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Cong day trip from Galway - doable?

My husband and I are celebrating our anniversary with a trip to Ireland in July. We're with a tour but are not afraid to deviate from the offered outing to see what we want to see. We arrive in Galway around 11:30am on the first day, are on our own for the afternoon, then a group dinner in the evening. Our second day starts with a walking tour through Galway then we're on our own for the afternoon and dinner.

Forgive me if I am wrong but isn't Galway known for it's nightlife? When I've looked up things to do, there haven't really been that many intersting places to see. So, my thoughts are this. With our free afternoon the first day, we'll do our own walk around the town, stop at the Tesco for supplies etc. The second day we'll rent a car after breakfast and drive up to Cong/Ashford Castle. According to the directions on websites, it's around a 45 minute drive so I would allow at least an hour+. My husband is a HUGE John Wayne fan so I thought spending the day in the Cong area would be great. I would also like to do the falconry at Ashford. As we are on our own for dinner we have no time table when to be back, except to return the car.

Thoughts? Is this a doable day trip? Would you recommend talking a "Quiet Man Tour" or visiting the sites on our own? Any other suggestions?

Thank you in advance!

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1843 posts

A trip to Cong/Ashford is VERY doable in one day. You will LOVE the falconry experience at Ashford. It was a highlight for us. Be sure to make an advance reservation. Lunch at Ashford is not terribly expensive, and it would give you a chance to also enjoy a bit of the castle. While the gift shop is not extensive, it is on an upper floor of the castle, so it would give you a chance to see a bit more of the inside, too.

If you have time, a drive to Kylemore Abbey might be something you would enjoy....lots of photos on

In Galway, you will find Key Street is a pleasant stroll....lots of street musicians, jugglers, pubs, cute shop, as well as extending a bit into some of the side streets. We were there only during the way, but it is my guess that it would be even more lively at night.

Have fun, and safe travels.