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July 18, 2010updated Feb 08, 2013

Falconry Adventure At Ashford Castle

By Pardhasaradhi Gonuguntla

Falconry Adventure At Ashford Castle

County Galway, Ireland – Reported by Elite Traveler, the Private Jet Lifestyle Magazine

Ashford Castle, dating back to 1228 and once the stomping grounds of Lords and Ladies, is one of the few places in the world where one can take part in the rare sport of falconry. Throughout history, falconry was restricted to the nobility and the extremely wealthy, but today’s travelers can have a taste of aristocracy not only by staying at Ashford Castle, but by participating in a new, intense three-day Royal Falconry Adventure. Guests will fly hawks every day, and gain an in-depth understanding of this historic sport – all while enjoying the best of 21st-century five-star amenities at Ashford Castle.

A suggested schedule can be customized to each guest’s particular interests and includes the following:

Day One
* 10:00 am to 11:30 am – Introduction to falconry, followed by a one-hour flying session.
* Lunch at the castle
* 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm – Falconry outdoor flying session. Guests train hawks to catch the “rabbit lure” and to fly through the man-created “hole in the woods.” In addition to flying the hawks, guests will fly Dingle, Ashford Castle’s beloved Eagle Owl.
* Unwindwith a one-hour full body massage
* Dinner in the award-winning George V dining room

Day Two
* 10:00am to 11:30 am – Falconry outdoor flying session. Guests discover the individual personality traits of the hawks and gain knowledge of falconry manning and training techniques.
* Lunch at the castle
* 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm – Falconry outdoor flying session. Guests will be transported by a 4×4 off the beaten track to the remote Lough Cuillin, nestled halfway up Mount Gable. Here, guests will fly the hawks in spectacular scenery with panoramic views, where the wild Peregrine falcons live.
* 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm – Option of one other activity on the Ashford Castle grounds: horseback riding, golf, fly fishing, archery or clay shooting (or another spa treatment!) * Dinner at George V Restaurant

Day Three
* 10:00 am to 11:30 am – Falconry outdoor flying session on the shores of Lough Cuillin.
* Photo shoot of guests with the hawks on the grounds of Ashford Castle * Afternoon tea at the castle
* Take-home gift of hawk bells. The three-night program includes luxury accommodations and a full Irish breakfast each morning, and is priced at 1,047 (approximately US$1,288) per person.

A highlight of the Royal Falconry Adventure will be a meal in the George V dining room: the restaurant’s renowned Head Chef Stefan Matz was recently awarded “Best Chef” by Ireland’s newly launched Good Eating Guide 2010-2011. With creative cooking, locally sourced produce and inspired use of seasonal ingredients, Chef Matz has crafted an innovative menu that has produced what is regarded as one of the finest restaurants in Ireland.

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