The Number One Travel Guide for Galway Ireland
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South East Galway

Cliffs of Moher Day Tours
Heading south of Galway City on the main N 18 road, you'll encounter some lovely views of Galway Bay. This is "oyster country," home to small fishing villages, such as Clarinbridge and Kilcolgan, that have become synonymous with harvesting and serving oysters. Each September, these villages are at the epicenter of the "Clarinbridge Oyster Festival."

This territory also includes Kinvara and Gort, two old towns steeped in historical and literary connections. Round off a visit to County Galway by heading east toward Loughrea and Aughrim. Here are some of the highlights you will find:

Dunguaire Castle

Dunguaire Castle Dunguaire Castle is a beautiful tower house and bawn dramatically situated overlooking Galway Bay's southern shores. Although built in the 16th century, it occupies the site of an earlier 7th century castle that was the royal seat of King Guaire. It's open for guided tours by day and for medieval banquets on selected evenings (May to September). For more see www.shannonheritage.com

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East Galway sightseeing

Thoor Ballylee

Thoor Ballylee Thoor Ballylee between Gort and Peterswell is a 16th century Norman tower that was once the summer home of the poet William Butler Yeats. It was the inspiration for some of his poetry including "The Winding Stair," and "The Tower" collection. The building is now a Yeatsean museum with exhibits and an audio-visual on the poet's life and works.

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sightseeing south Galway

Coole Park

Coole Park Coole Park in Gort is a rambling and lush national forest park that once sheltered the summer home of Lady Augusta Gregory, dramatist, folklorist, and co-founder of the Abbey Theatre. Although her house was demolished in 1941, her spirit lives on in the beautiful gardens and ancient trees including an avenue of cedars and a huge copper beech. This tree is fondly called the "Autograph Tree," because many of Lady Gregory's literary friends (such as W.B. Yeats, Shaw, and O'Casey) carved their initials which are still visible today. The restored courtyard building houses a visitor center which contains exhibits and an audio-visual on the flora and fauna of the park. Open daily.

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Garden attractions Galway

Dartfield Horse Museum and Park

Dartfield Horse Museum and Park Dartfield Horse Museum and Park in Kilreekill, Loughrea is a must for anyone interested in horses. Developed and owned by renowned Galway horseman Willie Leahy, Dartfield is a tribute to horses and their role in Irish life. It is housed on a 19th century estate consisting of 350 acres of parklands and a quadrangle of buildings. The museum contains a walk-around exhibit with a 20-minute audio-visual, art gallery, hall of fame, library, cafe and equestrian-themed gift shop. In the outdoor stable area, horses can be seen at work and at rest. In addition, there is a forge and tack room, and carriage and pony rides are available, as are horse-riding lessons. Guided tours are available on request. It is located about 5 miles east of Loughrea, off N 6. Open year-round daily.

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Castle attractions Galway

St. Brendan's Cathedral

St. Brendan's Cathedral St. Brendan's Cathedral in Clonfert is a small stone church with Gothic chancel and windows, dating back to circa. 1200. The building's west doorway — decorated with columns, arches and carved human heads, is considered one of the finest specimens of Hiberno-Romanesque art in existence. It is part of an isolated monastery foundation (c. 558) attributed to St. Brendan the Navigator — the well-traveled saint who is credited with discovering America long before Columbus. Brendan is reputed to be buried on the grounds. One mile west, at Our Lady of Clonfert Church, there is a unique 14th century wooden painted statue, the Madonna of Clonfert, considered to be a very significant art treasure. Open daily, year-round.

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Galway east attractions

Battle of Aughrim Interpretative Centre

Battle of Aughrim Interpretative Centre Battle of Aughrim Interpretative Centre is a heritage center that provides insight into the Battle of Aughrim on July 12, 1691, a significant moment of Irish history that cost 9,000 lives. Commemorated as the bloodiest battle of Irish history, Aughrim is referred to as the "Gettysburg of Ireland.." This museum enables visitors to re-live the battle via a high-tech three-dimensional audio-visual presentation and "hands-on" multi-sensory displays. A tour takes about a half-hour; and afterwards, you can go outside and walk around the actual battlefield area.

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medieval battle attractions

South East Galway Map




Cliffs of Moher Sightseeing Tours



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