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Local Attractions

Local attractions

Connemara is a remote land of brooding, heather-covered mountains, vast mysterious moorlands, desolate bogs, and dense forests of pine and fir, interspersed with sparkling lakes and streams. Dominated by twelve towering mountains called, alternately, the Twelve Bens or Twelve Pins, it is the most rugged and magnificent land in all of Ireland.

Connemara Tourism:


Connemara National Park:

On the north slope of the Twelve Bens, the 2,000 hectare (5,000 acre) Connemara National Park is the home of wild Connemara ponies (said to be descended from horses that escaped from Spanish ships wrecked when the Armada foundered on the Connemara coast in 1588) in a beautifully preserved and protected landscape of bogs and prairie-like moors. The park offers miles of scenic trails and a highly educational visitors centre that's open between May and September.



Clifden is the largest village in the region, and a scenic 20-minute drive from the lodge. Built in the early 1800's, it has preserved its largely Georgian architecture in a spectacular setting between the mountains and the sea.

Just to the south of Clifden at Derrygimlagh is the location of Marconi's first transatlantic radio broadcasting station, set up in 1905, and the site of the crash landing of Alcock and Brown's airplane at the finale of the first transatlantic flight in 1919 from St. John's, Newfoundland.

The Derrygimlagh/Marconi walking loop provides a 5km trail across the bog complex where visitors can discover the stories of this famous site and its past history. Hire a BIKE and discover this unique and interesting area.


Clifden Arts Festival:

The Clifden Arts Festival, one of the top cultural festivals in the country, is held annually at the end of September.



Roundstone is only 7 kilometers from the Anglers Return, and just might be the most picturesque fishing village in Ireland. Perched on the west shore of Roundstone Bay, the village is home to commercial fishermen, artists and craftspersons that live and work there year round. A favorite destination for holiday vacationers, the village also offers a nice selection of restaurants and friendly pubs.

Just past Roundstone is the beautiful Ballyconneely Road, a scenic drive along the ocean's edge where a stop at the secluded Dog's Bay and Gurteen beaches is highly recommended. Then continue on to the village of Ballyconneely. This is a popular route for cycling, too. Finally, one of our favorite drives is along the remote bog road from Ballyconneely back to Toombeola and the Anglers Return!


Roundstone Regatta:

Sailing and rowing competitions and regattas are held up and down the Connemara coast throughout the summer. Wonderfully colorful and spectacular events, the closest and most famous is the Roundstone Regatta, held each year in mid-July.


Roundstone Pony Shows:

The many Connemara Pony Shows held throughout the summer in different villages are well worth a visit to see this indigenous beautiful and world famous pony at its very best. The closest shows are held in Roundstone, Cashel, Clifden and Ballyconneely with Roundstone hosting the champion of champions show every September. Most of these shows include dog shows, agricultural produce and the best of Irish music and dancing.



Galway City is an easy hour from The Anglers Return. As one of Ireland's major cities, there are many things to do there. Some of our favorites are mentioned here:

Galway Arts Festival

Ireland's largest international arts festival. The Festival showcases a wide variety of international artists alongside the best of Irish talent and includes music (popular, contemporary, jazz, world, classical and traditional), theatre (indoor and outdoor), visual arts, dance, talks, discussions, family events and comedy in its programme.


The Galway Races:

The Galway Races is certainly a festival for everyone. It runs for seven consecutive days at Galway Racecourse (at Ballybrit, on the outskirts of Galway City) starting from the last Monday in July each year. A second Meeting is held early September.


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