Galway City & County Map & Tourist Information
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CONNEMARA lies in the territory of lar Connacht, “West Connacht”, which is the portion of County Galway west of Lough Corrib and the portion of County Mayo in the barony of Ross. Connemara was traditionally divided into North Connemara and South Connemara. The mountains of the Twelve Bens and the Owenglin river, which flows into the sea at An Clochán/Clifden, marked the boundary between the two parts. Connemara is bounded on the west, south and north by the Atlantic. Connemara’s land boundary with the rest of County Galway is marked by the Invermore River. The picturesque fjord of Killary Harbour and the patchwork of tiny lakes in the Derrigimlagh Bog are two of the Signature Discovery points along the Wild Atlantic Way.
ATHENRY - 15 miles east and 20 minutes from Galway City, it proudly claims to be the finest surviving medieval town in Ireland. Founded about 1235, Athenry still retains more medieval monuments than anywhere else in the country. Not only is Athenry's street-plan unchanged since medieval times, but its town walls are without doubt the most impressive and best of their period. Well worth a visit is St. Mary's Church which now houses the Athenry Arts, Heritage & Activity Centre, the fully restored medieval castle and the ruins of the 13th century Dominican Priory.
THE ARAN ISLANDS - The three Aran Islands of Inis Mór, Inis Meáin and Inis Óirr, are located off the West Coast of Galway. The Irish (Gaelic) speaking Aran Islands are famous for their unique way of life, stunning scenery, and peaceful atmosphere. The islands are also rich in history and travelling to the islands is easy - ferries operate from
Rossaveal harbour or Doolin in County Clare (seasonal) and you can also travel by plane from nearby Connemara Airport in Inverin. The islanders still speak their native language. Inis Mór is the largest of the islands. Activities on the island include guided tours by mini coach, tours on a traditional “pony & trap”, and visits of sites including the dramatic Dun Aonghas, a stone fort standing defiantly on a cliff 300 metres above sea level. Inis Meáin is the middle island. With its thatched roofs on stone cottages, and only using electricity for the past 30 years, you'd think you stepped back in time. Inis Meáin also has its share of historical sites that are well worth a visit while on the island. Inis Óirr, the eastern island, is the smallest of the three and is just as beautiful as the other two. The island's small size means it can be seen entirely on foot. While exploring this idyllic island you'll come across the stone ruins of St Kevin's Church, the remains of O'Brien Castle and the Plassy Wreck as well as a surprising variety of exotic flowers and plants.
SALTHILL - HISTORY OF SALTHILL -At the beginning of the century, Salthill was cut off from Galway by farmland. However the coming of the railway to Galway brought increased prosperity and an influx of visitors. As a result the town began to expand westwards towards Salthill. In 1860, the first hotel, the Eglinton Hotel was constructed in Salthill. In 1855, Alexander Moon (the founder of Moons of Galway, now owned by the Brown Thomas Group) and a group of other Galway businessmen erected the first diving board at Blackrock, near the western end of Salthill. Blackrock was a 'male only' swimming area until the 1950's. In the 50's, 60's and 70's, Salthill became an extremely popular resort. Seapoint Ballroom was built in
1949, and this venue brought international and national acts to Salthill. Today Salthill, bordered by the longest promenade in Ireland is a prosperous suburb of Galway and it is still one of the most popular resorts in the country.
MODERN SALTHILL - Once a small seaside resort 3km west of Galway, Salthill is now an important suburb of this expanding city. While it may have lost some of its simple, rural charm, it has gained a wealth of amenities in the process. The giant Leisureland complex, with its host of childrens entertainments, including an indoor heated swimming pool, proves very popular, especially when the weather isn't so kind. The golden half mile of casinos, pubs and restaurants also play their part by day and discos and musical pubs rule the roost at night. Galway Bay and its lapping waters will always be the main attraction, however, and the visitor has a host of safe, sandy beaches from which to choose. Swimming, sun-bathing, sail-boarding, snorkling, sea angling and high board diving can be enjoyed here. For the less energetic, a stroll along Ireland's longest promenade is strongly recommended for the fresh Galway Bay sea air is a tonic in itself. And while you are at it, ramble through nearby Salthill Park and Quincentennial Park to view the flowers and shrubs. Alternatively, one can try a spot of tennis or golf at the nearby clubs.
