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Softguide Dublin

1 to 24 of 24 found

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Ceide Fields
Ballycastle, Co. Mayo (Map west - C6)
Phone: +353 (0)96 43325  
Opening Times: Open daily 9.30 - 18.30 in summer, 10.00 - 16.30 winter.  

On a hill overlooking cliffs and Downpatrick Head, a 5,000 year-old farm found under blanket bog, although you really do need the guided tour to help identify the features. The views are superb in this area. The Visitors Centre is very impressive; good cafe with excellent carrot cake (seems to be a speciality of the west).


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Croagh Patrick and Murrisk Abbey
Murrisk, near Westport, Co. Mayo (Map west - C9)

Croagh Patrick (Hill of Saint Patrick) is renowned in Ireland as a place of pilgrimage, where many make the annual climb barefoot. There are no services in the area, adding to travellers’ suffering. Nearby is a monument to the 19th century Irish Famine and the ruin of Murrisk Abbey. Makes for a contemplative experience.


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Books
 (Map galwaycityl11o13 - N11)

Kennys Book Shop and Art Gallery on High Street is a treat to visit. All the publications are Irish; the artists are usually local. Many photos of famous literary visitors are on the walls. Out the back exit of Kennys and across the road is Charlie Byrnes, a second-hand bookshop with extensive collections: history and literary fiction are good. On Shop Street is Easons, with international publications including daily newspapers.


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Coole Park and Thoor Ballylee
Gort, Co. Galway. (Map west - E12)

Actually in County Galway, just 5 km north of Gort, Thor Ballylee is a 16th century tower which was the home of W.B. Yeats in the 1920s. Coole Park (house, nature reserve, picnic areas) also had strong literary connections in the early 20th century, frequented by Yeats, Casey, GB Shaw and others.


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Food Shops
Quay Street area, Galway. (Map galwaycityl11o13 - N11)

The food shops are so good that you will look for any excuse to eat al fresco: McDonaghs Fish Shop and Fish and Chips Bar; Sheridans Cheesemongers, Goyas Cakes, The Saturday Market for bread and grilled sausages, the French Bakery on Cornstore/Middle Street for bread and pastries, McCambridges on Shop Street for everything else.


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Galway Market
in front of St. Nicholas Church, Galway. (Map galwaycityl11o13 - N11)

Opening Times: All day Saturday; finishes early afternoon in winter.  

The Saturday market, in front of St. Nicholas Church, is really popular. Originally a simple fruit and veg market, many new stalls have set up offering local cheeses, bread, mussels, organic veg and herbs, a variety of jewellery, woollens and hand-made items, and the more exotic (to Irish tastes) olives, hot food of crepes, spicy sausages and dal dishes.


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Portumna Castle & Gardens
Portumna (Map west - G12)
Phone: +353 509 41658  
Opening Times: May- June Tuesday-Sunday 10.00-17.00 June -£rd October Daily 09.30-18.30  

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Traditional Craft and Design
Quay Street area (Map galwaycityl11o13 - N11)

The same Quay Street area has several of the best outlets for local and other Irish design. Judy Green: pottery; Design Ireland: furniture and furnishings; O’Mailles: woollens and tweeds. There are several more woollens, jewellery, craft shops in the area


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Walking around Galway
 (Map galwaycityl11o13 - N11)

The heart of bohemian Galway is around the Quay Street / Cross Street area (click on the Map button) with cafes, small restaurants, Galway’s oldest pubs, the medieval Kirwans Lane, the best design, pottery and woollens shops. At the north end is the 14th century St Nicholas Church and the Saturday market. At the south end is the River Corrib flowing into Galway Bay at the medieval Spanish Arch.


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Alcock and Brown
south of Clifden, towards Ballyconneely (Map west - B10)

A monument to the pilot and navigator who flew from Newfoundland and landed here in June 1919. More impressive is the views from the monument. The actual landing site is further inland in bog: you can walk to it, but don’t try to drive down this track.


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Aughnanure Castle
Oughterard, Co. Galway (Map west - D11)
Phone: +353 (0)91 552214  
Opening Times: Open daily in Summer 9.30 - 18.30  

About 40 minutes drive north from Galway along the River Corrib, past Oughterard, is the 16th century Aughnanure Castle. It’s a well-preserved 6-storeyTower House; the guided tour is very interesting, showing details of how life was lived by the O’Flaherty clan in those times.


