and, in a particular, Connemara are for the Irish, the spirtual
heart of Ireland; for the rest of us it might be the world's
end, the most beautiful wilderness on earth. It is the Gaeltacht
area, where you will find Irish spoken by most of the locals.
Much of Ireland's folklore and legend start here amongst the
soft, wind-honed, rock strewn hills and placid loughs beneath
a vast and endless sky. In dramatic contrast, the ragged coast,
ripped and ravaged by time and tide presents diversions of every
kind to inspire the poet, painter or hiker camera in hand. The
countryside mellows as you travel inland towards the loughs of
Mask and Corrib but the magic stays with you.
Oughterard, according to the humerous Irish writers
Somerville and Ross ( Ross being Violet Martin who was born close
by Ross Lake House Hotel ),"is the best village for its
size of Galway". Today, it is a lively market town and centre,
it seems, for every outdoor pursuit including fly fishing, golf
and sailing; walking too, the Western Way footpath along the
banks of Lough Corrib is spellbinding.
A charming fishing village close by a 16th century Dunguaire
Castle, where medieval banquets are on offer with Irish singing
"Capital" of Connemara, hosts the annual Connemara
Pony show ( a unique breed ), a jolly event with plenty of singing
and Irish jigs in traditional cloths. Aviators Alcock and Brown
made their historic landing nearby in 1919.
This is a strategic maritime city with a fascinating history.
Columbus visited as did many Spanish merchantmen making it is
the centre of Ireland's wine trade. The city has a busy schedule
of festivals including the famous Oyster festival and the Galway
races. Not to be missed!
Kilmacduagh Abbey has several interesting church buildings. The
roofless 12th century cathedral has some wonderful carvings;
the leaning tower is 11 / 12th century and the best preserved
The 16th century stronghold of the O' Flahertys who terrorised
the population of county Galway. A stunning location on Lough
Sea, game and coarse angling, riding, walking, cruising, watersports,
cycling and sightseeing.
Galway Bay, Parkland Championship course, 18 holes, 7147
yards, Par 72. Founded 1993. Designer Christy O' Connor, Jnr.
Connemara, Links course, 7100 yards, Par 72. Founded 1973.
Designer Eddie Hackett.
Oughterard, Parkland course, 6842 yards, Par 69. Founded
1973 Designers Hawtree / Hackett.
Ross Lake House Hotel
, Oughterard, Galway
Jennings Hotel and
Rose Garden, Castlebar, Mayo - 76 miles
Halpins Hotel & Vittles
Restaurant, Kilkee, Clare - 85 miles