Family Fun Outdoors in Clifden
1. Kylemore Abbey (Ages 0 and up)
Located less than 20 minutes drive away from the Alcock and Brown Hotel in CLifden, Kylemore Abbey and Victorian Walled Garden is the ideal destination for a day out in majestic Connemara at any time of year that all the family will enjoy. The dramatic landscape and iconic image of a gothic castle reflected in a Connemara lake has made Kylemore Abbey world-famous and it is now the largest tourist attraction in the west of Ireland.
The Benedictine nuns invite visitors to experience the Victorian atmosphere of the Abbey's restored rooms, miniature gothic church, head gardener’s house and garden boy’s house. Learn of the tales of tragedy and romance, the engineering initiatives, model farms, royal visits and the Abbey's former role as a girls boarding school.
Kylemore’s many nature trails, woodland walks and the magical award-winning walled garden offer a wonderland to explore. Discover the Victorian heritage of the walled garden, where only flower and vegetable varieties from that era are grown. ) Enjoy refreshing walks and scenic views as every season has something different to offer at Kylemore. For directions on how to get to Kylemore Abbey from the Alcock and Brown Hotel click here.
2. Hazelwood Pitch and Putt (ages 0 and up)
Located only a few minutes drive from the Alcock and Brown Hotel, Hazelwood Pitch and Putt is 9 hole 3 par golf course nicely embedded in the landscape and very well prepared. Open all day from May to September it offers a lot of fun for families who want to find out what golf playing is about, and offers a great day out for all the family. Hazelwood Par 3 Golf, Streamstown, Clifden Connemara. Contact Hazelwood Pitch and Putt on (087)603 3090.
3. Glass Bottomed Boat Tour (Ages 0 and up)
Located only a 20 minute drive from the Alcock and Brown Hotel, Why not take the family on a trip on Irelands ONLY glass bottomed boat tours!
See the underwater world as only seen before by divers with commentary provided throughout the tour. Lower tides are required for the best underwater views so please enquire beforehand, particularly as boat trips may be weather dependent. For more information please visit http://www.discoverireland.ie/Activities-Adventure/letterfrack-bay-water-tours/45212
4. Beach Road Walk (ages 0 and up)
A local favourite, the Beach Road is one of the most peaceful and serene walks in Clifden. Only 1KM long even the littlest of feet would be able to enjoy this walk! Instead of taking a right at the fork toward the Sky Road, take a left, this will lead you down toward Clifden harbour.
Follow the road until you reach the Boat Club or take a right a little before to head up onto the Sky Road or go back to Clifden. Again our staff at the Alcock and Brown will help point you in the right direction!
5. Errislannan Riding Centre & Connemara Pony Stud (Ages 5 and up)
Errislannan Manor Riding School is on Errislannan Peninsula on the west coast of Ireland, four miles (6.5Km) south of Clifden. What better place to take a ride on a Connemara Pony than in the county that gave it its name!
The reassuringly solid and mild-mannered ponies are a joy to ride and riders will quickly bond with their new friend as they are taken on a journey through some of the most scenic places on earth courtesy of the excellent Errislannan Riding Centre and Connemara Pony Stud in Clifden, County Galway. Errislannan Riding Centre gives lessons in their popular sand arena, suitable for five year olds to adults. To make sure everyone gets due attention, the classes have a maximum of eight participants, so riders are advised to book early.
If riders are looking for something a little more challenging, then they can try their cross country course. Its stone walls and fences are all sized for ponies.
6. Scuba Dive West (Ages 7 and up)
Located only 30 minutes drive from the Alcock and Brown Hotel in Clifden, why not bring the kids on a water adventure of a lifetime!
Snorkeling is simple, fun, inexpensive, has no age barriers and can be experienced nearly anywhere. Snorkeling allows you experience the beauty of the Atlantic Ocean and is a really fun holiday activity. Scubadive West conducts Discover Snorkeling all year-round; it is particularly popular in the warmer summer months.
What will my Discover Snorkeling include?
Scubadive West's experienced instructors will fit you out in the appropriate snorkeling gear, including a very warm wetsuit. You will start out in the shallow and sheltered waters of our training cove, where we will show you some important skills; how to clear the water out of your mask, how to blow the water from your snorkel and techniques for swimming comfortably through the water.
Once you have mastered these, we will bring you on a tour of our beautiful house reef, which teems with fish life.
How much does it cost?
Discover Snorkeling costs €30; this includes full tuition, equipment rental and full use of our facilities, including hot showers, male and female heated changing rooms, dive shop and coffee dock.
After your day of snorkeling you should have worked up a hearty appetite so head back to our famous gallery restaurant or Cosy bar for a well-earned delicious meal and a pint!
Sure you’ll be getting wet anyways! Why not spend a couple of hours learning how to dive along the Wild Atlantic Way. Call 095-43922
7. Real Adventures Connemara (Ages 8 and up)
Real Adventures Connemara, near the Alcock and Brown Hotel, Clifden, provide a wide range of fun outdoor activities in Connemara Co. Galway. Choose from coasteering, kayaking, surfing, rock climbing or hill walking. Real adventures cater for all ages from ages 8 and up and will cater ALL their activities whether you choose coasteering or rock climbing for the children’s abilities.
