On the Coast, Galway
In the previous tip about Bohermore Cemetery, you read a short bio of Lady Augusta Gregory who was known for being a leading member of the early Irish literary and theater renaissance movement, and her connection to important literary figures of the time. It was her passion for the literary rival which also brought her to the doorstep of "Dunguaire Castle" or "Dún Guaire" outside of Galway.
Our first glimpse of Dunguaire Castle was as we drove the N67 which follows the shore of Galway Bay. Occupying a lovely position on the shore near the village of Kinvara, Dunguaire Castle was built in 1520 by the O’Hynes clan. It's most distinctive feature is a 75ft. tower, which is flanked by a shorter tower, and all surrounded by lofty walls. It's name is attributed to King Guaire (d. circa 663), the legendary king of Connacht whose long list of descendants is said to include Diana, Princess of Wales.
The castle's namesake, King Guaire, has been the subject of legend ("The Road of Dishes") for his widespread charity. When the castle came under the ownership of Oliver St. John Gogarty it became a gathering place for leading literary revivalists such as W.B. Yeats, his patron Lady Gregory, George Bernard Shaw, Edward Martin and J. M. Synge. W.B. Yeats wrote a poem entitled, "The Three Beggars," which is closely tied to the legend about King Guaire (also known as St. Guaire).
In the mid-20th century, the castle was acquired by Christobel, Lady Amptill, who thankfully completed restoration work begun by Oliver St. John Gogarty. Since the property is now in the hands of Shannon Development it is open to the public although we did not enter it. The restored castle is open to the public during the summer months from April to October, and a Medieval Banquet is held nearly every night with costumed actors and musicians who perform works from Irish literature and traditional Irish music. Admission can be booked through the www.shannonheritage.com site and there are two shows each evening -- 5:30 or 8:45pm.
2016 Prices: Adult - €50.00; Child 10-12 yr - €32.85; Child 6-9yrs- €21.95; Child 0-5yrs free
The fixed menu sounds very good: Aperitif - Mead, Entree - Irish Oak Smoked Salmon
with Traditional Soda Bread, Traditional Leek and Potato Soup, Supreme of Chicken served with a Creamy Mushroom Sauce, accompanied by Fresh Seasonal Vegetables & Potatoes, Apple Pie with Cream, Coffee / Tea. Vegetarian Option : Medley of stir-fried vegetables with wild rice.
We did not attend the banquet at Dunguaire Castle, but we did attend a Medieval banquet at Knappogue Castle later in our trip, and the menu at Dunguaire sounds exactly the same as we had (though I think there was an extra entree choice), and the meal was very good.
Directions: Located 300 yards on the coast road outside the village of Kinvara on the Galway side. OR: From Galway, take the Galway / Limerick Road (N18) from the city, through Oranmore and Clarinbridge to Kilcolgan. In the village of Kilcolgan, turn right and continue to Kinvara.
This is my final tip. Please click here to return to my Galway Introductory page to leave a comment!
Phone: +353 (0)61 711200 (inquiries)
... MUST see!
This is a part of Ireland (West Coast) where people still speak mostly Gaelic & there are at least 5 different types of landscape on the Connemara peninsula.
Important: if you have, get a Irish/Gaelic dictionary to learn about various road-signs ;o) - otherwise you might end up on a total different spot than you'd planned...
Also: never put your camera too far away - lot's of great photography-opportunities!!!
... I'm an absolute "water-lover" - water intrigues me big time & the Lar Connacht/Connemara area was almost like heaven for me, because of the many lakes everywhere and the open sea close by... ;o)))
If you can get the chance do drive along the coast road at sunset. It is well worth seeing the sight of the setting sun reflecting off the sea and spreading the last rays of light over the rocky burren, a majestic sight indeed. The shadows amongst the rocks creating a lunar landscape of mystical beauty.
Once a small seaside resort 3km west of Galway, Salthill is now an important suburb of this expanding city. Salthill seems to have grown in importance as a result and, today, it is the premier resort in Ireland. While it may have lost some of its simple rural charms.The giants Leisureland complex, with its host of children's entertainments, including an indoor heated swimming pool proves very popular. There is a golden half mile of casinos, pubs and restaurants.
You can take a ferry from here to get yourself to the aran islands, home to some of the most ancient pre-Christian remains in Ireland. Of the three islands - Inishmore, Inishmaan and Inisheer. Inishmore- dun aengus, is the most popular with the tourists. The islands' isolation had allowed Irish culture to survive when it had all but disappeared elsewhere.
Also,...from galway, you can drive on to the cliffs of moher.
Cleggan is a small fishing village nestling at the head of Cleggan Bay, on Connemara's Atlantic Coast. This village is the departure point for ferry services to the islands of Inishbofin and Inishturk.
Wonderful contrasts of rugged stones & the rough sea - and it changes "faces" with the weather - you can never get bored of it :o)
... amazing panorama's everywhere...
I get "holiday-Connemara-homesick" whenever I look @ my photographs...
As I already mentioned, I love water and this area is just made for brilliant pictures!