experience the real beauty of Ireland
They say when you visit Connemara you “experience the real beauty of Ireland”. Located in the north west corner of County Galway, Connemara is an area of absolute beauty, astounding scenery and lots of attractions. This combination makes Connemara a really beautiful place, and a place close to the hearts of Irish people and visitors alike.
Probably the best way to explore Connemara is by car. With a car you can stop where and when you want and really get off the beaten track. You’ll know you’re in Connemara when you enter a vast beautiful bogland, but as you drive along you’ll notice how the landscape becomes a mixture of rivers, lakes, woodlands, rich meadowlands, rugged hills, dramatic mountains and as you near the coast you’ll stumble across a stunning unpolluted coastline of sandy beaches and blue waters.
The Connemara horizon is dotted with more than fifty magnificent mountains in four tightly packed ranges - the Twelve Bens, Maum Turks, Partry and Sheffrey.
Diamond hill - connemara national park
If you're looking for a hill-walk, we recommend this one the most! Diamond Hill, rising above the small village of Letterfrack in Connemara National Park is around 40 minutes drive from Connemara Lake Hotel. You can choose from three loops, with the longest loop taking about 2-3 hours from start to finish (depending on how often you stop to take in the surroundings - which could be a lot!).
Expect spectacular views of the beautiful Connemara Landscape, to include sightings of Kylemore Abbey and out over the North Atlantic. The park is gorgeous and clean, with the hiking paths laid out with crushed rock. Admission is free.
Oughterard sits on the shores of Ireland's largest lake, Lough Corrib. With plenty of salmon and trout it is a prime fishing destination for fishermen from all over the world.
Fishing is a way of life for many that live in Connemara, as well as a favorite hobby for many of its visitors. Oughterard is renowned world-wide for its excellent game angling in its Lough Corrib and there's also Coarse fishing available on the near-by Ross Lake.
A great one for families! The setting for Loughwell Farm Park is breath taking with a 360 degree Connemara backdrop just 10 minutes from the Hotel. There are many friendly animals including pot bellied pigs, miniature ponies, sheep, goats, chickens and many more. There's a bunch of animal activities including feeding the goats and cuddling the rabbits.
Play indoors at the play structure with a super fun selection of slides, as well as the indoor skittle lanes, an indoor construction area car track.
Head outdoors for a game of mini golf, drive the go karts, race against each other on the obstacle course, play in the huge timber covered sand pit or take a ride on the pony and trap.
Corrib Cruises & Ferries
Cruise stunning Lough Corrib with Corrib Cruises, based in Oughterard.
Regarded as one of the most scenic cruise trips in Ireland, Lough Corrib has 365 islands. During the summer months the cruise stops on the historic island of Inchagoill. The trips are 2 hours in duration and includes a 40 minute guided tour of St Patrick's 5th-century monastic site.
There is a full commentary throughout and panoramic views of the world-famous Ashford Castle.
Just 10 minutes drive from the Connemara Lake Hotel, Aughnanure Castle lies in beautiful surroundings close to the shores of Lough Corrib. This well-preserved national monument is a fine example of an Irish Tower House that's still standing on what is virtually a rocky island.
In addition to the 6-floor tower, you will find the remains of a banqueting hall, a watch tower, an unusual double bawn and bastions and a dry harbour.
Aughnanure means ‘The Field of Yews’ in Irish and one of these fields actually still remains within the castle grounds.
Go for a prolonged stroll around the picturesque shores of Ballynahinch Castle Estate, Lake and woodlands. There are over 10 miles of walks mapped out around the 700 acre estate all of which contain stunning scenery and natural beauty.
There are daily guided walks, offering the perfect opportunity to fully appreciate the beauty and history of the estate. Along the journey take in stunning lakeshore views, mountain scenery and majestic trees forming the perfect backdrop for tales about the Castle’s history, archaeology and some of its more colourful residents.
Enjoy dinner in the elegantly refurbished Owenmore Restaurant or the more casual Fisherman’s Pub or Ranji room where you will also meet the locals.
Glengowla Mines offer a fun day out for all the family! Delve into the depths of Glengowla mines where you can explore the caverns of marble studded with lead and silver. Glengowla Ireland's first 'show mine' is an underground guided tour of a once working 1850's Silver and Lead mine in Connemara, Co Galway.
Glengowla is also working farm where you can visit the Connemara Ponies, meet Bob the sheep dog, pet the lambs and for advanced group bookings sheep dog herding demonstrations and turf cutting demonstrations are available.
Kylemore abbey & walled gardens
Kylemore Abbey and Victorian Walled Garden is one of our favourite Connemara destinations, at any time of year. Located just over 30 minutes drive from Oughterard, a visit to the beautiful 1,000 acre Kylemore Estate will be an unforgettable memory.
Kylemore Abbey is now the largest tourist attraction in the west of Ireland. The majestic landscape and iconic image of the Abbey castle (which was once a boarding school for girls) reflected in the lake in front has made Kylemore Abbey world-famous.
Mitchell’s Café and the Garden Tea offer home-cooked food made from the recipes of the Benedictine nuns. There's a craft and design shop that has a wide selection of design-focused Irish giftware including artisan food products, knitwear, pottery and Irish souvenirs.
The Ashford Estate offers an extensive range of activities including Orvis fly fishing to Ireland’s first school of falconry. Evocative of an elegant and bygone age and yet perfectly adapted to the needs of this modern one, Ashford is the oldest castle hotel in Ireland.
Dining options include formal, in the George V, to casual, in the Dungeon, Cullen’s at the Cottage or private dining in the Wine Cellar.
Activities available to non-residents include spa treatments, fishing on Lough Corrib and guided hawk walks with the School of Falconry, as well as golf, horse riding, zip-lining and more.