Letterfrack is surrounded by many interesting places. During my stay, two couples used the B&B just for the night and continued their trip the next day. They missed all the wonderful spots, the views and the hikes. One couple was touring around Ireland in one week! To get an impression…….from the window of their car. They even missed the beauty of Kylemore Abbey, just a ten minute drive from Letterfrack.
Although a tourist attraction, it is a lovely place to visit. Its history goes back to 1860, when Mitchell Henry built the Abbey for his wife Margaret on the lakeshore, at the heart of a 15,000 acre estate. After Margaret died, Mitchell Henry built the Gothic Church, in memory of his wife. They both rest together in the Mausoleum, very near to the church.
On the other side of Kylemore Abbey, you will find The Victorian Walled Garden, a six acre oasis with glasshouses. There is even a shuttle bus going for the elderly and small children, but the hike along the lake is very enjoyable.
In 1920 the Benedictine Community of Nuns arrived at Kylemore, where they established an Abbey and an international girl’s boarding school. The school is gone, but the nuns stayed and in the Craft and Design Shop you will find a variety of products, all handmade by the Benedictine nuns.
I would have loved to walk up the mountain to the Sacred Heart Statue, which was erected in 1932. The view from there over the Connemara Mountains must be stunning, but there is just no time enough. Next time?
After leaving the Abbey direction Westport, the road will soon follow Killary Harbour. This is one of the three glacial fjords in Ireland. It stretches sixteen kilometers inland to the lovely village of Leenane. I visit on a rainy day, but even then the views are still spectacular.
On the shores of majestic Killary fjord is a food truck, where you can grab an excellent coffee or soup.
The food is delicious (try the veggie pasty) and there are benches to sit down when it is not raining! Also a great place to take pictures of the fjord………
Another great day trip from Letterfrack is driving along the Wild Atlantic Way towards the remote fisherman’s village of Roundstone. Once leaving Clifden behind, the road gets very calm with amazing views all over and again a colourful rainbow! There are enough opportunities to stop the car and admire the coastline.
Artistic Roundstone has plenty to offer. The best Bodhráns ( Irish drums) are produced here, by famous instrument maker Malachy Kearns. The drum is on one side covered with goatskin and Bodhrán means deaf or haunting. There are plenty of restaurants, which serve the day’s catch, such as lobster, crab, shrimp, mackerel or cod.
Next time, I would love to spend some more time in peaceful Roundstone; go hiking up the mountain, along the coast and enjoy the delicious food!
My stay in Ireland was an unforgettable one. I fell in love with the country and its people and I certainly will return!!!