I absolutely love the west of Ireland. It is so peaceful and picturesque and for me it really sums up the beauty of our little island. Since I met Andrew, we have visited Connemara a number of times. His family have a beautiful house in Roundstone that is right on the harbour and the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of Dublin life. There are so many places to see and things to do as well which makes the 3+ hour journey so worthwhile. Here are some of my favourite places in Connemara that you simply cannot miss if you are planning a trip.
Every time we go to Connemara, we always do a walk in the Ballynahinch castle grounds. This location is home to a beautiful hotel, that serves really good food. The grounds are stunning, and there are a number of different walking routes you can take. There is a large lake on the grounds that some of the paths encompass. Depending on the weather, you can see some of the best reflections of the sky here.
Roundstone is a quaint little fishing village. I have only visited when it was really quiet, in the winter months but have been told in the summer time it is full of life and at times very busy. The most famous place in Roundstone, and rightly so, is O’Dowds Seafood Bar & Restaurant. They have THE best crab claws and muscles that I have ever eaten in my life. Hands down. If you find yourself in Roundstone, you have to eat here!
Clifden is the largest town in the region. With a whole host of little shops, cafes and bars, it is definitely worth a trip. This is where all the larger supermarkets are, we always end up making a pitstop or two during our time in Connemara. Some of our favourite places to eat and drink are:
- The Station House
Dogs Bay Beach
This beach has to be one of my favourites of all time. So peaceful. So picturesque and the bay is nice and protected too.
Kylemore Abbey is one of the most famous attractions in Connemara. The estate is so beautiful and is home to Ireland’s largest Victorian Walled Garden. You can take some time exploring the woodland and lakeside views and during the summer they provide tours of the walled garden.
Connemara National Park
Connemara National Park features 2,957 hectares of mountains, bogs, heaths, grasslands and forests. It is the perfect backdrop to any photo, and with so many treks to explore you are bound to experience a different adventure with each and every visit. Admission is free into the park, visitor centre, audio visual theatre and all events too so it is a great, inexpensive day out for the whole family.