COOLE/GARRYLAND NATURE RESERVE includes 400 hectares of mixed woodland and wetland. Coole Lough is a turlough that is considered to be of global importance as it is the centre of a unique karstic wetland system, including underground rivers and disappearing lakes. The site has also been described as the centre of the Irish literary
revival at the beginning of the twentieth century, when it was home to Lady Gregory, co-founder of the Abbey Theatre. Writers and artists were inspired by the landscape and William Butler Yeats, George Bernard Shaw and many others carved their initials on the autograph tree which still stands in the walled garden. Facilities include coach/car parks, a visitor centre and tearooms open from spring to autumn, audio visual and exhibition and many kilometres of way marked woodland walks. Wheelchair access to Visitor Centre and picnic area in the walled garden. Nature Reserve open all year
Coole Park, Gort, Co Galway
Tel. 091 631804
Email: email@example.com www.coolepark.ie
A medieval town with hidden gems among its winding streets, Galway city is a treasure trove of quirky vintage stores and tiny bookshops. Take your taste buds on an adventure at the market by Church Lane, chat to the locals or learn about Galway's history in the City Museum, located just behind the famous Spanish Arch. Galway's thriving creative culture is evident in annual festivals like the Cœirt Festival of Literature and of course the Galway Arts Festival in July.
The summer festivities continue at the Galway Races. This vibrant and lavish event brings out flamboyance and fun, especially at the famous Ladies Day competition. Outside the city, the awe-inspiring Twelve Bens mountains overlook Connemara, a region that is home to a national park, Irish-speaking Gaeltachts, stately homes transformed into welcoming hotels, spectacular beaches and cosy coastal villages like Roundstone and Ballyconneely. While in Connemara you should try to fit in a visit to Inishbofin or the Aran Islands.
EYRE SQUARE - A very attractive town square, where a plaque stands to the memory of John F. Kennedy, who was made a Freeman of the City shortly before his death in 1963.
ST. NICHOLAS' COLLEGIATE CHURCH - Built by the Anglo-Normans in 1320, this church contains many excellent carvings and relics of the Middle Ages. Its main claim to fame is that according to local tradition, Christopher Columbus heard mass here before setting off on his voyage of discovery.
THE CLADDAGH VILLAGE - Galway City - A visit to Galway City just isn't complete without a stroll through the Claddagh seafront on the bank opposite the Spanish Arch. The thatched cottages which were once home to the city’s fisherman and their families are long gone, but the black hulls of currachs, Galway Hookers and Pucans still contrast with the white swans of the Claddagh Basin. Nearby is the Dominican Church and its treasure, the 17th century wooden statue known as Our Lady of Galway. The world famous Claddagh ring owes its origins to this area of Galway.
GALWAY CATHEDRAL- This impressive building is Galway's most dominating feature. It consists of cut limestone with Connemara marble flooring combining classical and traditional designs.
LYNCH'S CASTLE - Unquestionably the finest surviving town castle in Ireland, dating from the early 15th or 16th century. It has decorative features found only in Southern Spain. Renovated in the 19th century, it is now a branch of the Allied Irish Bank.
LYNCH'S WINDOW - Situated in Market Street, this marks the spot where according to popular but dubious legend, the Mayor of Galway in the early 16th century, James Lynch hanged his own son, who had confessed to murdering a visiting Spaniard.
SPANISH ARCH - Built in 1584 to protect the quays, this is a reminder of times when trade with Spain was the lifeblood of the city. Excavations has also revealed substantial remains of the old city walls. It is also the site of the Galway City Museum.
NORA BARNACLE HOUSE - Located in Bowling Green adjacent to St. Nicholas' Church is the home of Nora Barnacle, the wife of the world famous Irish literary figure, James Joyce. Joyce stayed in the house many times while visiting his in-laws.
GALWAY IRISH CRYSTAL - Factory Shop stocks Galway Crystal, Belleek Pottery, Aynsley China. Open 7 Days - Monday to Friday 9am to 5.30pm. Saturday 10am-5pm. Sunday & Bank Holidays 12noon-5pm
Merlin Park, Dublin Road, Galway.
Tel: 091 757311 Fax: 091 757316 www.galwaycrystal.ie
KIRWANS LANE - Kirwan’s Lane is a beautifully restored medieval laneway which hosts some impressive historical features as
well as some unique and distinct businesses. The lane is part of Galway’s historic street layout, among the lane’s historic buildings is Judy Green’s Pottery Shop which formerly housed Kirwan’s Lane Theatre in the 18th and 19th centuries.
TOWN HALL THEATRE - Galway's Town Hall Theatre, incorporating the state of the art 393-seater Main Auditorium and the 60-seater Studio Space at Courthouse Square, and the nearby, multi-purpose Black Box performance space on Dyke Road presents an extensive and eclectic mix of theatre, concerts, musicals, dance, film, comedy and family shows year-round. For programme details and tickets, phone 091 569777 or visit www.tht.ie
RIVERSIDE WALK - This is a development which runs along the River Corrib from Wolfe Tone Bridge to the Salmon Weir. Here you can see shoals of salmon lie in season before making their way upstream to spawn in Lough Corrib.
