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Possibly the most impressive building in Galway, this was the last great stone cathedral constructed in Western Europe. The Cathedral is dedicated to Our Lady Assumed into Heaven and overlooks the Salmon Weir Bridge. The Renaissance-style building was opened and consecrated by the late Cardinal Cushing in 1965 and stands on the site of the old city jail. It is not particularly antiquated, yet still corresponds with conventional church design and features a marble floor and brown cedar ceiling. The woodwork, stained glass and mosaics were all handcrafted by Irishmen.
Although Nimmo's Pier does not attract that large a crowd when compared to the famous Spanish Arch of Galway, it has earned an reputation over the years, as a bird-watchers' paradise. Also during winter, this pier becomes one of the most popular venues for ice skating events. Visit this place during the 'Galway Bay on Ice' event to see it transform into a land that exudes pure magic, to say the least. The pier is situated in the historically reputed Claddagh area in Galway. Call for additional information.
Salthill Promenade is perhaps two miles long from one end to the other, all of it overlooking Galway Bay. A nifty 50's diving platform is open year-round; however, swimming is not recommended in this part of the bay. A great place for jogging, rollerblading or strolling with your sweetie, the Prom becomes a home to dogs and children at the weekends. On clear days the hills of County Clare are visible across the bay, and benches are provided for the lazy or contemplative.
Situated about twenty minutes' drive from Galway city and close to the village of Oranmore, Renville Park surrounds a magnificent 16th century estate. The grounds include a network of trails and walks through woodlands, providing spectacular views of the sea and of counties Clare and Galway.The variety of flora includes several tree varieties, wild flowers, shrubs and old creeping ivy. Local fauna incorporates otter, heron, curlew and raven. The park has picnic areas with barbeque facilities (bring your own charcoal) and a children's play area. Open all year round, this park makes for a great family day out.
Spiddal is a Gaelic Village on the western side of Galway city and is renown for its pristine beaches and quaint charm. Other popular attractions include the scenic village harbor, the pier and the Ceardlann Craft Village. Spend the day lounging at the beach, or indulge in activities like shore fishing and surfing instead. The village also boasts charming boutiques and restaurants that serve both local and international cuisines. Consider brushing up on common Irish phrases before heading to Spiddal as this is a predominantly Irish-speaking village.
A trip to Connemara is not complete without a cruise around Lough Corrib. This lovely lake is one of Ireland's largest bodies of water. Stop at Inchagoil Island and visit the restored 12th century church there. Sir Benjamin Guinness restored this building in the 19th century, and created pathways through the woods all over the island. The island itself was once part of the Guinness estate, which also included Ashford Castle, now a famous hotel. Boats depart for the lough from the Galway side of Oughterard.
This thriving nature reserve is a popular tourist attraction and is favored by those with an appreciation for Ireland's natural beauty. Coole Park is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, especially birds. The park is also noted for its turloughs and wetlands, forming a complex ecological system that is both rare and beautiful. There is plenty to enjoy at the park including an 18th-century walled garden, several marked trails and a visitors center that is open seasonally. Favored by nature lovers, outdoors enthusiasts and tourists alike, Coole Park is treasured local attraction.