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Best things to do in Oughterard

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Where in the world: Europe  /  Ireland  /  Western Ireland  /  Province of Connacht  /  County Galway  /  Oughterard

Top 15 things to do in Oughterard

1. Curraghduff Farm

Suggested duration: 2 hours
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2. Glengowla Mines & Family Farm Experience

Glengowla Mines is a "show mine" dedicated to the lead and silver mining history of Glengowla and the Oughterard area.
Mining at Glengowla began in 1851, after a farmer discovered galena just under the soil surface. The first mine shaft was named after a Captain Paul. The mine was in operation until 1865, eventually measuring 40 metres deep and 200 feet wide. The main mining centred on silver and lead, though Connemara marble, gold, dolerite, quartz, and rare green and blue octahedral fluorite.
The site was opened as a heritage site by the owners of the land, Patrick and Keith Geoghegan. Glengowla Mines' site includes the remains of a 19th-century silver and lead mine, which has been restored to allow visitor access. There is also a heritage and visitor centre, a blacksmith's shop, and a circular powder house.
Glengowla is part of Ireland’s National Seismic Network, logging real-time information with a seismograph, contributing to information of earthquakes worldwide.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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3. Aughnanure Castle

Hear great stories in an intimate atmosphere at Aughnanure Castle. The 16th-century fortress was originally built and owned by a famous lord family, the O'Flahertys, until it was captured by the region's president. The family eventually regained its ancestral home, only to lose it again. Today it is a state-run facility. At the entrance you'll receive an informational brochure to help you on your self-guided tour. Look for the plaques throughout the castle to discover interesting facts and stories about its old inhabitants. You won't be overrun with crowds in this secluded attraction.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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4. The Great Western Greenway, Westport

Discover Ireland's western coastline on The Great Western Greenway, the country's longest off-road trail, intended for cyclists and walkers of all ages and fitness levels. The trail runs for about 42 km (26 mi), following the coastline from Westport to Achill. Free of motorized traffic for most of its length, this scenic trail runs along the route once used by a major railway line that was constructed in the 1890s and closed in 1937. The trail meanders through a scenic countryside that includes rugged mountain ranges, tranquil bays, rocky islands, and sandy beaches. Bike rental services are available all along the route, so you can rent a bike in one town and drop off in another when you finish your ride.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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5. Kylemore Abbey & Victorian Walled Garden, Kylemore

Founded by Benedictine nuns who fled Belgium during World War I, Kylemore Abbey & Victorian Walled Garden occupy the estate of a 19th century castle, built to house the family of a wealthy London doctor. Although large sections of the property remain closed to visitors, you can take a guided tour of its Gothic chapel, main hall, and walled garden, one of the last built in Ireland during the Victorian period. Intersected by walkways and manicured flowerbeds, the garden contains a series of greenhouses, two of which have been restored to their full Victorian glory. The estate also features a gift shop and three dining venues, including a traditional teahouse using nuns' recipes for cakes and scones, baked fresh daily.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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6. The Pirate Adventure Park at Westport House, Westport

Enjoy thrill rides and a tour of a historic 18th-century house at The Pirate Adventure Park at Westport House. Since opening in 1960, this park has entertained people of all ages. For swashbuckling fun, stop by Pirate Adventure, complete with a train ride, ship ride, and several slides. Take a guided or self-guided tour of the historical home owned by the Browne Family. Explore the 30 rooms of this house, which was built in the 1700s, and view the four permanent exhibits on display inside. If you'd like to extend your visit, camp on the scenic park grounds.
Suggested duration: 8 hours
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7. Atlantic Drive, Achill Sound

Considered one of the most scenic drives along the coastline, Atlantic Drive provides stunning vistas of remote Irish regions. Achill Island and the Currane Peninsula are beloved for their rugged, natural beauty. Begin your 19 km (12 mi) journey, via car or bike, at Achill Sound and travel along the Atlantic Ocean. You'll see several archeological sites and the islands of Clare and Achill Beg along this stretch of road. As you continue, you'll pass charming villages and enjoy sweeping views of the landscape. If you plan on cycling, keep in mind that he route has very challenging hills.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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8. Croagh Patrick, County Mayo

