Experience All the Fun of Westeros Without All the Sexism and Violence by Renting Your Own Castle
It'll cost you an arm and a leg, but at least you'll still have a head, right? That's more than Ned Stark has.
So apparently renting castles is a thing that people with exorbitant amounts of money do sometimes, I’m told. And sure, Casterly Rock isn’t exactly real or anything, but if you’ve got more metaphorical gold than the Lannisters, what’s to stop you from renting a castle just like theirs for a weekend? Nothing, that’s what.
HomeAway, a travel service that specializes in fancy home rentals all over the world, took great care in searching through their multiple castle listings and selecting those that they feel come the closest to the mighty houses of Westeros. Well, five of them, at least: the Lannisters of Casterly Rock, the Starks in Winterfell, the Greyjoys of Pyke, the Tyrells at Highgarden, and House Martell of Sunspear. Sorry, House Arryn fans, but where were you expecting to find a real-life moon door, anyway?
Pictured above is the closest real-world equivalent to Casterly Rock, Ballyhannon Castle in Clare Country, Ireland. It’s billed as one of the “finest” Celtic castles of the 15th century and boasts an impressive 10 rooms that sleep 25 people, expertly hidden “modern conveniences,” (we sure hope they mean a toilet and shower) and a gorgeously spooky spiral staircase. Oh, also, it’s already adorned in red and gold, so all you need to make the experience authentic is blond hair and a twin to have sex with.
Staying at Ballyhannon only costs 600 euros or $822 USD a night, which isn’t that bad, considering that oh yeah it’s a castle. Of course, if the Lannisters aren’t your thing but you’re still a ridiculously wealthy Westeros-obsessed world traveler, head over to HomeAway and peruse the rest of their listings. And don’t worry, they’re all located in climates that relate to the ones outlined in the books. Nothing would be worse than booking a fantasy summer vacation in Dorne only to find out that Dorne is actually located in Iceland. Brrr.