No visit to Connemara is complete until you have traveled through the truly majestic Inagh Valley.

Traveling past Ballynahinch Lough to your right, you will see the ruins of the ‘castle on the lake’ which once served as a prison to those who had ill-treated animals. ‘Humanity Dick’ Martin would treat the offenders to a stay on the island – ball and chain included – he ultimately founded what we know now as the RSPCA. Be sure to stop off in Recess and visit Joyce’s Craft Shop, home to Connemara Marble.

Turn back towards Clifden; after about 500 metres turn right (before the narrow bridge) onto the R344, which takes you through the Inagh Valley. Meandering past Lough Inagh, the Twelve Bens are to the left, with the Maum Turk mountain range to the right. This is a stunningly beautiful scenic route, taking you past turf stacks, sheep and glorious countryside, until you emerge at the other end of the valley. Here you can turn left to return to Clifden and visit Kylemore Abbey on the way, or turn right to extend your tour further towards Leenane.

above : Derryclare evening, photo courtesy of robertriddell.com


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