For those of you who travel to Galway, I cannot recommend visiting the beautiful Clifden when you can. Clifden has been one of my favourite go-to spots since I was 17. My best friend and I would constantly return to Clifden to visit her family holiday home, which overlooked the scenes of Sky Road. I’m completely smitten by the place, so have decided to give you guys some pointers on where to stay, visit and eat when travelling to Clifden!
If you’re familiar with Clifden, you’ll know all about Sky Road. It is one of Clifden’s most picturesque sites. The full route is 16km long, which takes you through the western region of Clifden, right through to the Kingstown peninsula. This route offers views of Islands, Clare, and Mayo, all in one! Grab your friends and set out on the trail with bike rentals and enjoy some of the remarkable views!
If you enjoy a little bit of history, take a hike to Clifden Castle. This castle once stood for the founder of Clifden, John D’Arcy. The gothic ruins overlook Clifden Bay. The gateaway is visible from Sky Road, and is local to the public for viewing, although owned by lots of local families. It’s definitely worth visiting if you enjoy historic architecture and landmarks.
The Station House Museum
Many years ago, Clifden’s Station House once existed to be a railway line which ran from Galway to Clifden, with various stops in Moycullen, Oughtarard and Maam Cross. This desolate station is now a museum, open to the public. The museum features old artefacts and history on popular interests such as The Connemara Pony, Alcock and Brown (Pilots), and of course, John D’Arcy. If you’re visiting locally or perhaps staying next door in The Station House Hotel, give this museum a visit!
Not only is Clifden renowned for it’s beautiful sites and unique village, but it is infamous for it’s live entertainment, with traditional musicians and seanós dancers performing locally at the weekend for locals and tourists. Here is a full list of local pubs and restaurants below!
Lowry’s Bar has been local to Clifden for years, providing endless amount of entertainment for local families and friends. Some of it’s traditional pleasures include céilidh nights, which happen multiple times a week! If you’re looking for tasty local bar food, pop into Lowry’s during the day for homely comfort food. They have delicious dinners and comfort food!
EJ Kings Bar and Restaurant
Located on the square, EJ’s is beautiful during the sunny weather with outdoor seating, overlooking Clifden town. EJ’s is a magnet for musicians, writers and artists, with it’s historic interior and live entertainment. EJ’s is ideal for the quiet afternoon in, eating delicious home made lunch, but is also unique for it’s live music and bustling crowds during the evening! Get your hands on their chicken goujons and chips, they’re to die for!
Guys Bar & Snug
Guy’s is one of Clifden’s oldest establishments, serving local dishes daily until 9pm. If you’re looking for good pizza, you’ll find it here! Trust me!! Their menu suits all, from delicious sandwiches to cosy stew and curry. There’s something for everyone! Guy’s are always busy, so ensure you book in advance!
Walsh’s Bakery was founded in 1953, and since then, is one of Clifden’s tastiest bakery’s to date! Walsh’s is always abuzz with local’s an tourists, filling their stomach’s with handcrafted sandwiches and home baked pastries. The ambiance of the place will encourage you to stay for both lunch and dessert! Grab a cake or two to bring home with you before you leave Clifden! I can not recommend their fries enough- I don’t know what it is but oh my gooood.
Where To Stay
I was always lucky that I could spend my stay in Clifden in the comfort of someone’s home, but if and when I didn’t, I stayed in The Station House, which is right beside the museum I mentioned previously. The hotel is nice, nothing too special but you’ll be fed and watered in comfort! If you’re looking for somewhere with a little bit of an oompfh, consider staying in The Glenlo Abbey. This 5 star hotel exerts stunning views of Connemara bay, and is a place of luxury for those looking for it! I’ll link both of these spots below.
With all of this in mind, book your trip away to Clifden now! It’d be an ideal spot to visit for Easter, or even Mother’s Day! I’m itching with the travel bug and wish I could visit now!