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“Exhilarating experience!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Ireland's School of Falconry

Ireland's School of Falconry
c/o Ashford Castle, Cong, Ireland
087 297 6092
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Ranked #1 of 13 Attractions in Cong
Type: Tours, Cultural
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Attraction details
Owner description: A chance for you to fly a hawk around the spectacular grounds of Ashford Castle in a private one hour Hawk Walk. No-one ever forgets the moment when their hawk first swoops down from a tree to land on their gloved fist - Flying a hawk is an experience of a lifetime!
Toronto
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“Exhilarating experience!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 7, 2013

This is an absolute must. If you are staying at Ashford Castle and in consideration of an activity, pick this activity. Seriously, when are you going to be able to have a Harris Hawk land on your arm? Do it. Knowledgeable, polite, funny staff who have a dedicated and loving regard for these beautiful creatures. So get going and book this experience!

Quick tip - they prefer you pay at the School of Falconry as they run independent of the hotel. They take cash and credit.

Visited September 2013
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English first
Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“The Birds In Ireland Have Trumped the Dolphins in the USA”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 6, 2013

We had no idea what this might be like, but this experience was amazing. First of all, our guide, Tommy, was so engaging, that we felt at ease immediately. He naturally sensed that we liked a lot of information and filled us with as much as we could take in before, during, and after. We ate it up. I sense that all the guides are gifted not just with birds but with people as well. After introducing us to birds of prey in general and then to hawks specifically, we met our birds. Tommy was spot-on in describing their personalities. Again, this helped us relax and get to know them so they could trust us and we them. Once we had the basics down, we took them down the lane, watching them soar off, perch, and then come soaring back for a treat. When we got in the woods, one of our birds smelled or saw something and would not budge until Tommy had made a thorough search for it and made sure it had gone! The birds worked hard and showed off a little for us and were well treated at the end. We have had encounters with wild animals in a controlled environment before, but none of the animals were as gracious and relaxed as Cara and Wexford. This tells me they are not burned out in order to wring as many bucks out of them as possible, as often happens with dolphins and orcas. These birds are content. As a matter of fact, Tommy put them up for the day at 2PM since they had worked so hard for us. He could have forced another group on them and withheld food to make them do it, but he didn't. He loves these birds and they trust him. I agree with sshields511 and the bucket list - I didn't know this should be on it, but I put it on and then marked it off!

Visited August 2013
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Cary, North Carolina
Top Contributor
117 reviews 117 reviews
Reviews in 95 cities Reviews in 95 cities
67 helpful votes 67 helpful votes
“A fantastic experience. Just go do it!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 6, 2013

I have to say that \I was skeptical about ponying up some significant Euros for this experience but it was WELL worthwhile.
The brochure stated a "one hour Hawk Walk" and I expected that it would include the introduction etc, but we were out with two Harris Hawks, Rua and Burren with their handler Keelin. We flew the hawks and while there were 4 participants it is perfectly acceptable for spectators to join the experience.
Keelin was patient with us and made it a really fun experience. She mentioned that going in the afternoon is a good idea as they are fed late in the day and are therefore hungry and interested to fly and demonstrate their skills.
Do not mess around. JUST DO IT!!

Visited September 2013
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Washington DC, District of Columbia
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Bucket list!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2013

This wasn't on my bucket list, but I just added it and marked it off! Ireland was the perfect location to experience this sport for the first time. Our guide was a French woman named Aurelie. She made the experience a "10" - so knowledgeable, enthusiastic, encouraging, and positive. Go early in the day (our time was at 0930), the hawks were alert and hungry. Make sure you wear solid walking shoes (it can be muddy) and take a person with you to film/photograph. It's 70 euro for one person/bird, or 65/person for 2 people, but make sure you have another person with you to record it. It was great to experience it and I'm enjoying the video/pics to see the things I missed. You will pay at the school, so bring euros or a credit card and extra for tip.

Visited September 2013
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Chicago
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“Unique experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2013

Not to be missed! A wonderful experience. We were allowed to transport the falcons on our arms and taught to release and call them back. Very knowledgeable staff.

Visited July 2013
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