2. Wild Atlantic Way Day 2
You’ll be spoiled for scenic choice at Connemara National Park, which stretches across 2,957 hectares – roughly the size of 2,400 football pitches. It takes in four of the famous Twelve Bens mountains, huge expanses of bogs, grasslands, and woodlands, and it’s a birdwatcher’s delight. Three different unmissable trails offer something for every fitness level; or during the summer you can take advantage of guided walks. It is also home to some of some of the finest Irish artisans and crafts makers.
After your morning stroll, fill your camera as you prepare to visit Kylemore Abbey, an iconic castle mirrored in a Connemara Lake. Home to Benedictine Nuns (as well as Connemara ponies) and nestled among rocky mountains, the 1000-acre estate contains a Neo Gothic church, Victorian walled garden and giant’s
Round off your morning with a visit to the workshop of Malachy Kearns, a bodhrán maker from
Roundstone, and learn how to create and play this Irish drum instrument.
Choose a pick-up point to start your Connemara Pub Tour. This experience will take you on a 5-to-6-hour whirlwind tour through beautiful Connemara villages, while stopping off at four different hostelries on route to sample the best food and/or drink Connemara has to offer. The atmosphere and unique character of the Connemara Pub is something special – enjoy a pint or a bowl of seafood chowder, listen to stories from the bartender, or sing a song with Irish musicians and test your dancing skills with local Irish dancers!
Back in Galway city, dine out at Quay Street Kitchen, a cosy little restaurant that’s popular with locals, which offers an impressive range of seafood and vegetarian dishes.
Save some energy to visit other Galway City pubs for more traditional Irish music. The Crane Bar is a
brightly painted corner pub in Galway’s West End. The spontaneous sessions downstairs encourage dropins and amateurs, while upstairs the performances command a spine-tingling attention. Then, you can walk to the nearby Róisín Dubh (that’s ‘little black rose’ to the Gaeilgeoirs), one of the best-known music and comedy venues on the island of Ireland. In an unassuming black and red pub alongside the Eglinton Canal, it always draws big crowds and even bigger names. Alumni include comedians Jack Whitehall and Kevin Bridges, as well as acts as diverse as Toots & the Maytals, Steve Earle and De La Soul.