GALWAY CITY MUSEUM - "Come and see the new exhibitions at Galway City Museum including SeaScience and Galway and the Great War and take a virtual stroll on the streets of medieval Galway with out new interactive 3-D model".
Activities in Galway
ANGLING - Whether for game, sea or coarse angling, nowhere in Europe can compare to the West of Ireland. The cleanest waters in Europe, combined with breathtaking scenery, both inland and coastal.
SEA ANGLING - The warm waters of the Atlantic and some dramatic coastline provide Europe's best sea angling waters, particularly in Galway Bay, Clifden and Rossaveal.
GAME ANGLING - There is first class salmon, brown trout and sea trout angling throughout the county.
GOLFING - There are some superb golf courses located in the county and they are all very accessible to visitors.
GREYHOUND RACING - Enjoy a great night out at Galway's most exciting entertainment venue every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night. Soak up the atmosphere in the Stadium's 3 bars and 2 restaurants and stay on for party music after racing.
Tel: (091) 521455 - (Indoor Pool).
Kingfisher Club, Renmore Avenue.
Tel: (091) 773344 - (Indoor Pool).
Kingfisher NUI Galway
Tel: 091 570 800 - (Indoor Pool).
THINGS TO DO FOR THE YOUNG & YOUNG AT HEART - Family Fun at the Athenry Heritage Centre. Have-a-go traditional archery. Adventure maze for the young and the young at heart.
GALWAY ATLANTAQUARIA - Galway Atlantaquaria is Ireland's Largest Aquarium and is home to 170 species of fresh water and marine life. Situated on the famous Salthill Promenade, it has evolved to become undoubtedly one of the finest visitor attractions in Ireland.Built over two floors, Ireland's largest aquarium is home to five species of native Irish shark, as well as "Valentine", the world's only captive White Skate. Among the other displays are Seahorses, Octopus and a real 60ft whale skeleton. Visitors can take part in the feeding, explore the model submarine, and even hold Starfish and giant Spider Crabs. Not to be missed!
Open daily from 10am
Tel 091 585 100 www.nationalaquarium.ie
BEACHES - County Galway has a wealth of top-class beaches, both clean and safe, spread along hundreds of miles of coastline. There are several blue flag beaches in the area as designated by the EC.
LOUGHWELL FARM PARK,
Moycullen, Co Galway has acres of indoor and outdoor fun for all the family, with over 12,000 square feet of indoor entertainment including a super structure with the best selection of slides in Ireland! There is also indoor skittle lanes, a construction area and didi car track. Outdoors , you can practice a
putt on the mini golf course, drive the go karts, race against each other on the obstacle course, play in the many sand pits, take a ride on the pony and trap and of course go for a spin around the farm on the famous barrel train!
Prices are 12 euros per child and 5 euros per adult. Open from 11.00 am every Sat, Sun and Bank Holiday Mon from Sept to May with extra opening over Easter, Mid terms and Christmas. Open daily during June/ July/ August.
For more information
Tel: 091 969631, Email:firstname.lastname@example.org or www.loughwellfarmpark.ie
CITY LIMITS ENTERTAINMENT
– Tel: 091 388100 www.citylimits.ie
Galway’s finest all indoor family entertainment centre with a range of activities to suit all ages from Tenpin Bowling, Laser Quest, Kids Play Zones, Food & Drink and much more. We are open all year round and cater to groups of all sizes. Located in Oranmore next to the Maldron Hotel and IMC Cinema, we are ideally located for all your needs.
Factory Shop stocks Galway Crystal, Belleek Pottery, Aynsley China. Open 7 Days - Monday to Friday 9am to 5.30pm. Saturday 10am-5pm. Sunday & Bank Holidays 12noon-5pm
Merlin Park, Dublin Road, Galway.
Tel: 091 757311 Fax: 091 757316 www.galwaycrystal.ie
Galway Races -
• 25th-31st July 2016
• 5th-6th September 2016
• 11th Oct | 30th-31st 2016
Festivals offer great racing, entertainment, excitement and value for money. www.galwayraces.com
11th-24th July 2016. A creative collision of performance, music, visual art and discussion. It is one of Ireland's most vibrant and exciting Festivals offering a wide range of experiences from world-class theatre to impromptu musical performances on Galway's winding streets. www.giaf.ie
Galway Food Festival -
24th-28th April 2016, Galway City
Five days of exceptional food and free events for all the family in Ireland's favourite festival city! Visit local restaurants, meet local producers, enjoy talks and demos, country markets & food tours on the Wild Atlantic Way.
Galway Early Music Festival -
12th-15th May 2016, Galway City
Medieval, renaissance and baroque music performed by world-renowned ensembles & soloists on the theme of 'Time". Concerts, talks & free workshops offer a rich and intimate experience in this timeless medieval city.