Falconry School at Ashford Castle

Was wondering if I need to reserve my spot to participate in the school prior to start of tour.
If you've been on The Best of Ireland tour, please let me know how they handled this as on
some of their tours the guide handles setting up reservations.

Comments

  • When I did the Best of Ireland tour a few years ago, when we arrived at the castle, I immediately made a reservation for myself at the castle. It was not a problem. I guess that it might depend on how busy they are these days. The falconry experience was a highlight of that tour for me. :-)

  • edited January 2017
    We took the Best of Ireland (small group) this past Jul/Aug 2016. I expected we would need to make reservations for falconry ("additional fees may apply") with our TD, at the hotel desk or with the concierge when we arrived at Ashford on Day 6. However our group was surprised on Day 5 with a free Falconry experience at Mount Juliet Hotel!

    I don't know if this was a temporary/permanent itinerary change, one of Tauck's renowned "surprises", nor do I know if it was offered to us because we missed something else or because we were on a small group tour. You might want to call Tauck to see if they can give you some info. Had we desired, we probably could have done it again at Ashford Castle.

    Our falconer at Mt. Juliet, Sean, from Hawkeye Falconry:

    IMG_4401-r.jpg

    While we didn't get to "fly" them like we did the falcons, we were able to hold some beautiful, incredibly soft, friendly, and docile owls- they like being petted on the forehead/between their eyes. And, yes, we had some intermittent, light drizzle while we flew the falcons. It was a great experience.

    IMG_4440-r.jpg
  • I probably should post this on our Reading List Thread, but if you are interested in falconry, you might enjoy H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald. I will never feel the same about jacket pockets again!! Guess that's an inside comment/joke for those who have read this book!
  • Thanks for the responses on falconry school.
    Might just email Ashford Castle and ask if I can go ahead and reserve a spot with the option to cancel if there is a conflict with the tour.
    But thanks again---I have been on a number of Tauck tours and wish more people used these forums :)
    There is always valuable information, but as we all know, things change. Always nice to hear from a recent traveler.
  • edited February 2017
    One more comment re my falconry experience at Ashord Castle a couple of years ago. They offered two different falconry experiences with associated costs, one a short (time) version and a longer (time) experience. I opted for the longer (around 1 1/2 hours (90 minutes), I believe) experience. The cost was around 100 euros. I was able to "fly" two different birds, a Harris hawk and an owl, during that experience (the Hawk was named "Inga," but I forget the owl's name). The weather was nice, which made the experience even more enjoyable. :-)
  • Thanks, tomh---
    I'm excited about experiencing something so unique!
    Sheila
  • Sheila - You might also like to check out the falconry school's website online before you contact Ashford Castle. There is a lot of interesting information on it. :-)

    http://www.falconry.ie

    Tom
  • edited February 2017
    We took this tour in September 2015. Our tour director took reservations for the falconry, as well as other Ashford Castle activities, the day before. So you don't need to reserve ahead of time. My husband and I both did it, and it was fabulous! Enjoy!
  • Hi - we were on this tour in May. I'd booked a private session at the Falconry School in advance, but then others on our tour found out about this and our TD arranged a small group, so we converted to that. It was, indeed, a small group, and we each had experience with these beautiful birds. I think if you really love birds and nature and are more advanced in your knowledge of hawks and falcons, you might enjoy the private experience. The falconers are really smart and have lots of information to convey about the birds or prey, habitat, socialization, etc.
  • We contacted (email) Ashford Caste about a month ago to reserve some falconry time and they told us they have a spot reserved at 4:00pm for the Tauck (small) group. Price will depend on how many people sign up through the tour director several days before we arrive at Ashford Castle. We leave Aug 5 so will let you know how that works out.
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