Wild at heart
At times austere, at times sublime, Connemara is a place of legend, folklore and profound beauty. The late writer and cartographer Tim Robinson spoke of the landscape’s “huge, luminous spaces”, and it’s no surprise that artists and photographers, poets and playwrights have all found inspiration here.
Bounded by the Atlantic and set within a particularly scenic corner of County Galway, the region is famous for its wild terrain and soft colours. Rust-coloured bogs are dotted with polished grey-blue lakes; old dry-stone walls are threaded over hills; and coral beaches, sandy bays and little harbours are edged by an ever-changing ocean.
Connemara is not just about the landscape, though – it’s about the Irish language, cherished by the locals. It’s about the charm of towns and villages such as Leenane, Roundstone, Clifden and Letterfrack. It’s about the ponies, the music, the pure flavours of local food. It’s about as good as it gets.
A land of tradition
In Connemara, traditions continue strongly. Everything from the food on your plate to the music in pubs is infused with a unique cultural heritage. These traditions are also reflected in the language – Connemara is a Gaeltacht region, which means it’s Irish-speaking. You can have a go yourself by practicing a few words (“cupla focal”), or even doing a course, but if you don’t fancy it, don’t worry – everyone speaks English, too.
Back out on the R333 take a right and head for Headford…..
The Ross Errilly Friary, Headford.
Cong Village and Ashford Castle.
Leenaun The field bar, great toasted sandwich and soup.
Killary Fjord and boat tours, Irelands only Fjord.
Kylemore Abbey & Victorian Walled Garden
Bluewater Fishing, Sharamore House, Clifden.
The whitethorn art gallery Clifden.
The Sky Road Clifden
From there you can come back via Galway or Cong.