The Glory of Galway

The Galway peninsula of Renvyle stretches out from Ireland’s western coastline, as if it longs to reach across Atlantic.

Stretching out from Ireland’s western coastline, as if it longs to reach across water, Renvyle Peninsula is as far removed from city life as a place could be. Taking in Derryinver Quay, Ballinakill Harbour, and towns of Letterfrack and Recess, it is a place of natural peace thanks to its protected place on northern edge of County Galway. A popular destination for those interested in sea life and all activities that come with it, it boasts stretches of sandy beaches, safe for swimming and diving as well as sea fishing. It has its own adventure centre, aquarium, a maritime museum and seaside parks. In this part of world, Irish hospitality is at its best, too, with welcoming bars, warming hotels and bed & breakfasts as well as plenty of camping spots. You may have seen parts of Renvyle before, without even knowing it, and certainly, you will have read from many authors and poets who have been inspired by its beauty. William Butler Yeats, Oliver St. John Gogarty and Oscar Wilde all credited this coastline as inspiring some of their great works, while romance of scenery was immortalised in The Field.

Such scenes have remained unspoilt and unchanged in this part of world, with ancient remains, castles and glorious Kylemore Abbey all reminders of incredibly rich history that lies in its hills. Kylemore Abbey is Monastic home of Benedictine Order of nuns in Ireland, and up until 1990s was a prestigious boarding school for girls. With its own Gothic church, immaculate Victorian Walled Gardens and preserved rooms, restored in intricate detail to its former glory when wealthy Henrys ran property in late 1800s. Getting there There is no other way to get to this westerly peninsula other than car and roads are typically winding and undulating. This makes for most spectacular of scenery, of course, and we highly recommend taking your time getting there. Soak up as much of Connemara National Park as you can while you do. From Dublin or Cork, allow yourself a good four and a half hours, while peninsula lies an hour and a half north of Galway.

The trees are in their autumn beauty,
The woodland paths are dry,
Under October twilight water
Mirrors a still sky;
Upon brimming water among stones
Are nine-and-fifty swans.

From The Wild Swans at Coole by one of Ireland’s great poets, William Butler Yeats. Yeats spent his honeymoon at Renvyle House, which once belonged to his good friend and another Irish literary great Oliver St. John Gogarty.


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