Where to go

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There are thousands of incredible places to visit in the UK and Ireland

Viewing: West Ireland


Great for Essential, Nature, Beauty

Achill Island

West Ireland

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A visit to Achill Island is not to be missed! Easily accessible by road bridge from the beautiful Currane peninsula and only one hour drive from Castlebar, Achill is Ireland's largest offshore island and encompasses dramatic land and seascapes which have provided inspiration for artists and writers for many years. The island has glorious cliff scenery, spectacular drives and walks and beautiful blue flag beaches. Achill is home of many archaeological and historical sites such as the famous Deserted Village at Slievemore and Kildamhnait Castle.
Time to spend here: 1 day   More information

Great for Beauty

Athenry

West Ireland

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Athenry, 23km east of Galway City, is one of the most notable heritage towns that contains some of the finest town walls in the British Isle including five towers and a town entrance known as North Gate. The 13th-century castle has been recently carefully restored using the building techniques of its time and now hosts a very interesting exhibition inside.
Time to spend here: 2 hours   More information

Great for History

Athlone Castle

West Ireland

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Dominating the town, Athlone Castle dates back to the 13th century. It was built in 1210 and served for almost 300 years as an extension of the military barracks. It is now the main attraction in the town and features exhibitions and audio visual presentations on the Siege of Athlone in 1691.
Time to spend here: 2 hours   More information

Great for Relaxing

Athlone Shopping

West Ireland

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Have a stroll in Athlone's winding streets and experience the ambiance of history and colour reflected in its lovely shops, pubs and restaurants. If you're an antiques enthusiast, make sure you go on Main Street: its many shops will keep you busy for many hours!
Time to spend here: half day   More information

Great for History, Cultural

Birr Castle

West Ireland

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Birr Castle hosts some of the most attractive and wonderful gardens in Ireland. A visit to the castle is a perfect day out for families, as it's now home to the Historic Science Centre which reveals the wonders of early photography, engineering, astronomy and photography. There you will find the world famous Great Telescope. It was the largest telescope in the world for over 70 years and the oldest still working today.
Time to spend here: 3 hours   More information

Great for History. Cultural

Bunratty

West Ireland

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Bunratty is a popular location for visitors to Ireland. Here you can visit the square and hulking Bunratty Castle which is only the latest of several constructions to occupy its location beside the River Ratty. Vikings founded a settlement here in the 10th century, and other occupants included the Norman Thomas de Clare in the 1270s. The present structure was put up in the early 1400s. Next to the Castle you will find the folk park - a reconstructed traditional Irish village with cottages, a forge and working blacksmith, weavers and pie-makers. There's a complete village street with a post office, pub and small cafe.
Time to spend here: half day   More information

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Castlebar

West Ireland

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Castlebar is a town steeped in history situated in the centre of County Mayo. Established in the 11th century around the De Barra castle, Castlebar later became a garrison outpost during the Irish and French rebellion in the late 18th century. Nowadays, the town offers a wonderful array of interesting shops and leisure attractions to visitors to the region. The Sculpture Trail is a series of bronze, Museum of Country lifestone, steel, timber works of art in the town centre.
Time to spend here: 2 hours   More information

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Claddagh

West Ireland

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Claddagh used to be a fishing village, just outside the old city walls. Since the arrival of Christianity in the 5th century, people have been gathering seafood and fishing in Claddagh in front of the Spanish Arch.
Time to spend here: 2 hours   More information

Great for Essential, Nature, Beauty

Cliffs of Moher

West Ireland

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The Cliffs of Moher will simply take your breath away – rising at 214 meters (the highest point) above the Atlantic Ocean, they are designated a UNESCO Geo Park and are part of Ireland's top attractions and is considered a top geotourism destination in Europe. From the cliffs, you can admire a stunning view and will even see the Aran Islands and Galway Bay. The Cliffs of Moher Experience Visitor is a winning eco-friendly visitor centre hosted in a subterranean building for minimal visual impact. The centre houses the Atlantic Edge exhibition exploring the different following elements and their connection with the cliffs: ocean, rock, nature and Man.
Time to spend here: full day   More information

