Is THIS where Harry and Meghan are honeymooning?

Is THIS where Harry and Meghan are honeymooning? Newlyweds rumoured to be staying in £4,000-a-night ‘fairytale’ castle in IRELAND as beefed-up security sends locals into meltdown

  • Local reports suggest the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are honeymooning at Ashford Castle, Co. Mayo
  • Rumour mill has gone into overdrive after a local woman claimed the castle was closed to the public 
  • The sprawling five-star estate is a favourite with celebrities and was the wedding venue of golfer Rory McIlroy 

They were previously rumoured to be planning a ‘mini-moon’ in Ireland.

And it seems Harry and Meghan’s romantic getaway may have been rumbled, following reports that the newlyweds could be holidaying in County Mayo.

According to local reports, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are currently staying at the 13th-century Ashford Castle in Cong, where rooms cost between £600 and £4,000 a night.

Despite previous reports that the couple were planning a trip to Botswana or even Canada, the rumour mill has gone into overdrive after local woman Rachel Forde tweeted: ‘The first time I go to Ashford Castle and we couldn’t get into the [actual] castle and around it because the royals are within.’

The sprawling five-star estate – once named as the ‘world’s best hotel’ – is a firm favourite with celebrities including Pierce Brosnan and was the wedding venue of golfer Rory McIlroy when he tied the knot with Erica Stoll in April 2017.

It also has a rich royal history; the dining room and bar were named after Harry’s great-great-grandfather King George V, one of Ashford’s famous guests over the years.

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Are the Duke and Duchess of Sussex honeymooning in Ireland? Harry and Meghan’s romantic getaway may have been rumbled, following reports that the newlyweds (pictured on their wedding day) are holidaying in County Mayo

Fairytale: According to reports, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are currently staying at the 13th-century Ashford Castle in Cong, where rooms cost between £600 and £4,000 a night




Local reports: The rumour mill has gone into overdrive after a woman named Rachel Forde tweeted: ‘The first time I go to Ashford Castle and we couldn’t get into the [actual] castle and around it because the royals are within’

If the rumours are true – Kensington Palace have refused to comment – this would not be the couple’s first trip to the Emerald Isle; in March they made a surprise trip to Northern Ireland as part of their pre-wedding tour of Britain.

That same month, it was reported that the couple would head to Ireland for what could be their first trip abroad as newlyweds, weeks after tying the knot.

A source told the Irish Independent: ‘It will possibly be the first foreign trip after their wedding.’ 

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Set on a 350-acre plot overlooking rugged Lough Corrib in Cong, the historic castle – once the family seat of the Guinness family – was awarded the title of Global Winner in the grand luxury hotel category in 2016.

An impressive feat, given that it came just three short years after the then floundering – and mortgaged to the hilt – venue was purchased for £25million by South African hoteliers Stanley and Beatrice Tollman, who put their ‘souls’ into restoring the castle to ‘what it deserved to be’.

Rich history: The sprawling five-star estate is a favourite with celebrities and was the wedding venue of golfer Rory McIlroy when he tied the knot with Erica Stoll in April 2017

Boasting incredible detail, the Connaught Room (pictured) has floor-to-ceiling windows, a Donegal Crystal chandelier and a hand-carved fireplace. The castle is set on a 350-acre plot overlooking rugged Lough Corrib in Cong

Lavish: Located next to the lobby, the Oak Room is an incredible space where guests can play chess or relax in the glow of a chandelier. The hotel has been frequented by everyone from Pierce Brosnan to Rory McIlroy

The five-star hotel’s state rooms are a blend of traditional elegance and comfort, with spacious living areas hung with art work. The castle is staffed largely by members of the local community, and in some instances members of the same family

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    The couple injected a further £50million into the mammoth restoration project – to the delight of the castle staff, who have doubled in number to 420 under the Tollmans.

    Their efforts to rescue the castle – which is staffed largely by members of the local community, and in some instances members of the same family – are repaid in full whenever they visit, as witnessed by Giles Coren and Monica Galetti on BBC show Amazing Hotels.

    The co-presenters watched the fanfare laid on for Beatrice as they explored the castle’s ancient ramparts and 82 rooms – some of which cost up to £4,000 per night.

    The hotel swarms with members of the same local families working side by side – some of whom even have ancestors who worked at Ashford Castle too. 

    Despite its healthy position today, just a few years ago the estate was facing ruin; the Irish property boom in 2008 saw it snapped up by developers and heavily mortgaged. 

    Ireland’s stunning Ashford Castle, founded by the Anglo-Norman de Burgo family in 1228, is set on 350 acres on Lough Corrib. The hotel swarms with members of the same local families working side by side

    Chequered past: Despite its healthy position today, just a few years ago the estate was facing ruin; the Irish property boom in 2008 saw it snapped up by developers and heavily mortgaged

    During the hotel’s recent refurbishment, local craftsmen and material were used wherever possible in the restoration, and Mrs Tollman oversaw every detail of the décor

    Second visit? If the rumours are true – Kensington Palace have refused to comment – this would not be the couple’s first trip to the Emerald Isle; in March they made a surprise trip to Northern Ireland as part of their pre-wedding tour of Britain

    An elegant bathroom in Ashford, which recently received the top gong from Virtuoso, a network of international travel agents Located on Ireland’s second largest lake. The the hotel is set on 350 acres of stunning land in County Mayo


    Splendour: Set on a 350-acre plot overlooking rugged Lough Corrib in Cong, the historic castle – once the family seat of the Guinness family – was awarded the title of Global Winner in the grand luxury hotel category in 2016

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      Then the financial crisis struck and by 2012 it went into receivership, but was bought in the nick of time by Mr and Mrs Tollman, who are now determined to see their passion project named the world’s best hotel once more.

      Although they were forced to make some initial redundancies, the Tollmans have since insisted that every member of staff was kept on – even when the castle was closed for seven months during the extensive renovations.

      Local craftsmen and material were used wherever possible in the restoration, and Mrs Tollman oversaw every detail of the décor. 

      The newlyweds were recently reported to be planning a honeymoon at Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge in Alberta, Canada, based at the 6,000 sq ft Outlook Cabin which was once dubbed ‘The Royal Retreat’.

      King George VI and the Queen Mother stayed there in 1939 and Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip also visited in June 2005. 

      Royal officials have yet to comment on any of the rumours, which come after Harry and Meghan had previously said they would postpone their honeymoon.

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