The Best Road Trips from Galway – Part 2
Poster: Ciara Geraghty
Galway to Kylemore Abbey & Killary Harbour
This is one of the best road trips to experience the Connemara landscape plus you also get to take in some film scene locations from the famous “The Quiet Man”, starring John Wayne & Maureen O’Hara.
Take the N59 from Galway passing through Moycullen and Oughterard. The first place to stop is the famous ‘Quiet Man Bridge’ not too far past Oughterard.
At Maam Cross you’ll also find a replica of the Quiet Man Cottage if you wanted to get a few snaps on your camera. You can actually pass the original cottage which lies between Maam Cross & Maam but it is hard to see from the road and has fallen into ruin unfortunately. Apparently tourists and fans of the movie have taken stones from it as souvenirs…
From Maam Cross head towards Clifden, but just after Recess turn right onto the R344. This road will bring you through the magical Inagh Valley. You’ll be hard pressed to get your driver to keep their eyes on the road instead of the stunning scenery so drive slowly!
Take the turn for Kylemore Abbey, a benedictine monastry founded in 1920. If you have time for a walk they have beautiful Victorian walled gardens to explore.
When you leave Kylemore take the road for Leenane and Killary Harbour (Ireland’s only fjord).
I love driving into Leenane from this direction, the views coming into Killary are just phenomenal! Another trip you can take is a cruise along Killary Harbour.
When you arrive into Leenane, pop into Gaynor’s pub which was used for a film scene in Jim Sheridan’s “The Field” starring Richard Harris, John Hurt, Sean Bean and many more talented actors. If you watched the movie, you can also go to Aasleagh Falls where another scene was filmed , by continuing on the N59 and turning off at the R335.
If you didn’t see the film you can always skip this leg of the journey and take the R336 back to Maam – another lovely scenic drive. At Maam, turn right to travel back to Maam Cross to head back to Galway.
If you have good eyes you might spot the original Quiet Man Cottage along the way on the right.
Ciara Geraghty is a Sales & Marketing Executive at Galway Bay Hotel.