We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Sept. Trip Report - Trim Castle on the way back to Dublin

San Diego
Level Contributor
124 posts
78 reviews
Save Topic
Sept. Trip Report – Trim Castle on the way back to Dublin

On our last full day in Ireland, we woke up in Ashford Castle to rain. I was so glad we had gotten there early enough the day before to walk the grounds. Our plan for today was to drive back to Dublin, where we had reservations for our last night at the Crowne Plaza near the airport. I figured we would have enough time to stop somewhere along the way to do a last bit of sightseeing, and I had several possibilities in mind, but it was really raining. We hoped that maybe we would drive out of the rain as we headed east.

As we started driving, it did get somewhat better in that it stopped raining continuously and started showering every so often, but it was still really wet everywhere. As we were going through Athlone, I thought of Clonmacnoise, but from the description, it sounded like it was mostly an outdoors site, and we decided it was too wet to enjoy it. So we kept driving. We stopped in Kilbeggan for lunch and to stretch our legs, and by that time the weather was a lot drier.

So we kept driving and by the time the turnoff to Trim came up, the weather looked decidedly drier, so we decided to go to Trim Castle. When I originally put it on my list of possibilities for today, I was thinking “Will we really want to see another castle, after all the ones we’ve seen? Maybe we’ll be tired of seeing castles by that time.” Not at all! Neither of us ever said that we were tired of going to castles. Castles are like caves, they are all different, and each one has its own interesting features.

I must say that the castle is not signposted very well, at least from the direction from which we came into town. Trim was a much bigger town than I had thought, but usually, if you’re looking for a castle, you can just look up and see it! Well, there were so many buildings in Trim that we thought were the castle, we drove around for about 10 minutes before we finally found it.

You can only go into the keep on a 45 minute guided tour, so we had twenty minutes or so to explore the grounds before our tour. I was very excited to see Trim Castle, even though it is ruins, since it is the largest Anglo-Norman castle in Ireland; building started in the last quarter of the 12th century. There are still a lot of the outer walls and gates extant, and you can explore all of it. A 14th century great hall was built alongside one of the exterior walls surrounding the castle, and you can still see the remains of its columns.

The keep is actually shaped like a cross, but one of the arms had been demolished to make way for a later feature. Our guide on the tour was very good and very knowledgable. The keep is basically a shell on the inside where they have built walkways, and we also walked up and down the spiral stone stairs. On the ground floor of the keep they have three scale models of the castle that show its appearance in its different building stages. In another area, they had recreated the roof trusses, so you could see how the roof was built. In the early stages of the castle, the great hall was on the top floor, and you could see the remains of the fireplace and the minstrel gallery. We got to go all the way up and walk the battlements, and see the views. On a clear day the Hill of Tara can be seen.

The surrounding castle wall has an unusual barbican gate, a circular tower fronted on the outside of the wall by a square tower. In between was a wooden bridge that could be raised and lowered to limit access to the enclosure. Very much of that stone structure is still standing, so you can see where the wooden bridge would be, although of course the bridge does not survive.

So as a last sightseeing spot, Trim Castle was definitely worth it, very interesting, and we’re glad we were able to explore it.

We headed back to Dublin to our hotel. We had dinner there since we had a lot of repacking to do. And the next morning, we dropped our car off at the airport, got on our plane for the very long flight home, and said goodbye to Ireland.

I think you can tell from all my reports that we had a marvelous time, enjoying every day, everything we saw and experienced, and all the people we met.

Blarney Castle & Gardens
Castles, Historic Sites, Historic Walking Areas, Points of Interest & Landmarks
Kilkenny Castle
Castles, Historic Sites
Trim Castle
Castles, Historic Sites
Dublin
Level Contributor
794 posts
140 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Sept. Trip Report – Trim Castle on the way back to Dublin

Great report - especially the detail on Trim Castle, which I am sure will help your fellow travellers.

Thanks again.

Waterford, Ireland
Level Contributor
6,414 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Sept. Trip Report – Trim Castle on the way back to Dublin

Thank you so much for your detailed trip report, I have learned about places I have not been to, Trim castle, for example!

