Last week we introduced the latest addition to our Irish Linen Scarf Collection, The Connemara Blue, named after the crystal blue waters that can be found in the west of Ireland.
Connemara is a go-to holiday destination for many people escaping to the wilds of the west over the summer months, so we wanted to share the best of the best spots to visit by asking a few of our friends who live there to share some of their favourites places to eat, swim and drive with us. Sinéad is Front of House, multitasker extraordinaire at The Sea Hare Café in Cleggan, serving up great baked treats, delicious lunches and cracking service throughout the summer months. Keep an eye on their Instagram for news of pop-up dinners too. Cliodhna is a food and travel writer and an incredible photographer who captures life in Connemara so beautifully, making you feel like you are there as you scroll through her Instagram feed. Thank you gals for taking the time to share your favourites with us!
Cliodhna's places to drive, swim and walk:
My favourite drive in Connemara is one of dramatic views, seashore, mountains, lakes and spectacular valleys. You can start in Clifden and take directions for the Sky Road (upper) keeping right at the bottom after the lofty views which will bring you back on to the N59, left here, past Diamond Hill and the National Park. Turn left in Letterfrack to Tully Cross and follow signs for Scuba Dive West for a quick beach detour where the mountains seem to dive into the sea at Glassilaun ( glas oilaán - green island ), you can walk ankle deep in water to the island at low tide. Back on the main road you turn left and then right and sweep along a little interior ribbon road past Lough Fee and Lough Muck with imposing mountains and up on to the Leenane Clifden section of the N59 before you swoop down the dramatic Inagh Valley on R344 back on to the N59 at Recess where you turn right for Clifden past Ballynahinch lake and its island dwelling where the chief ferocious O’Flaherty lived with Grainne Mhaoil. It should take you about one and a half hours.
For a beach walk I love Mannin Bay in Ballyconneely. You can park at the gate and walk to the left for a huge stretch of little inlets, coves and solitary white sandy beaches with incredibly clear water and views of the 12 Bens in the distance, it's magical.
Sinead's places to eat, stay and visit:
Paddy Coynes, Tully Cross: an old fashioned style pub with great vibe and fab fresh local dinners.
Kabo: A little coffee shop in Letterfrack doing some nice bits during the day.
Norah's Kitchen: Norah's Cottage does takeaway dinner for holiday homes Clifden
Connemara Hamper: Good picnics and great foodie shop in Clifden.
Darcy 12 restaurant & Guys pub Clifden are two great places that are open all year around to eat in.
To stay there is The Quay House & Dolphin Beach Lodge on Sky Road. The Waterfall, Clifden is a new place that’s absolutely beautiful & Fernwood Farm near Clifden is fabulous.
For things to do there is Sellerna Beach, Cleggan; Ross beach, Moyard for a dip;
Aughrus Peninsula drive; Omey strand/island for a walk – you need to check the tides for this one; Cashel Hill for a hike and finally, Lough Inagh loop on the Western Way.