Clifden town ‘the Capital of Connemara’ is oozing history, heritage, culture & traditions of Irish Music and Dance. This vibrant town has an array of shops selling top quality gifts, trinket souvenirs and handmade knits but to name a few! You will also find boutiques, antique shops and art galleries. There are cosy coffee shops, pubs from the genuine ‘quaint-Irish’ to the more trendy where entertainment is plentiful. Whatever your taste in music you will find a selection of traditional, modern music and dance. Clifden has a reputation for the West’s ‘Gourmet Capital’ – for its fine restaurants. Take the kids to the town playground where they can have fun on the swings or have a kick about in the pitch beside it!
A must visit is the ruins of the old D’Arcy mansion, Clifden Castle. Along the Sky Road is a gateway leading to the castle. Once a Gothic Mansion, the D’Arcy’s lived here until 1850 when the estate was sold to the Eyre Family who lived here at intervals until the castle fell into ruin in the early 20th century.
There are many fine festivals to enjoy throughout the year in Connemara. Most full of music, dance, fun, laughter, activities and games for the young and the young-at-heart. The most well known and oldest of all is the Clifden Community Arts Festival which offers a superb range of poetry readings, lectures, recitals, traditional music, concerts and comedy
At the summit of the Sky Road peninsula there is Eyrephort beach at the edge of the Atlantic Ocean.
For those Rainy Days, the Station House Theatre shows the latest movies throughout the week. The theatre also runs live family friendly shows suitable for all ages throughout the summer season. The Station House Leisure Centre have 3 day and weekly passes available for visitors to purchase, which allow you access to the hotel’s gym, swimming pool, steam room, sauna and Jacuzzi!
Why not visit Dan O’Haras homestead (8 minute drive from Clifden town on the N59); an award winning heritage centre which offers a fascinating glimpse of rural Ireland in the mid-nineteenth century. Visitors can enjoy a carriage ride through the centre and see demonstrations of turf cutting, sheep herding and other traditional tasks.
Explore Connemara on an electric bike which can be hired from All Things Connemara (on Market Street) or take part in a bike tour with Connemara Cycling Tours (also on Market Street)
Clifden Friday Market takes place every Friday on Market Square where you will find a wide variety of producers selling their fresh produce to the general public. Be sure to arrive early, as most of the produce and stalls are gone by noon. There’s a good selection of organic vegetables, homemade breads, pies, herbs, fruits, flowers, plants and some clothing.
Clifden has probably the best fishing waters in Europe. The scenery in this area is spectacular on land and at sea with a great variety of seabirds and wildlife, including seals and dolphins. Why not spend the day sea angling?