Picturesque village

15 Emerald Isle locations perfect for Hallmark Christmas movie fans

The Emerald Isle is the perfect place to shoot vacation movies with its stunning landscapes, charming villages and picturesque seascapes. It’s easy to see why Hallmark recently shot not one but two films in Ireland.

Filmed punch As luck would have it and Christmas at Castle Hart entirely in Ireland in 2021. Christmas at Castle Hart was a festive romantic comedy that premiered on the Hallmark Channel on November 27, 2021. It was part of the Countdown to Christmas lineup.

Ireland has so many places to make your vacation happy and bright. Villages and towns are festively decorated with sacred symbols, lights and tall trees for the holiday season. Churches build nativity scenes to display the Nativity and the arrival of the wise men also known as the three kings.

With the countdown to Christmas now underway, we’ve decided to take a look at some of Ireland’s most magical and festive places that would make the perfect backdrops in a Hallmark Channel Christmas movie. Each of these towns was either used for filming or has a castle that would be perfect for a future movie.

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1. How

Howth Castle is the main setting of the film in As luck would have it. It is a 14th century fortress located on the Howth Head Peninsula on the outskirts of Dublin.

The Christmas spirit is abundant and the decor is spectacular during the holidays. The chateau has extensive gardens and nicely decorated grounds.

2. Glencullen

A small village, Glencullen is located in the mountains near Dublin and is home to the Johnnie Fox pub. The Pub has been around since 1798. He appeared in the film As luck would have it.

As in many Irish homes, candles are placed in the windows. The Irish use garlands, lights and baubles as holiday decorations in Glencullen.

Dalkey Castle in the south of County Dublin.
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3. Dalkey

In the movie As luck would have it, Dalkey, a quaint seaside town, is shown, and the magnificent Dalkey Castle and Heritage Center also serves as a municipal office. This wealthy little neighborhood goes all out with decorations to make sure everyone has a lot of zest for life while on vacation.

Dalkey Castle is hosting a Castle Christmas Experience with Santa and Castle Christmas events.

Bray, County Wicklow, Ireland.  Entrance to Killruddery House, near Bray.
Entrance to the Killruddery House (Photo credit: Dirk Hudson /

4. Bray

If you looked As luck would have it, you probably remember the Matchmaking Festival. It actually took place at Killruddy House and Gardens, located near the party town of Bray.

The spectacular 17th century mansion is one of Ireland’s finest country mansions. It is especially festive with garlands, wreaths and large light bows during the holidays.

This building is very popular and also appeared in Camelot, Le Tournant, and other films.

5. Lisdoonvarna

This small town plays host to a huge Singles Festival every September. The Matchmakers festival in the film As luck would have it is modeled on the Lisdoonvarna festival. With a population of around a thousand, this small town celebrates Christmas in style with an illuminated ceremony, The Burren Christmas Family Fayre, and a fireside song.

This party town can be found on the west coast of Ireland and is definitely a branded material.

6. Bettystown

Six 300-year-old luxury thatched-roof cottages are seen in As luck would have it. They appear to be the bed and breakfast in which the girls have stayed.

Six miles of beautiful sandy beaches can be seen from the cottages which lie between Layton and the picturesque village of Bettystown.

Bettystown celebrates the holidays with many lights and community arts and crafts fairs.

Doonegore Castle at sunset in Doolin, Ireland.
Doonegore Castle (Photo credit: Kwiatek7 /

7. Kinvarra in Galway Bay

In Christmas at Castle Hart, several Kinvarra sites are highlighted. Outside the Bed & Breakfast is Connolly’s Pub. Dunguire Castle is located in Kinvarra and is considered one of the most photographed medieval strongholds in the west of Ireland.

Doonagore Castle also appears at the start of Christmas at Castle Hart. This 16th century castle overlooks the village of Doolin and Galway Bay.

Exterior of Dromoland castle with gravel path and foliage framing the entrance to the castle.
Dromoland Castle (Photo credit: shutterupeire /

8. Ennis

The small town of Ennis has about 25,000 friendly faces in the community and a vibrant culture. During the holidays the village is decorated with festive decorations and community festivals enhance the holidays, making Ennis the perfect setting for an Emerald Isle Hallmark movie.

Ennis is home to the Knox Pub, which portrayed Langhan of the Glaslough in the movie Castle Hart. It enjoys a perfect location as it is close to spectacular landscapes.

Most of the shoots of Christmas at Castle Hart took place at Dromoland Castle in Ennis. This early 19th century castle has medieval origins linked to the 15th and 16th centuries.

