Connemara & Galway Bay - Small Group Tour
Unspoilt beautiful scenery awaits
- Return Rail Travel
- Reserved Seats on the train
- Railtours Ireland Host throughout
- Visitor Attraction Admissions
- Escorted Coach
Travel West By Train
An enchanting day tour to the glorious West of Ireland where John Ford filmed "The Quiet Man". We arrive through Galway also known as the City of the Tribes, see Kylemore Abbey and explore Connemara which means "inlets of the sea".
Dublin to Galwayhide
Check-in is 20 minutes prior to Train Departure Time.
Customer Service Desk at Heuston Station where our Check-In representative will be in their yellow jacket!
Check-in for 07:35 departure from Dublin Heuston Station, opened in 1844 as the headquarters of the Great Southern & Western Railway and is now the official principal station of Iarnród Éireann, Ireland’s national railway company. As your train departs, we travel in a south westerly direction, through Dublin's western suburbs and then through the lush fertile countryside of Co. Kildare. Our journey takes us through the Curragh which is famous for its racecourse, home of the Irish Derby, and there are many stud farms in the vicinity. Your route takes you into the midlands and the Bog of Allen, vast tracts of peat-land. Before then we pass through the County Town of Tullamore and then to Clara across the gentle farmlands of north Offaly. The train crosses the Shannon marks the historic border between the province of Leinster and Connacht –the historic province of the West of Ireland. You are now heading due west, surrounded by peat bog on both sides of the line. On the last few kilometres before Galway, you will get your first glimpse of Galway Bay.
Our tour today departs from right outside Galway Railway Station named in 1966 after one of the leaders of the 1916 Easter Rising – Eamon Ceannt. We go around Eyre Square ( John F Kennedy Park ) in the centre of Galway City before crossing the River Corrib on the Salmon Leap bridge, passing University College Galway, through the Galway suburbs and then striking out in a north westerly direction towards the savage beauty of Connemara. With glimpses of the mighty Lough Corrib ( Ireland’s second largest lake ) on our right hand side. We soon pass through the village of Moycullen and enter Ireland’s Gaeltacht or Irish speaking area. We continue through the lovely village of Oughterard and start smelling the aroma of Ireland – the peat or turf fires and their unique blue smoke which has a wonderful fragrance! We now emerge into the spectacular scenery of Connemara – mountains, lakes, - all there to behold!
In the summer of 1951 the Irish American Hollywood film director John Ford ( his real name was John O’ Feeney ) fulfilled his lifetime ambition to film’ The Quiet Man’ using the wonderful backdrop of Connemara as his Mainstage. We now visit one of the locations – Leam Bridge, better known now as The Quiet Man bridge where Barry Fitzgerald and John Wayne stopped on their way from Castletown railway station to the mythical Innisfree!
From here on our journey today you will start to notice the remains of the much missed Galway to Clifden railway line which ran parallel to our route – this spectacular branch line was closed in 1935!
Shortly after, we stop at Peacockes hotel and Tavern at Maam Cross – the Crossroads of Connemara. Here we have a comfort stop with time for maybe an Irish Coffee and or some shopping. You might have time for a quick look at the former Maam Cross railway station – now the location of a very exciting restoration project which aims to restore the station and a section of the old Galway to Clifden railway line – see www,connemararailway.ie
We then proceed towards the hamlet of Maam and make our way down the Maam Valley between the majestic Twelve Bens and Maamturk mountains! This area is known as Joyce Country and is where anyone in the world called Joyce – has their roots! We pause next at the pretty little village of Leenane magnificently situated at the head of Killary Harbour – Ireland’s only true ffiord, nine miles from the ocean. We continue on through fabulous scenery to stunning Kylemore abbey built by Mitchell Henry as a home for his Bride in the mid nineteenth century, it is now a Benedictine Convent and is open to visitors, We stop here for almost two hours with time for lunch ( not included ) and exploring – including the beautiful Victorian Walled Garden, and the Gothic Church.
We continue through the Kylemore Pass and the village of Letterfrack and start skirting Bays and inlets of the Sea/ocean which adds to Connemara’s attractiveness! Soon we are back on the Wild Atlantic Way and making our way around Streamstown Bay before climbing steeply up the really spectacular Sky Road where we will have a truly satisfying photo stop with phenomenal views of the wild Atlantic Ocean! We then descend into Connemara’s Capital, the lovely town of Clifden for a comfort stop where there will be time for some Shopping – or even a pint!
We leave Clifden and start making our way back to Galway through more breathtaking scenery – with a comfort stop at Maam Cross – if required. We arrive back in Galway, the City of the Tribes – by 1830 (6.30pm).
Returning to Dublin Heuston at 21:45hrs.
Visitor Attraction Admissions included: Kylemore Abbey & Gardens