Hike along the sacred paths of Croagh Patrick, the site of pagan and Christian pilgrimages. Nicknamed "the Reek" by locals, the mountain breaks up the flat landscape by rising 764 m (2,507 ft) into the air. Once a pagan destination, it is now named for Saint Patrick. Once a year, thousands of pilgrims climb the mountain on their journey. For centuries a chapel has stood at the summit where the faithful go to pray. Wear sturdy hiking shoes and bring a backpack with sunscreen, water, and snacks. Alternatively, view the mountain from a distance and take some photos.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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10. Sky Road, Clifden

Drive or bike along , a famously scenic Clifden route. On the 11 km (6.8 mi) circular road, take in the area's natural beauty. For close-up views of the rugged landscape, travel the lower road. If you'd prefer sweeping panoramas of the region, set out on the upper road. Keep in mind that the car ride can be dangerous at night. Bikers should note that the route features many hills.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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11. Joyce Country Sheepdogs, Shanafaraghaun

Witness a piece of traditional culture when you visit Joyce Country Sheepdogs, a family-run and working hill sheep farm. Watch border collies expertly herd sheep while following verbal and whistled commands, just like in the movies. The family also sells border collie sheepdogs and puppies. As part of the tour, you'll see sheepdog demonstrations, a talk on hill sheep farming, sheep shearing demonstrations, and maybe get the chance to visit the puppies.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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12. National Museum of Ireland - Country Life, Castlebar

Get a taste of rural Irish life over a 100-year period at National Museum of Ireland - Country Life. Housed inside Turlough Park House, the attraction showcases the harsh realities of life in the country, from farming to house building, in their permanent exhibit "Romanticism and Reality." Other exhibits highlight important rural celebrations, emigration, traditions, and artwork. A modern complex just a short walk across the park from the original Turlough Park House also features exhibits that celebrate rural Irish life. Visit the attraction's website to find out which upcoming events at the museum, or on the grounds, are open to the public. All galleries are wheelchair accessible. Closed on Mondays (including Bank Holidays, Good Friday, and Christmas Day).
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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13. Killary Sheep Farm, Leenane

Get to know some of the rural traditions of Ireland at Killary Sheep Farm, a site with about 200 ewe and lambs. The owner, known for being friendly and knowledgeable, will greet you upon arrival and provide wet weather gear if needed. You will get to witness a skilled sheepdog demonstration, a sheep shearing demonstration using hand shears, and a turf cutting demonstration using slean. At the end of the tour, top it all off by feeding adorable orphan lambs. Demonstrations are held at set times, so consider checking the schedule before going.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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14. Westport House, Westport

Westport House in Westport, County Mayo, Ireland, is a well known Irish tourist attraction, owned by the Hughes family, who own a number of businesses in the west of Ireland. Until January 2017 it was the ancestral seat of the Browne family, whose head was the Marquesses of Sligo. The title and the house were separated in 2014, following the death of the 11th Marquess of Sligo, who left the estate to his five daughters. His titles passed to his first cousin, Sebastian Ulick Browne, a residential real estate agent in Australia. It was built by the Browne family in the 18th Century, near the site of an O'Malley castle. The architects were Richard Cassels, who built (1730) the east section of the house facing the town, and later James Wyatt, who built the other three façades to form a quadrangle. Later the quadrangle was filled in with a grand staircase. North and south wings were added to the designs of Benjamin Wyatt. The south wing, which contained a library, was burned soon after it was built due to a defect in the heating system. It was subsequently rebuilt.
A model farm was built in the demesne in the early part of the 19th century with accommodation for housing animals and animal feed.
The remains of an old boathouse open to the sea.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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15. Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark, The Burren

The Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark (formally The Burren and Cliffs of Moher UNESCO Global Geopark) is an internationally designated area of geological interest in The Burren region of County Clare, Ireland. It is the third Geopark to be designated in Ireland, and is recognised at both European and global levels.
Suggested duration: 4 hours
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