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Located in Galway, Ireland, Lough Cutra is situated in a romantic setting with picturesque views of a gothic castle in the foreground. The idealistic surroundings provide a wonderful backdrop for weddings, family gatherings and relaxing vacations.
Lough Cutra Castle and Estate is rich in history and dates back to approximately 866 A.D. Ancient remains of churches, monasteries and cells can be found scattered throughout the area, including stone alters found on some of the islands located on the lake. It is believed that St. Patrick passed through the area during his travels across Ireland. On the eastern shores of Lough Cutra, a holy well bearing a cross dated back to 1745 is another reminder of the area's history. Continuing on their historical journey, on the northwest shores of Lough Cutra, guests will find the ruined church of Beagh that was ransacked by the Danes in 866 A.D.
The Lough Cutra Estate passed through the hands of several families before it was inherited by Colonel Vereker in 1797. It was the Colonel, later called Viscount Gort, who commissioned the building of the gothic-style edifice known today as Lough Cutra Castle. John Nash was the architect chosen to design the beautiful home; Nash is noted for his work on Mitchelstown Castle, East Cowes Castle, Regents Park Crescents and Buckingham Palace.
Although the castle's completion date is unclear, it is known that Viscount Gort had to sell the Castle and Estate in the late 1840s when he bankrupted himself after providing famine relief. Lough Cutra Estate changed hands a few more times and underwent extensive refurbishing and editions. In the 1920s, the Castle was abandoned until WWII, when it was used by the Irish army. In the 1960s, Lough Cutra Estate was purchase by the descendants of the Viscount Gort, who later sold the lake and Castle to the current owners after much remodeling.
The current owners of Lough Cutra and Estate have worked hard to make the property an exclusive vacation getaway. Visitors may tour Lough Cutra Castle, where they can enjoy lakeside views and rent one of the vacation cottages that were built on estate grounds in the 1920s. With these vacation rentals available, families can gather together and enjoy the Ireland's verdant countryside. Lough Cutra Castle and Cottages are also offered as rentals for private parties, weddings, film locations, music festivals and more.
Lough Cutra's waters are privately owned, and guests of the Estate enjoy exclusive fishing expeditions. Only one boat is permitted on the lake at a time; there is a maximum of two anglers on the boat. With a strict catch and release policy, large pike, perch and trout may be caught. In recent years, fly fishing has become popular among Lough Cutra's visitors. Whatever fishing method anglers use, they find the peaceful atmosphere of Lough Cutra satisfies their love of the outdoors.
There are plenty of activities available on Lough Cutra to suit any taste. Pheasant, duck and deer hunting can be arranged with the owners of Lough Cutra Castle. Horseback riding is also very popular at the lake -- a cross-country course winds its way through woods, around the lake, and across gentle rolling pastures, promising hours of leisurely walks and horseback rides. The course was designed by internationally renowned Tommy Brennan, who also designed the cross-country course for the 2008 Olympics.
Since Lough Cutra is only minutes away from beautiful beaches, golf courses, and many remarkable sites, guest should arrange some time for sightseeing. Just minutes from Lough Cutra, visitors will find Coole Park, a 7th century monastery, Thoor Ballylee, the Aran Islands and the Cliffs of Moher. Coole Park was home to Lady Augusta Gregory, who founded the Celtic Literary Revival, while Thoor Ballylee was home to WB Yeats and is now a museum to showcase his achievements.
Also in close proximity to Lough Cutra is the Burren National Park, which is known for its tranquil atmosphere and very rocky terrain. Natural limestone pavement covers most of Burren National Park; however a vast diversity of flora also makes its home in the beautiful surroundings. Observant wildlife viewers may spot many small animals scampering along the limestone such as pygmy shrew, field mice, Irish Hare, and red squirrel. Larger animals that may be spotted are feral goat, fox, badger, and otter. Although there are no marked trails in Burren National Park, many people often visit the park for walking and nature observation.
While staying at Lough Cutra Castle or Cottages, guest may enjoy serene settings with lake views as they contently leave their stresses behind. Whether Lough Cutra visitors are looking for a fairy-tale backdrop for a wedding, or just looking for a great place to host a gala dinner party, they will find just what they are looking for lakeside at Lough Cutra.
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