Paved road except trail to Clifden Castle / 5km / 1 to 2 hrs
Just after the ball alley and childrens’ playground you will arrive at Clifden Quay. Alexander Nimmo drew up the plans for the quay in 1822, and it was completed in 1831. Clifden Inshore Lifeboat Station is located here and is called out on a regular basis. The Owenglen River empties into the estuary here, and the sandy mud flats at low tide are the result of material carried by the river in spate. The walk continues along the estuary overlooking Faul peninsula on the far side and, as we continue, a fine vista opens over Clifden Bay. The mouth of the estuary has many hidden rocks, and the navigation channel is marked with stone beacons.
After about 2km, the road widens into a parking area for Clifden Beach. The Clifden Boat Club is 100 metres further ahead. It houses the Boardwalk Café, where you can stop-off for refreshments. Then, walk back to take the first left, up the hill of Mine Road. Looking back we occasionally get a fine view over the bay and the distant navigation mark, the White Lady on the south-western approaches. A lime-kiln is integrated into the stone wall on the right side of the road 800 metres from the turn. This was used to burn lime-rich rock to fertilise the acidic fields of the Clifden demesne to your left.
Walking back towards the town, you will notice a sign pointing to the John D’Arcy Monument to your right. A short climb to the summit of Monument Hill will reward you with panoramic vistas of Clifden Bay, Clifden Town and the surrounding area, a good opportunity for photography enthusiasts.
Source: ‘Walking in Connemara: Shorter Walks to Explore the Hidden Connemara’, Connemara Tourism 1996
Available at The Clifden Bookshop, Main Street, Clifden