County galway Things to DoList of sites and attractions in County galway
Galway, County Galway
Galway is the capital of the West of Ireland, a thriving modern city with a University, Regional Technical College, Shipping Port and Airport. With a festival to cover everything from the traditional music to horseracing, Galway is a uniquely cosmopolitan city with something for everyone. It has also recently become an important centre for promoting the Arts and Culture. Although it has recently been classed as Europe's fasting growing city, it still manages to retain much of its old world Medieval charm.
Base yourself here for a few nights if you want to take day trips to Connemara, The Aran Islands or The Burren. It's ideally suited for all of these places and many bus tours run daily from the center of town. Simply check with your B&B owner for information on these tours.
Shopping is also one of Galways treasures, with a great number of stores to shop for wool sweaters, crystal, jewelry and more!
Salthill, County Galway
Salthill is one of Ireland's most popular holiday destinations, with its lapping waters and sandy beaches being the main attractions. Located beside Galway city (2 klms), Salthill boasts a promenade 2 miles long where locals and visitors stroll in the evening and take the fresh sea air, while "watching the sun go down on Galway Bay". The visitor has a host of safe sandy beaches from which to choose.
Swimming, sailing, snorkeling and sea angling can be enjoyed. Leisureland's recreational complex has a host of wonderful amenities including an indoor heated swimming pool, and waterslide, which proves very popular with the children especially on rainy days.
Spiddal, County Galway
Many people come to Spiddal during the summer months just to relax and enjoy the unique scenery as well as the traditional music in the local pubs. Other come to enjoy some of the activities in the area. Galway Golf Club is just a short drive from Spiddal, while the village itself has boats for hire as well as windsurfing and shore fishing.
This is also a great stopping point for day trips to the Aran Islands or Connemara.
Clifden, County Galway
The main town of Connemara, Clifden is an ideal centre for exploring the glorious scenery of the region. The town nestles on the edge of the Atlantic with a superb background of mountains. There is excellent bathing within about a mile (2 km) from the town; boating, riding, game and sea fishing, are available, and there is an 18-hole golf links southwards at Aillebrack near Ballyconneely about 8 miles (13 km) from Clifden. Clifden is the centre of Connemara pony breeding and the annual Connemara Pony Show in August is very well known.
Of all places, Clifden has a cyber cafe, or it did in 2001. You'll also find great little cafes to have a nice lunch while taking in the scenery around you.
Twelve Bens, , County Galway
Amid Connemara's central mountains, bogs, and lakes rises a rugged range known as the Twelve Bens, crowning a landscape that is among the most spectacular in Ireland. Some of the peaks are bare and rocky, others clothed in peat. The loftiest, Benbaun, in Connemara National Park, reaches a height of 2,395 feet.
Connemara, County Galway
Connemara in County Galway, is one of the most scenic areas of Ireland, in a wild and lonely way. As with most of Galway, Connemara's history goes back thousands of years. Local archaeologist, Michael Gibbons describes finding a Bann spearhead in Streamstown dating 7,000 years old. It was a rare and wonderful find as the people of that era were known to be nomadic hunter gatherers. Other sites found in the area suggest the change over from the nomadic lifestyle to that of farming communities.
Connemara's coast is very convoluted and it has a wealth of lovely beaches, little islands and harbours. The area around Clifden, the main town in Connemara, is rich with megalithic tombs. The famous green/white Connemara Marble was a trade treasure used by the inhabitants of the time and it continues to be of great value today. There is a link on the place links page which will bring you to a great site showing and telling you all about Connemara Marble.
Loughrea, County Galway
Although the town of Loughrea is generally regarded as dating from 1236 AD, there is much evidence of human settlement in the area prior to this date. The Turoe Stone which was probably carved around 100 BC is located north of the town, outside the village of Bullaun. There is a well preserved stone circle of an earlier date at Moanmore East on the Tynagh road. There are numerous unexcavated sites of importance near Loughrea. These include the ringfort, house sites and field systems at Gorteenapheebera and the ancient castle and ‘village’ at Toanroasty. Ringforts are widespread particularly north and west of the town. In the early Christian period, a large religious settlement was developed at Caherwalter, Loughrea. St. Brigid’s Well, which still exists today, was located within the settlement and is of pagan origin. In total, there are 199 sites of archaeological importance within a four mile radius of the town – as identified by the Archaeological Survey of County Galway (Office of Public Works / University College Galway 1987). The majority of these date from pre-historic or early Christian times.
Dún Aengus, Inishmore, County Galway
No one knows who built this massive stone fort, or when. The eminent archaeologist George Petrie called Dún Aengus "the most magnificent barbaric monument in Europe." Facing the sea, where its three stone rings meet steep 200-foot cliffs, Dún Aengus still stands guard today over the southern coast of the island of Inishmore, the largest of the Arans.
Tuam, County Galway
Tuam lies 32km north of Galway City on the N17 major route. It owes its origin according to legend, to the broken chariot wheel which St. Jarlath took as a sign to found his monastic settlement here in the 5th century. Tuam, the probable capital of Ireland during the 12th century, when the High King Rory O'Connor was in residence. During this period the O'Connors endowed Tuam with the processional Cross of Cong (now in the National Museum), and are associated with the ornamental High Crosses (now in St. Mary's Cathedral). Tuam's location on the N17 makes it a natural dormitory town of Galway city, but it also has many fine local industries.
Ballinasloe, County Galway
Ballinasloe is steeped in history, and has been lauded for the architectural character of its fine streetscapes. This planned layout of the town in the 19th Century consisting of wide streets, a market square, fair green, show grounds and town hall can be attributed to William Trench, who was conferred with the Earldom of Clancarty at this time. The town can trace its roots back even further with the existence of three ringforts in the town and two possible Crannog sites dating back to the 1st century. Three Medieval Tower Houses are located within the Urban District as does a well preserved Early medieval parish Church at Templepoilin Pollboy, built in about the 9th Century by the Augustinian Monks of Clontuskert.
Gort, County Galway
Gort is a medium sized market town on the Galway to Ennis Road, situated in a gap between the Slieve Aughty Mountains and the Burren to the south. The name in Irish is "An Gort", (The Field) or "Gort Inse Guaire", (Field of Guaire’s Island). In 1917 WB Yeats bought a nearby sixteenth century tower called Thoor Ballylee for £35. He renovated the building and lived in it until 1929. The tower became immortalised in his poems and he wrote The Tower volume of poems. Bord Fáilte took over responsibility for the tower and transformed it into a museum which is now open to the public. Near Thoor Ballylee was the home of Mary Hynes, the miller’s daughter, with whom the blind fiddler, Antoine Fartery, was in love and dedicated a song.
Galway Bay Course, Galway, County Galway
(6,533 Metres / Par 72) Christy O'Connor Jr., Ryder and World Cup player, designed this 18 hole course to highlight and preserve the ancient historic features of the Renville Peninsula. The spectacular setting on Galway Bay is distractingly beautiful and the cleverly designed mix of holes presents a real golfing challenge which demands total concentration.