Are you staying overnight at Ashford? I know you say you're "visting for the day", but the place is really more of a hotel than a sightseeing destination.
No mention- that I can see - of a public transport option on Cong Tourism web site.
I believe there used to be a Galway city to Cong Bus connection; no longer seems to be the case.
There is some nice scenery there but not worth the strange bus times,waiting and walking in my opinion, id sooner take a bus out to Clifden or Spiddal etc and enjoy the views there.
Thanks for the suggestions - my dad wants to visit and see Annette Griffin (sp?) at the castle. We won't be staying overnight and I thought we could get there somewhat effortlessly from Galway - we'll see!!
There is no easy way other than an expensive cab ride if you are looking to go for an evening recital. Cheaper to rent a car.
There also seems to be a Westport to Galway service (leaving Westport at 3pm and arriving in Headford at 4.11pm (1611).
See if it makes more sense, when you look at the timetable:
Maybe the person you are meeting could drop you and your Dad off in Headford? Or, point you in the direction of a hackney/taxi service that would offer a decent rate...
If this time doesn't suit you and your Dad, how about catching Burke's Bus to Headford (stop is at Joyce's Supermarket) and return from there as well?
Burke's Bus leaves Galway at 8.20am, again at 2pm (also at 5.35pm). Buses leave from Headford at 8am; 10am and 4pm.
These times for Burke's Buses are all for Monday to Friday.
(Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays for Burke's Buses and Sundays and Public Holidays for Bus Eireann will have fewer and different timetables).
One final thought; you can always combine both bus services; one outwards and the other inwards!
Mea culpa. I really got the wrong end of the stick with my response above. I did not see Tony's post ahead of mine and, did not know that Annette Griffin was an entertainer at Ashford Castle.
No bus will get anyone back after an evening/night performance. Either that expensive trip by taxi or stay locally in a B&B; or, splash out on a night at the castle.
Or, get a very good deal from a hackney company, instead of using a taxi.
Do make sure that Annette is performing on the evening/night you visit. I know that there is a pianist also, so ring a few days ahead. I am sure you can come to some arrangement with a Hackney company. I imagine a 24 hour hire of a car in Galway would be more economical though, and you could make a day trip of it, driving to Cong, and even go beyond for some Connemara scenery, on to Leenane maybe. Not sure what time of year you are visiting, but make sure to get there in day light, and walk around the lovely grounds. Also, as its a 5 star hotel, it does say residents only at the door, so again it would be useful to explain you are coming to see Annette and so they will be expecting you - when you phone in advance. Good luck with your quest!Edited: 14 March 2012, 19:27