Things to do
Clifden, the capital of Connemara, founded by John D'Arcy in 1812, is an excellent holiday location for taking in the spectacular scenery, sensational walking and cycling tracks, incredible beaches and of course the great food, drink and music that is part and parcel of the Connemara way of life.
The Clifden Station House hotel, located in the heart of Clifden town is the perfect base for your holiday in Connemara, Co. Galway. With our luxurious bedrooms, fantastic Leisure Club & Spa, unique dining experiences in the Station House Restaurant and the Signal Bar, and of course our legendary Kids Club with Cinema, Theatre and Drama Workshops, the only thing you will be short of is time to squeeze everything in!
Clifden Station House Courtyard Shopping & Museum
Located in the restored station buildings surrounding the hotel, the Station House shopping and museum experience is a must! Whether its fine art in Clifden Antiques, high fashion in Design Platform or indeed a pampering session in Renew Spa or Hedz, it's all on your doorstep, and you can finish it all off with a Latte and heavenly cakes in Steam Cafe.
The Sky Road Drive
Justifably famous for the views it affords, the Sky Road route takes you up among the hills overlooking Clifden Bay and its offshore Islands, Inishturk and Turbot Island. Follow the signposts from Market Square and on the way, be sure to climb Monument Hill. At the summit you will find a stone memorial to the town’s founder, John D’Arcy.
Beach Road Walk
A local favorite, the Beach Road is one of the most peaceful and serene walks in Clifden. Instead of taking a right at the fork toward the Sky Road, take a left, this will lead you down towards Clifden Harbour. Follow the road until you reach the Boat Club or take a right a little before to head up onto the Sky Road.
Alcock and Brown Drive & Walk
Located just 3 miles south of Clifden is the crash landing site of the first transatlantic fight of Alcock and Brown (1919) and the monument to this historic achievement. Also nearby is the site of the first radio transmitter station from which Marconi exchanged the first transatlantic radio messages with a station in Nova Scotia, Canada in 1907.
Golfing Connemara @ Connemara Golf Links
This Eddie Hackett-designed golf course is set in stunning, rugged countryside. The back nine has been described as the equal of any in the world. Ballyconneely Tel: 095-23502/23602
Island Hopping - Inishbofin
Inishbofin is a beautiful Island, 6km in length and 3.5km wide, with several magnificent sandy beaches which are safe for swimming. The Island (population of 200) has 2 pubs, post office and a grocery shop. It is also well known for its excellent traditional music sessions. All ferries depart from Cleggan Pier (20 minutes drive from the Clifden Station House Hotel). The journey takes 40 minutes. Inishbofin Ferries for timetable.
Connemara's Beaches - Dog’s Bay Stroll
Just off the Clifden to Roundstone road, Dog’s Bay, famous for its foraminiferal sands, is a stunning beach. The dunes have recently been the focus of intensive efforts to stem coastal erosion by planting grass – visitors are requested to respect the signs restricting access to the dunes. Gurteen Bay lies at the eastern side of the tombolo. Swimming is a must at both beaches!
Home to the Benedictine Nuns, Kylemore Abbey was built as a castle in 1868 in the Irish neo-gothic style. A trip to the Abbey is a must on your Connemara itinerary, with it's beautifully restored rooms, church and of course the famous Victorian walled garden, set against the rugged beauty of the Connemara wilds, it's positively enchanting. The Craft and Retail Shop at Kylemore is known worldwide, stocking a unique range of goods to satisfy every taste.
The villages of Connemara
Leenane, home to the film adaptation of the great John B. Keanes "The Field", is well worth a stop. Roundstone Fishing Village,a Connemara gem, and home to Ireland's Master Bodhran maker, Malachy Kearns - head for the Franciscan monastery and learn all there is to know about this unique Irish instrument.
Killary Adventure Centre
Located just outside Leenane, Connemara, Co. Galway, Killary Adventure Centre offers land and water based activities for all ages.
Killary Fjord & Killary Cruises
Irelands only Fjord, this truly is a sight to be seen, whether viewed from the many vantage points on your route through the valley, or indeed on one of the many boat trips that can be taken, either way it's a must see on any trip to beautiful Connemara. Take a cruise with Killary Cruises and their purpose built cruise ship which has been designed to offer the maximum comfort and safety to our guests, and also to offer them uninterrupted views of the spectacular scenery which makes the Killary such a unique place to visit.
Built around 1810 by Clifden’s founder John D’Arcy, it was once his residence. A walk to Clifden Castle is essential. It is approached through a beautiful entrance arch and gothic walls along a winding avenue edged with a series of 5 standing stones (only one is original). Clifden Castle is now a romantic ruin overlooking Clifden Bay.
Connemara National Park
Located 11 miles north of Clifden, Connemara National Park is a must-see for visitors to the area. When you first see the park, watched over by its mountain, Diamond Hill, you will be impressed by its stunning natural beauty. Take time to enjoy self-guided tours, picnic area, audio visual show and exhibition on Connemara’s Landscape.
Dan O'Hara Homestead
Located near Clifden overlooked by the majestic Twelve Ben Mountains, Dan O’Hara’s Homestead shares the history, heritage, culture & traditions of Connemara. The centre is based around the restored prefamine cottage of Dan O’Hara who was forced to emigrate in the 1840's when he was evicted from his home. There is a audio visual Story and reconstructions of a crannog, ringfort & clochaun. One of the highlights of the centre is the guided tour to the Hilltop View and the visit to Dan O' Hara's Cottage.
Brigit's Garden, Roscahill
Brigit’s Garden has developed an excellent reputation as a must-see attraction. The unique, Celtic-themed gardens appeal to a wide-range of domestic and overseas visitors, not just to garden-lovers. Brigit’s Garden offers a magical experience and is a great introduction to Celtic heritage. It is popular with visiting adults and senior citizens, and is also very family-friendly with lots to entertain children. We have an excellent café and gift shop as well. Please see www.brigitsgarden.ie for further information and photographs.
When the weather is dry, you can always venture to the Playground in Clifden Town, on the Beach Road by SuperValu. A new addition to the Playground is a purpose built Football/Basketball fenced area so the older kids can practice their dribbling skills!
There are also great playgrounds in Roundstone Village, beside their Tennis Courts and Connamara National Park (Letterfrack) where you could be sharing the playground with the resident wildlife!