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Clonmacnoise Monastic Site

West Ireland

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Clonmacnoise Monastic Site was founded in 548 and contributed to the development of Clonmacnoise as a major centre of religion, trade and political influence. The site is the burial place of St. Ciaran, and since then has attracted pilgrims for nearly 1500 years. The site now offers exhibitions, audio-visual show, guided tours, tearooms and tourist information services. The best way to get to Clonmacnoise is by ship! You can cruise the River Shannon on a replica Viking boat to Clonmacnoise or into magnificent Lough Ree.
Time to spend here: half day   More information

Great for Beauty, History

Cong

West Ireland

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Cong is a picturesque and intimate village lying on the edge of the Connemara. Make sure you see the remains of Cong Abbey, built in 1120AD, a great example of early architecture in Ireland. The area around the abbey is very charming; have a stroll through one of the loveliest forests in Ireland.
Time to spend here: 2 hours   More information

Great for Essential, Nature, Beauty

Connemara National Park

West Ireland

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Connemara National Park is situated in the West of Ireland in County Galway (1 hour away from Galway City) and covers nearly 3,000 hectares of rugged mountains, bogs, heaths, grasslands and woodlands. Some of the Park's mountains, namely Benbaun, Bencullagh, Benbrack and Muckanaght, are part of the famous Twelve Bens or Beanna Beola range. Connemara National Park was established and opened to the public in 1980. The fauna and flora of the park is simply amazing: you'll ba able to find the famous Connemara ponies, red deer and an enormous variety of birdlife. Other remnants of times past include ruined houses, an ice house, ancient walls and Tobar Mweelin.
Time to spend here: Half day   More information

Great for History

Craggaunowen

West Ireland

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Craggaunowen - the Living Past Experience is an award-winning prehistoric park. It's a great place to learn about the prehistoric and early Christian eras and the arrival of the Celts in Ireland with recreations of homesteads, animals and artefacts. You can see a replica of a Crannóg (Lake Dwelling), a Ring Fort, an Iron Age Roadway, and an outdoor cooking site.Craggaunowen Castle, built in 1550, is located right in the centre of the park. It's been restored and it is well worth a visit.
Time to spend here: half day   More information

Great for Cultural, History

Derryglad folk Museum

West Ireland

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Derryglad Folk Museum is an award winning museum hosting a 25 year collection showing the farm and folk life in Ireland from the 18th century.
Time to spend here: 2 hours   More information

Great for Family

Doolin

West Ireland

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Doolin is a quaint seaside village set on the rugged Atlantic coast and the limestone landscape of the Burren. It became popular thanks to one of the best Irish whistle players MichoRussel, who lived in Doolin which makes the village a great place for traditional music lovers with its numerous pubs offering Irish music sessions.
Time to spend here: half day   More information

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Ennis

West Ireland

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Clare's county town is Ennis - a charming market town full of heritage, tradition and history. It's got a genuine friendly atmosphere with its numerous narrow winding streets, quaint shops and colourful houses. Ennis is famous for being the capital of Traditional Irish Music! It hosts many music festivals throughout the year and Irish music is being played live in many pubs and bars. Dating back to the 11th century, the town was built between two courses of the river Fergus forming an island – this is how Ennis got its name from, which is the Irish name for island.
Time to spend here: half day   More information

Great for Christian, History

Ennis Friary

West Ireland

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Ennis Friary is well worth a visit. In the middle of the town, this 13th century abbey has recently been renovated and reopened to public. The guides are very knowledgeable and will show you various 15th- and 16th-century sculptures, the very interesting figure of St Francis and an image of Ecce Home, the McMahon and Creagh's tombs plus real works of art.
Time to spend here: 2 hours   More information

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Ennistymon

West Ireland

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Another slightly quieter base to stay or just to visit is the town of Ennistymon is a picturesque little market town in the north west of county Clare. There, you will find plenty of traditional shops which sell local crafts. The river Cullenagh flows through the heart of the town forming a beautiful cascade of waterfalls. Ennistymon makes a good base for visiting the Cliffs of Moher and the Aran Islands
Time to spend here: half day   More information

