A visit to Connemara would not be complete without a visit to the magnificent Kylemore Abbey & Garden - the jewel in the Connemara crown! Read on to find out why Kylemore Abbey & Garden is one of the top attractions in Galway.
Kylemore Abbey & Garden has a superb picturesque lakeside setting, surrounded by woodlands at the foot of the Twelve Pins Mountains. The Abbey (which looks more like a charming fairy tale castle) is said to be one of the most admired buildings in Ireland, with its very impressive neo-gothic style exterior standing out against the backdrop of wild and beautiful Connemara.
It was originally called Kylemore Castle and was built around 1863 as a residence for a wealthy English politician named Mitchell Henry. It took about 5 years to complete the castle.
Kylemore Abbey & Garden is the home of the Benedictine Order of Nuns in Ireland who have lived here since 1920. The nuns decided to open a boarding school for girls, although the school closed in 2010. The boarding school is presently located in the abbey part of the castle.
The Benedictine nuns also ran farm and a guesthouse here, but the guesthouse had to close in 1959 due to a fire. The nuns lead a monastic life of dedication to prayer and work and a section or the Abbey is sectioned off and strictly accessed only by the nuns.
One of the most notable features of the abbey is the magnificent neo-gothic church (which looks like a miniature cathedral!). The building of this church started in 1877 when Mitchell Henry decided to dedicate it as a memorial to his dead wife.
The Victorian Walled Garden is another must see attraction at the Abbey. A stream runs through the heart of the garden and divides it into Flower Garden and Kitchen Garden. The Visitors Centre is also well worth a visit to learn more about the abbey through its video displays. It also has a 200-seater restaurant, which specialises in traditional Irish dishes and a craft shop where you can purchase some famous Kylemore Abbey Pottery.
Check out the offical Kylemore Abbey & Garden website for more information.
Kylemore Abbey map
Book Sightseeing Tours
Connemara Day Tour
Discover Connemara, a beautifully scenic region just north of Galway City with Lally Tours. This tour includes stops at Kylemore Abbey & Victorian Gardens, Leenane Village, Killary Fjord and the village of An Spidéal overlooking Galway Bay.
Cliffs of Moher & The Burren Day Tour
The unmissable Cliffs of Moher & Burren Tour with Lally Tours includes up to 2 hours at the cliffs and includes stops at the lunar-like Burren region, Dunguaire Castle, Aillwee Caves & Birds of Prey Centre and the charming village of Doolin overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.
Cliffs of Moher Express Bus
A Non-Stop Express Shuttle Service to the Cliffs of Moher with Lally Tours. Experience Ireland’s natural, mysterious, 214m (702 ft) high cliffs and interactive visitor centre. You’ll have 2 full hours to explore on your own before heading back to Galway.
Galway City Hop-on Hop-off Tour
Explore Galway with one of Lally Tours' friendly guides to learn about this colourful city and see it from the best vantage point: an open top bus! You’ll see everything from medieval walls in the city centre to the sandy beaches of Salthill. Hop on and off as much as you’d like and your ticket is valid for 24 hours.