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The Magic of Kylemore Abbey, Connemara

On our Wild Connmara Bike tour, we take you to the picturesque gardens and stunning vistas of Kylemore Abbey.  Its six acre Victorian Walled gardens have been lovingly restored. For more than a century, Kylemore has been the quintessential romantic nineteenth-century Irish castle overlooking a lake in the West of Ireland.

Kylemore Abbey’s fairy-tale history started appropriately with a honeymoon in 1849, when Mitchell Henry, the son of a wealthy Manchester cotton merchant, married Margaret Vaughan and visited Connemara, Co. Galway.

Captivated by the scenery, and promised to build his wife a Gothic castle there, which he did. Following Margaret’s death in 1874, Mitchell commissioned a lovely neo-Gothic church in the style of a 14th century English Cathedral, which can be reached along a leafy walk to the east of the castle.

The dramatic landscape and iconic image of a gothic castle reflected in a Connemara lake has made Kylemore Abbey world-famous and it is now the largest tourist attraction in the west of Ireland.

The Benedictine nuns invite visitors to experience the Victorian atmosphere of the Abbey’s restored rooms, miniature gothic church, head gardener’s house and garden boy’s house. Learn of the tales of tragedy and romance, the engineering initiatives, model farms, royal visits and the Abbey’s former role as a girls boarding school.

Kylemore’s many nature trails, woodland walks and the magical award-winning walled garden offer a wonderland to explore. Discover the Victorian heritage of the walled garden, where only flower and vegetable varieties from that era are grown. Enjoy refreshing walks and scenic views as every season has something different to offer at Kylemore.

Mitchell’s café and the tea house offers home-cooked food made from recipes perfected by the Benedictine nuns and using fresh vegetables and herbs from the walled garden.

The craft shop has a wide selection of design-focused Irish giftware including artisan food products, knitwear, pottery, art and handcrafts made by the Benedictine nuns at Kylemore.

Choirs travel from around the world to Kylemore Abbey to sing in the Gothic church with its superb acoustics. All are welcome to attend the choral performances and admittance is included in the Kylemore entry fee.

Opening times: Open all year round. 7 days a week. Summer: mid-March to November, 09.30 – 17.30. (July & August 9.00 – 19.00). Winter: November to mid-March, 10.00 – 16.30.