Great for Cultural, Irish

Galway Cathedral

West Ireland

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Located on the West bank of the river Corrib, the Cathedral is one of the largest and most dominating buildings in the city. It took 7 years to complete its construction started in 1958 which makes it the youngest of Europe's great stone cathedrals. The cathedral features a huge octagonal dome and inside the building, you'll find impressive rose windows and wall paintings.
Time to spend here: half day   More information

Great for History, Beauty, Cultural, British

Galway City Museum

West Ireland

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Galway City Museum boasts interesting exhibitions about the history and heritage of the city, focusing on the medieval town, the Claddagh village and Galway. The building itself affords spectacular views of the Claddagh, the Spanish Arch, the River Corrib & Galway Bay.
Time to spend here: 2 hours   More information

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King Johns Castle

West Ireland

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Stroll along the heritage trail Limerick Medieval Heritage Precinct and explore the various landmarks in this historic district. You will find a most impressive Anglo-Norman fortification: the 800-year-old King John's Castle. It was built between 1200 and 1210 and was repaired and extended many times in the following centuries. The castle boasts loads of medieval artefacts and reconstructions to help you understand what life was like in the 13th century. King John's Castle will boast a brand new visitor centre in 2013, allowing you to fully explore the castle with interactive technology. Adjacent to King John's Castle, the Bishop's Palace is the restored home of former Protestant Bishops of Limerick.
Time to spend here: 2 hours   More information

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Limerick City Museum

West Ireland

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Limerick City Museum is beside King John's Castle. Its collection illustrates the history of Limerick and its people and exhibits include Stone Age and Bronze Age artefacts, the civic sword, Limerick silverwork, and examples of Limerick's lace and kid-glove manufacturing.
Time to spend here: 2 hours   More information

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Loop head Peninsula

West Ireland

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This lighthouse is a fantastic place of natural beauty and spectacular costal scenery. You can climb up the Loop head Lighthouse open during the summer and take some amazing views from the balcony. The are many villages on this peninsula including Kilkee, a well-known seaside resort with a golden sand beach, Kilbaha, the most westerly village, and the picturesque fishing village of Carrigaholt.
Time to spend here: half day   More information

Great for Beauty, Relaxing

Lough Ree

West Ireland

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Lough Ree is the second largest lake on the Shannon with numerous islands, bays and inlets offering the adventurous angler wonderful sport. Its waters, shores and islands of the lake have probably the richest concentration of wildlife in Ireland, and in summer many of the waterside flowering plants are very spectacular.
Time to spend here: 1 hour   More information

Great for History

Lynch's Castle

West Ireland

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Lynch's Castle is remarkably well preserved. It was the historic home of Galway's most powerful family and is a great example of the Irish Gothic style and gives you a rare glimpse of old Galway. Now a bank, the ground floor is open during banking hours with panels detailing the history and architecture.
Time to spend here: 1 hour   More information

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Seans Bar

West Ireland

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Sean's Bar is the oldest pub in Ireland and the British Isles, according to the Guinness Book of Records 2004! Excavations beneath the current pub have revealed wattle and daub walls, bits of crockery (mugs and the like) and self-minted coins the bar would use for trade with clients dating back to 900 A.D.
Time to spend here: 2 hours   More information

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St Marys Cathedral

West Ireland

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St. Mary's Cathedral was founded in 1168 by Donal Mór O'Brien, king of Munster. This is the oldest building in Limerick and is well known for its beautiful architecture.
Time to spend here: 1 hour   More information

Great for Nature

The Aran Islands

West Ireland

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Time to spend here: half day   More information

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The Burren

West Ireland

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The Burren is a region offering what lots of visitors would describe as a lunar landscape: the rock formations there date back to some 340 million years ago and were originally at the bottom of a sea! The area is perfect for geologists and botanists, with a unique diversity of flora boasting more than 900 native species. You will also find plenty of megalithic tombs, churches and abbeys, ring forts and tower houses.
Time to spend here: half day   More information

