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Historic Carton House enchants
Written by Ali Mushaima   
Tuesday, 22 July 2008 21:44

Ali presents Aine with a copy of the Visitor's Complete Guide to Bahrain 

Today, we had a four-hour drive from Cork to Maynooth, to visit Carton House - a five-star hotel and golf club resort. There, we were welcomed by Aine Mangan, who a few years back used to work for the Riffa Golf Club in Bahrain.

Aine gave us a tour of this beautifully restored mansion, which was once the country residence of the FitzGerald family - Earls of Kildare and later Dukes of Leinster. 

Carton House is steeped in history, but with all the comforts of a luxury hotel. Just half an hour from Dublin, the elegant Palladian house is set in over a thousand acres of stunning parkland, and has attracted a long list of glamorous guests from Queen Victoria to Grace Kelly.

Carton House is an aesthetic masterpiece. Striking modern art adorns the walls and large glass windows flood the reception with natural light, while high ceilings across the main house create a sense of space and grandeur. 

The curved corridors are decorated with black and white photographs of the original house, leading guests on an alluring journey through the history of the estate.

The resort is also a golfer's paradise, with many other sports activities on offer. Visiting The Carton House is indeed a destination by itself.

Over dinner, Aine and I talked about Bahrain and the Friendship Arabia tour and how it had played its part in breaking cultural barriers and raising awareness of Middle Eastern cultures.

The next morning, we had a walk around the golf course, then packed and drove to the Port of Larne to take the ferry back to Troon in Scotland.

It was very hard to leave Ireland, which has really won our hearts. However tomorrow, two members of the Friendship Arabia team will join us in Edinburgh to explore Scotland before we start our journey back home.

The Land Rover near Carton House