Discover Ireland’s golf courses, secret fishing spots, kayaking adventures and many more activities.
There are 2 golf courses close to the Slieve Aughty Centre and many more within reach. About 3 kilometres from the Centre is the Curra West Golf Club, a short 18 hole course. Both Loughrea and Portumna, about 15 minutes away, have an 18 hole parkland course. Loughrea Golf Club is known for its rolling greens and strategic tree placement, while Portumna Golf Club is adjacent to a national park and is frequented by local wildlife.
Why not take your rod, grab a tasty picnic from our kitchen and go off on a fishing trip? Stocked by the Loughrea Angler’s Association, Lough Rea is a fishing paradise for trout, perch and pike. Boats are available for hire and fishing permits can be purchased for a modest fee. Nearby rivers such as Bullaun, Kilcolgan and Duniry offer free fishing. If you would like to cast your net further, the town of Portumna, located on the Shannon River, is famous for excellent fishing. Mike Murray rents boats and offers a fishing guide services to make sure your fishing day is full of action. For more information see Shannon Fishery Board. Bring your fish home and we’ll make a savory meal of your catch!
Explore the stunning Atlantic Coast of Galway with experienced kayak guide Duncan Warner of Give It A Go Kayaking. Day and sunset trips available. We can book the excursion for you and help arrange transport. Visit Giveitago.ie for more information.
The area just around Slieve Aughty Centre is full of hidden gems to discover. Marble Hill is a local ruin of a mansion house with a long history. We’ve written its story up for you to read in your room after a filling organic dinner.
The Hill Bar is our local pub. On Saturday nights there is live music, so meet the locals and try a pint of Guiness on tap!
Ruins in Abbey Village represent the site of Ireland’s only Carthusian foundation. The Carthusians were an enclosed order, living solitary, austere, contemplative lives and they derived sustenance from the lands. This was Ireland’s only Carthusian priory and was occupied until 1321 when it was taken over by the Knight Hospitallers, a semi-military monastic order begun during the crusades for the protection and religious care of pilgrims to the Holy Land. The Franciscans took their place and remained until the end of the eighteenth century.
In Loughrea, about 10 km away, visit Carmelite Abbey, a large monastery surrounded by the only surviving functional moat in Ireland. St, Brendan’s Cathedral, built about 100 years ago, is a gothic revival church full of 20th century Irish art, including magnificent stained glass works by Harry Clarke. Audio tours of the cathedral are available. Other features include Thoor Ballylee and Michael Burke’s castle.
Equipped with changing and shower rooms, picnic areas, and plentiful parking. Lough Rea Lake’s Blue Flag beach is a popular summer destination for swimming, fishing and walking. A lifeguard is on duty during the summer months and trout are stocked.
Turoe Pet Farm is a fun day out for the kids and is just a few miles outside Loughrea in the village of Bullaun. It is also home to The Turoe Stone, one of the most significant monuments in Ireland, dating back to around 100 BC.
Also, just outside Loughrea, horse lovers can visit Dartfield Horse Museum.
Portumna, just 20 km from the centre, is a lovely town set along the banks of Lough Derg and the Shannon River. Portumna Castle and gardens are definitely worth a look, and the castle is right beside Portumna Forest Park, which is an excellent place to walk or cycle and has access to Lough Derg’s shores. A new attraction in Portumna is the Portumna Workhouse, originally opened right after the famine in 1853 and recently restored. For more information about Portumna, check out the County Galway Guide to Portumna
Woodville Walled Garden in Kilchreest is home to a restored walled kitchen garden along with a museum outlining the fascinating connection to Lady Augusta Gregory. This extensive garden also hosts a covey of doves.
Coole Park outside Gort is an excellent family destination offering 2 nature trails, excellent visitors centre and cafe and 1,000 acres to explore. Coole Park has a rich literary history. Known as the “Seven Woods”, Lady Gregory lived on the property and William B Yeats immortalised it in poetry.
In nearby Athenry, the Athenry Heritage Centre is a fun place for the kids. Enjoy the experience of dressing up in medieval costume and try your hand at have-a-go archery. Athenry Castle, recently restored, is well worth a visit, and the town itself is an interesting maze to wander through. At the Raheen Woods Hotel, you can get a nice lunch and they have a lovely indoor play area for the kids. Suitable for children of all ages. Opening hours 3pm-7pm wednesday, 10am-7pm Thursday to Sunday.
Galway is a busy seaside city known for its shopping, night life and beaches. Spend the day exploring the coast and the bustling Eyre Square and enjoy dining, live music or theatre at night.
If you’ve got kids, check out Family Fun for things to do with children around Ireland.