Real Adventures goal is to provide an environment where adults and children will encounter amazing experiences in the outdoors, guided safely by highly qualified staff. Connemara is one of Ireland’s premiere outdoor activity hubs, and Real Adventures provides the opportunity for the family to have real adventures in Connemara in a number of unique ways. As part of your experience you will be taken off the beaten track and shown the wild and wonderful parts of Connemara that many never get the chance to see. For more information contact Real Adventures Connemara here (Link to them) or check out the special winter packages with the Alcock and Brown and Real Adventures here (Link)
Family Fun Indoors in Clifden
1. Connemara Heritage and History Centre (ages 0 and up)
This award winning heritage centre is situated approximately 5 miles from Clifden-the capital of Connemara. It offers a unique insight into the history and heritage of this most beautiful part of the West of Ireland. Two floors just FULL of interesting facts, stories, pictures, photos and exhibits about Connemara. Learn about Connemara history (and drink a bit of poteen) at the Connemara History and Heritage Centre and Dan O’Hara’s Homestead! Below is a sample of what you can discover at the heritage centre:
• History presentation ''Connemara through the ages'' in Irish and English.
• Audio visual available in English, Irish, German and French.
• Reconstructions of a crannóg, a ring fort and a clochaun
• Dan O'Hara Homestead & Pre famine farm
• Guided tours for groups with turf cutting and other demonstrations on request
• Craft shop with a large selection of knitwear, marble, jewellery and other gifts to choose from.
What a fantastically fun and informative place that all the family will enjoy!
2. Connemara Smokehouse, Ballyconneely (Ages 0 and up)
Take a tour of the Connemara Smoke House and watch how the salmon it traditionally prepared for smoking and enjoy a tasting of their delicious smoked salmon! Tours operate every Wednesday during the summer months at 3pm! Call 095-23739 for more information
3. Station House Leisure Centre, Clifden (Ages 0 and up)
The station house Leisure Centre offers lots to do on a rainy day including a swimming pool for all the family, Sauna, Steam Room, Jacuzzi and Gym for adults. 3 day and weekly passes can be purchased in the leisure centre for non-hotel residents. Spend a lazy rainy day in a hot tub, followed by a dip in the pool? Yes please! 3 day passes for a family of five cost 70. To find out more information on visitor passes please call (095)30433.
4. Connemara Blue Jewellry and Glass Workshop, Clifden. (Ages 8 and up)
Connemara Blue in Clifden offer tailor-made workshops in both glass fusing and wire-wrapped jewellery. Some of the workshops on offer include;
Suitable for ages 8 and up the1 hour guided workshop for children is preceded by a thorough safety briefing. You will then design and make your very own 10x10cm glass coaster or suncatcher.
Your finished piece will be fired in our kiln overnight, ready for you to collect the following day.
All safety equipment, tools and materials are included.
For jewellery making we recommend the half-day workshop that will show you how to create beautiful jewellery pieces with wire. You will learn a simple technique for wrapping stones, glass cabochons, or other focal pieces.
By the end of this session you will have learned and experienced:
How to work safely in the glass-kiln workshop
What glass and glass-fusing is
The types of glass we use and how to handle it
Basic knowledge of what a glass kiln is and how it works
How to plan and implement a simple glass-making project
The phases of a typical fusing project
You will have have a glass piece ready for the kiln, which can be collected the next day. We can also arrange to have your finished piece shipped to your address.
A unique way to spend a day of your holiday and bring back a magical piece of Connemara with you! Call 095-30782
5. Killary Cruise, Leenane (Ages 0 and up).
Enjoy a cruise along the Killary, with Killary Fjord Boat Tours. Even in the wettest weather you can still have a wonderful time as the boat has a large warm and spacious viewing lounge where you can enjoy lunch, have a coffee and listen to commentary on the fjord and the area. Call 091-566736
6. Evening seisun in a traditional Irish pub, Clifden (Ages 0 and up).
Head to one of the many traditionall Irish bars on our doorstep bar for a fireside seisun and sample some Irish Whiskey or just try a pint of the black stuff! Dance in one of our great Irish pubs to the traditional Irish Music played every evening. (yes, the kids, too!). Check with reception for details of Clifden Bars that have evening Irish sessions.
7. The Glengowla Mines, Oughterard
Located a 45 minute drive from Clifden, Connemara are the Glengowla Mines. Buried beneath the Connemara Mountain lies a way of life long abandoned and almost forgotten just waiting for you to explore! There are Guided tours of the mine and a museum with artefacts that was collected during the mines excavation as well as a history of the area.
Let the team at Glengowla Mines lead you on a journey of discovery of how lead and silver were mined from the roots of the Connemara Mountains in the 1800’s. Learn of the working conditions the miners worked under before the mines closed in 1865. A firm favourite with adults and children alike is to pan for gold and gems at our gold panning station and keep any gems you find Call 091-552021for more information