Many shots of the interior room were shot at Dromoland Castle. The castle hosts their own Christmas events at the castle, and they decorate with lots of sparkling lights, luxurious Christmas decorations and a spectacular gingerbread house.

Another interesting information about this castle: you can now check in and stay in the 450 acre estate.

Bunratty Castle at night in County Clare, Ireland.
Patryk Kosmider /

9. Bunratty

Do you remember the Christmas market scenes from the movie Castle Hart? These scenes took place at Bunratty Folk Park.

The chapel Aiden is trying to restore at Castle Hart was the Ardcroney Church, another building in Bunratty.

Lough Cutra Castle plays three different roles in the movie Castle Hart. It serves as the suite where Brooke and her sister stay. Second, it appears as the residence of the Duchess and finally as the house of a baron.

This neo-Gothic mansion built at the end of the 18th century can now be rented out for private events such as holiday parties and weddings. Can you imagine getting married in this romantic castle?

The tree-lighting scene also takes place in the picturesque village of Bunratty, and Bunratty Castle is also featured in the movie Castle Hart Hallmark.

For the holidays, Bunratty is organizing a Christmas Trail of Lights. The trail takes you on a magical walk through the woods with twinkling lights in Bunratty Folk Park. Returning this year is the Bunratty Polar Express train and a Victorian carousel along with other festive events.

The Hallmark Films also feature other scenic and romantic places in Ireland. Let’s look at the most memorable sites …

World famous Cliffs of Moher, Wild Atlantic Way in County Clare.
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10. Cliffs of Moher

The O’Brien Tower overlooks the towering Cliffs of Moher. These spectacular cliffs form a 509 foot wall on the west coast of the island for approximately nine miles.

Both Christmas at Castle Hart and As luck would have it had segments shot here. The riding sequence was shot in front of this famous monument.

11. Powerscourt Waterfall

This magnificent waterfall has been featured in various TV series and movies. He resides on the Powerscourt Estate near Ennis Kerry. You may have seen this impressive waterfall in Excalibur and various television series as well as Hallmark films.

If you dream of visiting charming romantic castles on the Emerald Isle, there are several more that welcome overnight stays and could easily be the next castle featured in a Hallmark Christmas movie.

Christmas decorated living room in Ashford Castle, with Christmas tree.
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12. Ashford Castle, Cong

It is one of Ireland’s top hotel destinations. You’ve probably seen some great photos with the Irish landscape as a backdrop. Ashford Castle is over 800 years old, and when you visit it it feels like you are part of a fairy tale.

Once a home, it is now a luxurious place to stay. Each room is unique and the castle is full of culture and history.

Dining room decorated in Christmas red for the holidays at Ashford Castle.
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Ashford Castle is home to lots of fun activities, especially during the holidays – and the festive decorations are gorgeous. They also feature state-of-the-art spa facilities for guest enjoyment.

Kilkea Castle is a medieval fortress located near the village of Kilkea, Ireland.
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13. Kilkea Castle Hotel, Kilkea

You will feel like a royal when you sleep in this castle. An upscale hotel in Ireland, the Kilkea Castle Hotel is beautiful inside and out. There are lovely gardens to enjoy and plenty of modern amenities.

Kilkea is the closest castle hotel to Dublin Airport.

14. Lough Eske Castle, Donegal

If you are looking for a luxurious experience, this fairytale castle which is a five star hotel is for you. Fluffy bathrobes are provided in each room.

Lough Eske Castle has a spectacular swimming pool overlooking the castle grounds in an atrium. It also has a hammam, sauna, fitness center and much more.

15. Dunboyne Castle Hotel And Spa, Dunboyne

Set on 21 acres of beautiful countryside, the Dunboyne Castle Hotel and Spa is the perfect place for pure relaxation. This grand Georgian mansion has 145 rooms, so you’re sure to find one that meets your needs. They also have an outdoor hot tub, steam room, sauna and other amenities.

The rooms are spacious and beautiful, especially during the holiday season when they feature festive decorations.

We’ve shared some of the places in Ireland that we think are perfect for Hallmark movies. From Bunratty to Bettystown and beyond there are plenty of quaint Irish villages, castles, quaint countryside and historic homes that will warm your heart and make the perfect backdrops for a holiday movie.

Pro tips: If you haven’t watched Christmas at Castle Hart, it should be replayed several times over the next few weeks. You can also enjoy a larger Hallmark Christmas blanket here.