Ashford is a larger property, so it offered more in terms of food, activities and places to explore. The staff was very accommodating and service-oriented; the castle was gorgeous; and the food was great. We loved the cycling tour, the horseback riding and the archery. We also enjoyed visiting the tea shop for cocoa and snacks. Ashford supplies Hunter boots of all sizes (plus riding boots and hats) to lend to guests, so no need to pack any equestrian gear. I only wish we’d had connecting rooms: ours were spectacular and our kids are old enough that it was not a problem, but families with younger children would have had to reorganize.
Related: Member Scrapbook
was gorgeous—it is truly a special property and our room setup was perfect. It is smaller [than Ashford], and its size lends itself to the charm of the place. The property is unbelievable and it was truly magical exploring the tower, having a picnic lunch and horseback riding around the grounds. Ballyfin’s equestrian services are wonderful. Two spotters assisted our daughters, who don’t have much riding experience, which allowed everyone to relax and have fun. My second hour of riding was amazing; I cantered across open fields and loved every second of it. The river dancing lesson was an absolute joy and a highlight of the trip. The instructor was adorable, charming and made the entire experience so much fun—it is a memory we will have forever! My only comment on our stay was that there wasn’t a significant variation in food. There are only two restaurants and, while the staff worked very hard to provide us with different options, we were all excited for something different when we left.
Related: Spotlight: Ashford Castle
In London, we absolutely adored our guide: what a kind, wise man! The RIB speed Boat was a really neat experience, and the Connaught hotel is amazing. We loved our time at Shakespeare’s Globe as well (21 New Globe Walk). And, I think you know how much we all loved Coworth Park [an equestrian escape outside the city]. I actually felt teary when it was time to pack up and head home. The girls raced over to the stables to kiss all the horses goodbye and to run through the flower fields one last time.
Many thanks for all your hard work and planning! It was so worth it!
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