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Stop At: Kylemore Abbey & Victorian Walled Garden, Connemara On the N59 between Clifden and Westport, Kylemore Ireland
Kylemore Abbey is a Benedictine monastery founded in 1920 on the grounds of Kylemore Castle, in Connemara, County Galway, Ireland. The abbey was founded for Benedictine Nuns who fled Belgium in World War I. Visit the largest walled Victorian gardens in Ireland
Duration: 2 hours
Stop At: Ross Errily Friary, Headford Ireland
Founded in 1351 AD, it represents one of the finest medieval Franciscan monasteries in Ireland. It is located just outside the small town of Headford, on the banks of the Black River, in area of rolling pasture-land. The friary contains an extensive range of buildings, most of which date from the 15th century.
Duration: 20 minutes
Stop At: Killary Fjord, Leenane Ireland
Killary Harbour is Ireland’s only true fjord and extends 16km (10 miles) in from the Atlantic to its head at Aasleagh, below Aasleagh falls. It forms the border between Galway and Mayo and boasts some of the most spectacular scenery in the west of Ireland.
Killary Harbour is also extremely deep, over 45m at its centre. This offers a very safe, sheltered anchorage, because of the depth and the mountains to the south and north. It is a centre for shellfish farming, and strings of ropes used to grow mussels are visible for much of its length. To the north lies Mweelrea, the highest mountain in Connacht and County Mayo. To the south are the Twelve Bens and the Maumturk Mountains of Connemara. Majestic views greet the visitor from all directions.
Duration: 10 minutes
Stop At: Royal Abbey of Cong, Cong Ireland
Cong was also the filming location for the 1952 Oscar winning movie, ‘The Quiet Man’ which starred John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara. Filmed on the grounds of Ashford Castle, the movie has continued to resonate in the area and is still a major tourist attraction. Cong also has a fine example of a ruined medieval abbey, where Rory O'Connor, the last High King of Ireland, is reputed to have died. It also contains Celtic art in the form of a metal cross shrine called the Cross of Cong, which shows Viking influences. The 'Cross of Cong' is now held in the National Museum of Ireland, Dublin.It is now possible to discover the Monks fishing house which is renowned as a place for fishing and meditation. Underground streams connect Lough Corrib with Lough Mask to the north while for nature lovers, the Abbey grounds have many specimens of Yew.
Duration: 40 minutes