If I was living hundreds of years ago I would like to have been a person that hunted with a hawk.

On our way to Ballyshannon we stopped at Ashford Castle to experience a Hawk Walk. After completely missing the car park on the first round through we found ourselves back outside the castle grounds getting more thorough directions from the gatekeeper who found us quite amusing. The second time through the gorgeous estate we found it. The castle and estate were amazing on their own. The Guinness family owned it at one point.

We made our way on a nice 10 minute walk through the grounds to the Ireland School of Falconry and started our Hawk Walk with a tour of the facility and seeing some of the 32 hawks that they have there. The Harris Hawks that we would walk with are unique in that they hunt like a pack. They work cooperatively.

We all took turns with Mazie and Tyler starting out with the hawks. We took Walnut and Chestnut out for the walk. The hawks came to the glove quick and obviously knew that the morsels of rat were waiting for them.

We went out on the walk and it was incredible to have these hawks pacing along with us as we went. Anytime you raised the glove they would immediately come. We would then launch them off again and they would fly away. In between they would survey the area and swoop in around us joining along on the walk. Their speed was amazing. They can routinely go 60 miles an hour.

An amazing experience made even more incredible with Ashford Castle as the backdrop. Photos don’t capture this experience that well but the videos really do. The power and grace when the hawk lands on the glove was inspiring.

Auto-generated description: A person with blonde hair is holding a bird of prey on their gloved hand inside a room with a wooden plaque listing names in the background. Auto-generated description: A girl wearing a yellow jacket is holding a bird of prey on her gloved hand in an outdoor setting. Auto-generated description: Two people standing outdoors, each holding a bird of prey on their gloved hands. Auto-generated description: People are standing on a path surrounded by trees, interacting with birds of prey while wearing protective gloves. Auto-generated description: A group of four people, one child, and three adults are smiling while holding birds of prey at Ireland's School of Falconry.