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What are the quirkiest attractions in Galway?

Jun 24, 2024 #Galway #Ireland
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Galway
Photo by Wallace Bentt on Unsplash

 
**This is a sponsored post**
 
If you’re considering a trip to Galway, there are plenty of popular attractions to enjoy. Sun yourself on the local beaches, marvel at the incredible architecture of Galway Cathedral, or learn more about the area’s history at the Galway City Museum.

Looking for something a little different? Then read on for five quirky attractions in Galway that you won’t want to miss…
 

1. The Calendar Sundial

Amidst the tranquility of Brigit’s Garden you’ll find the Calendar Sundial: the largest in Ireland, as well as one of the most modern. Built in 2006, a large stone circle holds a five-foot bog oak spike which casts shadows on lines representing each month of the year.

As well as the month of the year, you can also work out the time of day by measuring the length of the shadow during your visit. While you’re there, definitely explore the rest of Brigit’s Garden. It has four separate areas, each representing a different Celtic festival, as well as kids’ trails, a natural playground, a sustainability zone and more.
 

2. The end point of the first transatlantic flight

In 1919, William Alcock and Arthur Brown made the world’s first non-stop transatlantic flight. Starting in Newfoundland, they flew all the way to Galway, planning their landing in what they thought looked like a nice green field. It wasn’t, though – it was Derrigimlagh Bog. The plane was damaged but the two airmen, fortunately, were unscathed.

You can visit this remote spot near Clifden and enjoy the three-mile circular walk around the area, complete with information boards. The landing spot itself is marked by a huge white egg-shaped cairn – definitely one of Galway’s more unusual attractions!
 

3. The mystery of Knockma Hill

If myths and legends float your boat, a trip to Knockma Hill – also known as Fairy Hill – will be right up your street. Not only does it offer great views across Galway, it’s also steeped with fairy folklore.

Knockma Forest is around 8km from Tuam and features beautiful walking trails of different lengths. Follow the Forest Loop trail and you’ll arrive at the summit of Knockma Hill, home to two large cairns which, as legend goes, are the Bronze Age tombs of Maeve, the Queen of Connacht, and Finvarra, the King of the Connacht Fairies. Dotted throughout the forest are plenty more archaeological ruins from a range of eras.
 

4. Marvel at The Wormhole

Also known as poll na bPeist or The Serpent’s Lair, you’ll be amazed by this natural attraction on the island of Inis Mór!

You’ll find this perfectly rectangular pool on the west side of the island – its edges so straight that it’s hard to believe it wasn’t manmade. However, it really is a natural formation in the limestone rock and features underground channels that fill the pool when the tide is in. NEVER attempt to swim in The Wormhole – the currents are ridiculously strong. Be sure to wear sturdy footwear when visiting, too!
 

5. Inis Oirr’s sunken church

 

Inis Oirr
Inis Oirr – Photo by Ulrike R. Donohue on Unsplash

 
Opposite the Inis Oirr airstrip you’ll find the remains of Teampall Caomhán – St Caomhán’s Church. Dating back to the 10th century, all that’s left is the chancel. Over the years, the sands drifting across the island submerged the church completely, but local islanders excavated it and still maintain the ruins now.

Just to the north-east of the ruins you’ll find the grave of St. Caomhán – the patron saint of Inis Oirr.
 

Where to stay when you visit

If you’re looking for somewhere to stay in Galway that’s just as exciting as some of these attractions, why not consider the The Galway Rooms? Right in the heart of Galway’s West End, The Galway Rooms offer a stylish and affordable place to stay without scrimping on room luxuries.

Offering all the amenities of a hotel but without the formality, you can check yourself in using a pin code and make the most of the WiFi, the Nespresso machine and luxurious comfort with all the delights of Galway just a train, bus or car ride away.
 

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