Cavan
Destination Expert
for County Cavan
Level Contributor
4,535 posts
74 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Sept. Trip Report – Trim Castle on the way back to Dublin

Well done a very nice trip report, Trim of course should be on everyones lists as a must see castle. What people tend to not realise about Trim is that it was built originally by the Normans, Hugh de Lacy to keep the Irish under control and therefore required a strong fortification as it came in for regular attacks by the Breffni Irish right up until the seventeenth century. In 1641 for example, the Irish tried to burn the town of Trim as they did Navan and Athboy ran riot through the Pale until they were stopped by the marquess of Ormond troops outside the walls of Drogheda. I feel that there is much that the Irish themselves don't know about their own history that it takes an outsider to remind them once in a while.

Very well done in your reporting and we are glad that you enjoyed your stay and remained to tell us how you progressed.

Edited: 09 October 2010, 12:12
San Diego
Level Contributor
124 posts
78 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Sept. Trip Report – Trim Castle on the way back to Dublin

I agree that Trim should be on every castle lover's must see list. Amazingly, the guidebook I used did not even mention it! I think I must have found out about it on a web site somewhere. There is a terrific aerial photo of it at

http://www.nd.edu/~archire/sites2005/TrimCastle.html

Belgium
Level Contributor
1,493 posts
Save Reply
5. Re: Sept. Trip Report – Trim Castle on the way back to Dublin

Might I suggest you go the whole hog and post a review

tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g186628-d5…

Existing reviews will also remind you of other aspects you might care to elaborate on, or clarify.

The reason being that if many others are like me, when having lots and lots of things that need researching, they'll mainly just look up the "reviews". The "forum" chats coming later once they've been and .. too late.

Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
6,589 posts
Save Reply
6. Re: Sept. Trip Report – Trim Castle on the way back to Dublin

Another nice trip report, SanDiegoCoco! We too love Trim Castle and we were actually there today with our fellow Dublin DE Keith (KthSch). We love visiting the place and it was particularly atmospheric today with the wind whistling through its nooks and crannies.

Aurora, Illinois
Level Contributor
2,559 posts
131 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Sept. Trip Report – Trim Castle on the way back to Dublin

Well, it took me until my fourth trip to Ireland to finally get to Trim Castle. Brilliant! Tapl took me and I absolutely loved it. Better than I expected. Our tour guide was excellent (which is entirely normative for OPW guides I've found). They've done a very nice job of making the castle accessible to visitors while still giving an authentic feel of the place. Really should be on everyone's 'must see' list.

And tapl's right...the wind absolutely added to the atmosphere of the place (glad it wasn't raining, though!).

(May have to modify my May, 2011 trip to show this to my friend...not sure if it's possible, but I'd like to try!)

Keith

Edited: 09 October 2010, 21:56
Arlington, Virginia
Destination Expert
for Arlington
Level Contributor
13,528 posts
114 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Sept. Trip Report – Trim Castle on the way back to Dublin

I enjoyed reading about your visit to Trim Castle very much, San Diego. I can't believe your guidebook didn't include it due to its size and importance (and also since it was used in the filming of "Braveheart").

We went there in April 2009 and had a fabulous tour of the keep by one of the OPW guides. (Like Keith, we found every OPW guide we had to be great. They were all both informative and entertaining.) Our guide in the Trim Castle keep had grown up in Trim and told us all about "breaking into" the castle as a schoolboy (before it was an OPW site) and climbing around the inside of the keep!

The ruins of the Abbey of St. Mary are just across the river and are a nice walk from Trim Castle. We enjoyed seeing the Yellow Tower and we got some good pictures of Trim Castle from there.

Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
6,589 posts
Save Reply
9. Re: Sept. Trip Report – Trim Castle on the way back to Dublin

Sounds like we had the same OPW tour guide at Trim yesterday, longhorn74! We agree, he was very entertaining. It's nice to hear from someone with such longstanding local connections to the site.

San Diego
Level Contributor
124 posts
78 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Sept. Trip Report – Trim Castle on the way back to Dublin

Clipperdeeklops - Thanks for the suggestion of posting reviews, rather than just trip reports. As time permits, I will do that.

Keith, glad you finally made it there, and with tapl! I agree with both you and longhorn about the OPW guides everywhere (although the woman I had at the Rock of Cashel was more opionionated than most). The woman guide we had when we went through Trim had also grown up in the area.

We could see the Abbey from the castle, but, unfortunately, did not have the time to go over there.