Whet the Appetite With a Short Break in Galway

Galway Arts Festival Parade, image Tourism Ireland

Galway Arts Festival Parade, image Tourism Ireland

Whet the appetite with a short self-catering break in Galway

Galway city is often referred to as the Gateway to the West. I recently went to Galway and stayed in the Galway Bay Lodge. This is a large self-catering accommodation near Oranmore which comfortably sleeps 6. A gateway to Connemara in Galway and The Burren in Clare along Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way.

A short 3-night self-catering stay gave a real taster, a teaser for a longer trip to Galway!

Solitude in Renville Park just south of Galway city

Having got up early to explore Renville Park, I heard the breaking of the dawn chorus in the woods. Right on the doorstep of my lovely holiday home, I found a path down to the shore. I did a 5km walk in glorious solitude. The park borders Galway bay and skirts Galway Bay Golf Resort.  On the way back to my holiday home the joggers and the golfers had come out to play!

Flaggy Shore and The Burren, image Tourism Ireland

Flaggy Shore and The Burren, image Tourism Ireland

A morning to discover the Flaggy Shore & Burren

The Flaggy Shore is for me, the first point of contact with the mystical Burren.  Just 30 minutes’ drive brings you to this beautiful place. It has a spiritual ambience immortalised in Seamus Heaney’s poem of the same name.  It starts in New Quay, where the Russell Gallery is a great stop for coffee and homemade cakes whilst browsing local art and books.

The cream of New Quay - Linalla Ice Cream, image Failte Ireland

The cream of New Quay – Linalla Ice Cream, image Failte Ireland

For a spot of lunch try Linnane’s Lobster Bar & Cáfe Linalla

If you are hungry the seafood chowder is great in Linnane’s Lobster Bar located on the quay. For dessert, I recommend the homemade Irish ice cream at Café Linalla, a small ice cream Café based on the Flaggy Shore.

The limestone rocks and mountains loomed into the blue sky. There and then I decided that I will return soon for a guided walking trip to discover the sacred wells and learn about the alpine flora and fauna in the craggy rocky trails. Walking tours are available with local guides who bring the region alive with talks of folklore, culture and natural history.

A night at Galway Theatre Festival

The Galway Theatre Festival which features a week of exciting theatre, circus, spectacle, and storytelling and runs every May was on in town. I attended a wonderful performance, combined with a pre-theatre meal. The trip took only 15 minutes from my holiday home into town. If you prefer, a taxi from Oranmore is easily booked and reasonably priced.

Salthill Promenade, people jumping off the Blackrock diving board at the Salthill Promenade - image Tourism Ireland

Salthill Promenade, people jumping off the Blackrock diving board at the Salthill Promenade – image Tourism Ireland

Have you tried diving board in Salthill?

The next morning, I travelled to Salthill on the other side of Galway city. The promenade was full of local Galwegians, taking in the sea air along the 2km way.  A couple of hardy swimmers were on the diving board at Blackrock, braving the cold waters at this famous bathing place.

On to Silver Strand at Barna, a lovely sandy beach which is just adjacent to the small village. It has a great reputation for good food and cafes.  Because the sun had come out I lingered here, again vowing to come back to continue on to Connemara, via Spiddal which is just an hour from here.

One visit is never enough

One visit is never enough in Ireland! For that reason, I have discovered that a short break like this has whet the appetite and I must come back again to go further afield and linger longer.

Useful information:

Galway Bay Lodge located beside Renville in Oranmore, Galway (sleeps 6 / bedrooms 3) is a large holiday home just south of Galway city. This self catering holiday home is open all year round, click here to read more about this property.

Linnane’s Lobster Bar is locaated in Cartron, New Quay, Co. Clare – linnanesbar.com

Linalla Irish Ice Cream, New Quay, Co. Clare – linnallaicecream.ie

Visit Galway Theatre Festival held in early May each year and experience a week of theatre, spectacle, storytelling and circus. It brings a fresh and lively programme of performance to the streets and venues in Galway.

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