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Connemara National Park
Letterfrack, Co. Galway (Map west - B10)
Phone: +353 (0)95 41054  
Opening Times: Open 10.00 - 17.30; in summer until 18.30  

Take the winding road north-east from Clifden to Letterfrack to reach the Connemara National Park, which makes for a really interesting visit. With 2000 hectares of mountains, bogland and rivers, the best way to enoy it is to follow one of the nature trails: pick the length of trail that suits you and be sure to take the info leaflet so you can identify the features along the way. The Visitors centre has a cafe serving great home baking (try the carrot cake).


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Kylemore Abbey
Kylemore, Co. Galway (Map west - B10)
Phone: +353 (0)95 41146  
Opening Times: Open daily 9.00 - 17.30 except major religious holidays  

The 19th Kylemore Abbey near Letterfrack is owned by Benedictine Nuns who run a girls school there. The Nuns have opened the Gothic Church and part of the Abbey to the public, and in addition have started a craft shop selling local and national crafts, and an excellent cafe serving wholesome food, much of it prepared by the nuns. All this makes for a worthwhile stop, but to really enjoy the tranquility of the Abbey and superb lakeside scenery you should get there early, before the crowds!


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Leenane and Killary
Leenane, Co. Galway (Map west - C10)

After Kylemore Abbey, you can continue north-eastward to Leenane and Killary Harbour, a really scenic area, with the Ashleigh Falls. There are cruises of the Killary area: try Connemara Sea Cruise (phone +353 91 566736) which departs from Nancys Point outside Leenane; or the Scenic and Wildlife Cruise (phone +353 95 43473) departs from the Sea Life Centre at Derryinver, near Letterfrack.


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Maam and Recess
Connemara, Co. Galway (Map west - C10)

This is a really scenic area: take the N59 from Oughterard to Clifden and you pass through the Maam Valley, with Maamturk mountains to the north, Twelve Bens mountains to the west, and several lakes in bogland all around. You can also take a detour south to Ballynahinch Lake.


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Pearse's Cottage
Ros Muc  (Map west - C11)
Phone: +353 91 574292  
Opening Times: Open:Mid June-Mid September Daily 09.30-18.30  

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Roundstone
Co. Galway (Map west - B11)

Very quiet holiday village with lovely sandy beaches.


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Sky Road
west of Clifden, Co. Galway (Map west - B10)

A circular route west of Clifden, about 10 km, which provides marvellous views inland to Clifden and south across Connemara and the sea.


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Inis Meain
Aran Islands, Co. Galway (Map west - C12)

The middle island can be reached by boat from Inis Mor. Not as popular as the other islands, it is the most unspoilt (with only one pub!), although the number of ancient and medieval monuments shows it had a rich past. There is an 8km (5 mile) Aran Way walk which follows the island’s history.


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Inis Mor
Aran Islands, Co. Galway (Map west - C12)

Inis Mor is the largest of the three islands, and has the busy village of Kilronan at the harbour. The best way to see the island is to get a map from the Visitors Centre in Kilronan and then hire bicycles at the harbour. The most important sight is Dun Aengus, a pre-historic fort from 800 B.C. perched on the cliff-edge. Kilronan and Kilmurvey are busy in the evenings with traditional song and dance in the pubs. Although much of this is organised for the tourist now, you will often find a quiet pub suddenly transformed by an impromptu sean-nos (traditional Irish) noisy singing session.


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Inis Oirr
Aran Islands, Co. Galway (Map west - C12)

The smallest of the three islands and closest to County Clare, it can be reached by boat from Doolin in Clare, or from the other Aran Islands. It is busier than Inis Meain, with several restaurants, pubs and guesthouses. Has a lovely sandy beach and many medieval ruins, which you can explore on a marked walk (about 10km / 6 miles).


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Delphi Adventure Holidays
Leenane (Map west - C10)
Phone: +353 1850 275275   Fax: +353 95 42303   Email: delphigy@iol.ie

Week full board £279.00-£285.00 Weekend Full board £105.00-£115.00 Midweek Full Board £129.00-£135.00 Public holiday weekends £135.00


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Killary Adventure Company
Leenane (Map west - C10)
Phone: +353 95 43411   Fax: +353 95 42314   Email: adventure@killary.com

Activity per session £20.00- £25.00 Activity per Day £38.00- £48.00


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Petersburg Outdoor Education Centre
Clonbur (Map west - )
Phone: +353 92 46483   Fax: +353 92 46705   Email: trishwalsh@tinet.ie

Week full board £175.00 Weekend Full board £84.00- £50.00 Public Holiday Weekends £100.00


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