On the west coast of Connemara lies Roundstone, an area of outstanding natural beauty. As well as being the birth place and inspiration for many artists, Roundstone has been described many times as a “botanist’s delight” where many wild flowers, rare to this country, are found.

The rugged, glacially sculpted backdrop to Roundstone is the majestic mountain of Errisbeg, which rises to almost 1,000 feet. No visit to Connemara is ever complete without a visit to the harbour village of Roundstone. It is an ideal base from which to explore the wonderful ice-age scoured and lake-strewn Roundstone Bog. South of the village the crescent-shaped beaches of Gurteen and Dog’s Bay and their intervening tombolo draw thousands each summer.

Monastery Tower, Roundstone, ConnemaraRoundstone was built in the 1820s by Scottish engineer Alexander Nimmo, who settled in Connemara. The town boasts a good selection of bars and restaurants crammed full of fresh local seafood.

Some of the bars and restaurants have outdoor dining areas, so on a nice day one can, in true continental spirit, enjoy some al fresco dining. O’Dowd’s Restaurant and Bar, Eldon’s Restaurant and Hotel and Vaughan’s Restaurant all provide fantastic seafood and are family friendly.

Strolling through the town you’ll discover some fantastic craft shops and cafés — look out for your chance to beat an Irish traditional drum, the bodhrán.

Visiting Roundstone is a highly recommended and relaxing experience — dine outside and take in the view of the island of Inishnee or look out for the occasional Galway Hooker, a traditional Irish fishing boat. Whatever your reasons for visiting Roundstone, you will not be disappointed.