I just returned from my trip to Ireland! Check out the first part of my trip here, and enjoy even more of my trip on the western coast of Ireland by reading on!
As you drive along the N-59 or The Road to Clifden as the locals call it; the Lough Inagh and Maam Valley are off to your right side by side. The scenery is breathtaking in its beauty. The light changes by the minute and the shadows of the clods run across the mountains and bogs. I drove along the road towards Kylemore Abbey and managed to stop and shoot some amazing images.
If you are into fishing, Lough Inagh Lodge is a great spot to stay. Unfortunately, that’s not for me. When staying at Logh Inagh I met a lovely retired couple from England. He was working locally as a gillie taking tourists out fishing on LoghInagh and also out to the Sea for those who are brave enough!
If you drive about 30 minutes northeast you will come to the village of Cong; a place made famous by the John Wayne / Maureen O’Hara movie that you may have heard of...The Quiet Man.
There is also ample opportunity to do hillwalking in the area. The western coast of Ireland is known for its mountainous scenery, and it's a perfect place to stop and take a hike!
My next stop was Kylemore Abbey. Even if you have not been to Kylemore Abbey you more than likely have seen the image of it over the years.
Kylemore was built originally by a renowned surgeon from London who was the son of a wealthy cotton business owner from Manchester. He built the original Castle for his wife and their relationship, of course, has romance and tragedy all on its own. He died in an accident on the island of Inisbofin. By the 1920s the castle had been taken over by the Benedictine Nuns from Belgium, who were seeking respite from the World War. The castle became an Abbey and a girl’s school until the early 2000s. Many women from the local area went to school there!
Today, Kylemore Abbey is open for tours and has a very nice gift shop and restaurant. Of course, it is nowhere as nice as ordering from Biddy Murphy! With us, you don’t have to drag your Irish goods back to your hotel, onto a plane, and then drag it through customs. When you shop on Biddy Murphy, there’s no crazy hassle!
The gardens at Kylemore are also amazing and well worth the price of the entrance ticket. These days, Notre Dame University also has connections to Kylemore Abbey, as they hold classes for their students on site… what lucky students! The church at Kylemore is open to the public and is quite modern, but the chapel next to the Abbey, which you can see on the guided tour, is just the definition of scaled architecture.
You can easily spend a morning or afternoon touring the Abbey and enjoying a cuppa tea outside after your tour.
Have you ever been to Kylemore Abbey or Lough Inagh? What did you think?
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