Great for History, Nature

The Céide Fields

West Ireland

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The Céide Fields is an archaeological site where you can see the oldest known field systems in the world, going back some five and a half thousand years ago. Visit the award winning Centre in Ballycastle, with exhibitions, film and tearoom and take a guided tour where you can discover a buried wall yourself using a centuries old method of probing. Experience the unique ecology of the bog land and take a look over the edge of a 370 ft high sea cliff from our viewing platform.
Time to spend here: 2 hours   More information

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The Clare Museum

West Ireland

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The Clare Museum tells the story of its remarkable county and its people from over 6000 years ago up to nowadays. The museum hosts artefacts and original works of art with nice audio-visual and interactive experiences, highlighting archaeological, historical and sociological aspects of the county.
Time to spend here: 1 hour   More information

Great for History. Cultural

The Country Life Museum

West Ireland

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The Country Life Museum in Castlebar is housed within a stunning high Victorian Gothic-style house and gives you a glimpse of how people in Ireland used to live in 1850-1950.
Time to spend here: 2 hours   More information

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The Georgian House

West Ireland

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The Georgian House has been carefully restored and shows how Limerick's swells once lived. The back garden has also been restored to its original style from the mid 19th century and is a rare and fine example of its kind. For all visitors to Limerick and for all historic house enthusiasts a visit to No. 2 Pery Square is a must!
Time to spend here: 1 hour   More information

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The Hunt Museum

West Ireland

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The Hunt Museum is one of Irelands most important private collections of art and antiquities.It holds about 2000 different artefacts both from Ireland and abroad such as peices dating from Neolitic period to modern times.
Time to spend here:    More information

Great for Family, Beauty, British

The Salthill Promenade

West Ireland

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The Salthill Promenade is a 2-mile long walkway beginning at Wolfe Tone Bridge, passing by Galway City and continuing through the splendid Galway Bay and Salthill village. Local folklore has it, that you have not completed the walk unless you kick the wall at the end of 'The Prom' at Blackrock!
Time to spend here: 1 hour   More information

Great for History, Cultural

Tullynally Castle

West Ireland

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Tullynally Castle was the home of the Pakenhams for more than 350 years. The original 17th century fortfield house was transformed first as a Georgian mansion then as a huge rambling gothic revival castle in the early 19th century. The considerable and magnificent 12 acre gardens are well worth a visit.
Time to spend here: 2 hours   More information

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Westmeath

West Ireland

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Athlone in County Westmeath is located in the centre of Ireland and is the heart of the magical and scenic Irish Midlands. Its strategic location as the gateway to the west made it a historic town. The river Shannon divides the town into two parishes, two dioceses, two counties and indeed two provinces. If you want to explore the two counties Westmeath and Offaly, Athlone is an ideal base. This busy and thriving town boasts many tourist attractions and excellent restaurants.
Time to spend here: 1 day   More information

Great for Cultural

Westport

West Ireland

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Westport is a popular tourist destination and has received three times the award of the Irish Tidy Towns Competition. Situated on the shores of Clew Bay, this charming laid out town boasts elegant Georgian streetscapes (one of its outstanding features is the elegant tree-lined boulevard, known as The Mall) and effortlessly friendly character making it an authentic but lively holiday base. Situated at Westport Quay, the Heritage Centre brings alive the history of the development of this heritage town from the 16th century to the present day.
Time to spend here: half day   More information

Great for History, Family

Westport House

West Ireland

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Built in 1730 on castle ruins, Westport House is a beautiful and historic home not to be missed. A visit to Westport House will easily keep you and your family busy for many hours: Westport House & Gardens comprises four exhibitions and a fun children area called the Pirate and Adventure Park to keep the little ones entertained whilst you can visit some 30 rooms and dungeons, extensive gardens and guided tours, and finish the day in the lovely Tea Room set in the old kitchens of the house.
Time to spend here: 2 hours   More information