IRELAND’S ASHFORD CASTLE TAKES ON A NEW CHALLENGE: TEACHING AMERICANS HOW TO DRIVE ON THE LEFT
Even the most experienced American drivers can get befuddled on the roads of the British Isles when they suddenly find themselves sitting on the right side of the car (or is it the wrong side?)…and then steering on the left side of the road. But Ashford Castle, located in Ireland‘s magnificent west country near Galway City, has come up with a plan for making the adjustment easier. The new How to Drive on the Left program teams up experienced instructors with visiting drivers for both theory and practice before they hit the meandering local roads.
The two-hour class includes one hour of theory in the comfort of Ashford Castle and one hour of actual driving in either a manual transmission or automatic car. Everything is covered from how to maintain concentration (it is important to stay on the left side of the road) to how to drive clockwise around a traffic circle (the Irish call them roundabouts) to judging distances. The class also reviews remote road signs written in Gaelic and includes a personalized information pack with safety tips and rules for the road. Organized by Gill’s Driving School, How to Drive on the Left costs €180 (approximately $270) per couple.
Ashford Castle is one of the finest and most luxurious castle hotels in Ireland. Set on 350 acres in County Mayo, along the shores of Lough Corrib and the River Cong, it offers a spectacular backdrop of woodlands, lake, river, and mountains. There are 83 guestrooms (each one different), several dining options and a range of country sports including an equestrian center, fly fishing, an exclusive nine-hole golf course, Ireland’s first school of falconry and sporting clay shooting.
Rates at Ashford Castle start at €155 (approximately $233) per person based on double occupancy. This rate includes deluxe accommodations, full Irish breakfast and an elaborate five-course dinner by Chef Stefan Metz in the George V dining room where eleven beautiful Waterford crystal chandeliers complement the stately decor. All taxes and baggage charges are also included.