field of the Encampment).

According to legend, the King himself is thought to have slept at the fort where Tubbrid Castle now proudly stands. From the top floor bedroom of Tubbrid Castle, you can survey Bán an Champa and enjoy lodgings befitting a king.

How much a stay here will set you back

If you fancy visiting Tubbrid Castle, here’s how much it’ll set you back if a group of 9 (the max number of guests) stay:

  • Total cost: €1,819
  • Cost per person: €202 each
  • See more of this place here
  • Nab €30 off your first Airbnb stay with this code

Final verdict

I loved Tubbrid Castle. From the interactions with the host to the charm of the castle and the immensely unique experience of spending a night here, I’d have 0 reservations about recommending it.

For the best bang for your buck, visit with friends or family. A lovely base to explore Kilkenny from.

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James Mccloskey

Saturday 5th of February 2022

Thank you Keith. Very informative and helpful. Looking forward to our stay this year in November 2022.

Jonathan Howard Beal

Tuesday 16th of April 2019

Just ran across this. So excited to be staying here at the end of May and as a videographer, drone pilot, hoping to make a bang up video highlighting the castle for John who has kind enough to email me the history and for my wife who I hope still has no idea we are staying here with my three daughters, a dream of hers to always stay in a tower castle with authentic feel so hope it will be a surprise of a lifetime. So looking forward to this adventure and rest during our Ireland trip.


Tuesday 16th of April 2019

Ah, deadly!

If you send me on the video when it's done I can add it here, if you like.

You're in for a treat. It's incredible. We were only there for a night, but we've been randomly talking about it since.

Have a blast.


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