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Ireland Tour: Time Spent in Cong?

So, like many people who choose to visit Ireland, I'm a fan of The Quiet Man & am excited about the tour stop in Cong, where a bit of the movie was filmed. For those of you who have taken the tour, I'm curious how much time is actually spent there? The itinerary seems to focus on the abbey ruins, but it's my understanding the "town" is quite small & the cottage/museum is basically a minute or so walk away. Is it possible to steal away for a moment & take a peak inside/snap a few photos (I know there's a small admission)? Or to find the statue of John Wayne & Maureen O'Hara? Or have these things traditionally been part of the tour that just aren't written about in the brief description?

Posted by
8203 posts

We started at Ashford Castle where the bus dropped us off. We walked to the area where you take the Hawk Walk (really, really interesting), did the walk, then had free time. Many of us walked thru the woods to Cong where we were to meet the bus. This was a lunch stop so we probably had 2 hours. I had plenty of time to walk from Ashford to Cong, have lunch, walk the abbey ruins and walk a little in town. I looked at googlemaps to see where the Quiet Man museum is located and if it is open at the time of your visit you should have no trouble seeing it. We came out of the woods from Ashford right at that intersection. The bus was parked right off the main road.

editing to add: This was the only time anyone was late to the bus. Three people had stayed at Ashford to look around and eat lunch, then got slightly turned around walking on the path(s) thru the woods to Cong. They fortunately had a phone, called the guide and he directed them thru the woods where they were to the main road where we picked them up. No one minded the delay and we were very glad to see them!

Enjoy this tour!

Posted by
524 posts

We did not spend much time in Cong, and did not do the Hawk Walk only the Abbey ruins walk. I don't think our guide was interested in The Quiet Man, he made reference to it, but we had no down time while there. We had a lunch stop in another village. We did not visit the sheep farm, either. Which was something I really wanted to do, I have a border collie and enjoy watching them work. Instead we went to a roadside monument commemorating Michael Collins. Our guide was really into the troubles and spent quite a lot of time on the subject. So, your guide may be the determining factor of tour's focus. I must say, of all the tours I have been on, this guide has been the only one that tweaked the itinerary for reasons other than weather/strikes/closures. I DID enjoy the tour and I DO enjoy history, and I KNEW we would learn a great deal about the troubles, and realize itinerary may vary, but I was bummed about those two activities.

Posted by
56 posts

Thanks, Pam!

This helps. I'm guessing the museum people are well aware of the influx of tourists & their hours do seem like a wide enough window (they're open during lunchtime & then some). Cong Abbey is about 110 meters away from the Quiet Man Cottage, so if I get lost there, I'm a disgrace to my Boy Scout training.

Posted by
56 posts

Thanks, Debra...

That's disappointing. I do have a couple of months to read up on subliminal messages & the power of persuasion! The sheep farm sounds like it'd be charming, too. I know weather is always going to be a determining factor, but the whim of the guide shouldn't be, especially when it's almost expected/highlighted in the itinerary.

Posted by
524 posts

As noted in the Tour Agreement and Conditions: "Itineraries are subject to change: Europe is full of surprises and we need to be flexible enough to take advantage of whatever comes along so that we may provide you with the best possible tour. Uncompleted portions of the tour itiner­ary are not cause for refund."

Since I signed the agreement, I didn't complain. I was just explaining what happened on my tour. I hope I did not seem as if I were whining.

Happy Trails

Posted by
56 posts

Yeah, I'm ready to roll with it & I'm doing enough before & after on my own that I know I'll enjoy myself regardless of a missed agenda item or two, but we all have our favorites, don't we? You pay a considerable amount & have not unreasonable expectations.

Posted by
8203 posts

We had one "grump" on our tour, who complained bitterly that we were fogged in at Cliffs of Moher and Giant's Causeway. Everyone else just ignored her. Really, the guide and bus driver can't do anything about that! They rearranged the stops on our Giant's Causeway day to see if some time would allow the fog to lift...but to no avail.

Posted by
56 posts

There are going to be weather issues - it's Ireland! And you have to appreciate a guide who can think on his or her feet & has a fun & engaging backup plan. I'll hope for the best & stop short of taking hostages. From the sound of things, unless we get Mr. Troubles, there's a good chance we'll be there at least long enough to take a look at the exterior & find the statue :)

Posted by
750 posts

As a side note, we spent 3 days at Ashford Castle and it was the highlight of our trip to Ireland, the castle is amazing and the staff will do anything possible to make your stay extra special, the food in the main dinning room is excellent and the Falconry Class is a true "backdoor" experience you will never forget!

Posted by
750 posts

As a side note, we spent 3 days at Ashford Castle and it was the highlight of our trip to Ireland, the castle is amazing and the staff will do anything possible to make your stay extra special, the food in the main dinning room is excellent and the Falconry Class is a true "backdoor" experience you will never forget!

Posted by
31271 posts

Shawn,

As the previous replies have indicated, the amount of time spent in Cong may vary from one tour to another, depending on conditions at the time. On my tour, we spent several hours there and had a look at several sights, including the Monk's fishing hut and Ashford Castle. Seeing the "Quiet Man House" was a bit of a "non-event", but still nice to actually stand in front of it, as I've seen the movie many times. Ashford Castle is beautiful and well worth a look (would have been nice to stay there, but unfortunately not possible on my budget). Our tour slept in Westport that night.

Posted by
91 posts

Shawn,

As has been pointed out by others, a lot of it will depend on your guide. Ours knew someone in upper management at Ashford Castle and we stopped there first for Irish Coffee in the parlor and a free hour to walk the beautiful gardens around the castle. We then walked to Cong. We had a pretty serious John Wayne fan in our group, so our guide took us around to different spots in Cong including the supposed "exact spot" on the river bank where the famous fight continued into the water! Don't know if it was true, but the site was incredibly picturesque and we now have a photo on our bedroom wall of that riverbank and the huge trees reflecting off of the water.

We loved the trip in 2011. It was our first RS tour and sold us on the organization. Our guide was Stephen McPhilemy and he is as good as they get in my opinion. If you get him, you will learn some Irish songs to be able to sing along in the pubs!

Posted by
56 posts

Thanks, Ken.

Yes, I've read that the museum itself isn't much - 2 rooms, some replica props & newspaper articles, etc., but for fans of the film, it's something. And of course, there's a gift shop, so there's always that.

Posted by
56 posts

Thanks, Ron.

Nobody's going to want to hear me sing, I'm pretty sure!

I found out last night that we'll be getting the complete list of hotels & some additional info in just a couple of weeks, so I can begin cementing plans - this trip should definitely be memorable.

Posted by
8203 posts

Shawn, if you go in to your trip portal you will see the date when they will post the hotels, guide and participant list. As far as I can tell they don't really post early even if you check it 50 times a day, lolol!!

Posted by
46 posts

We were in Cong for about two hours. Most of it was taken up with the hawk walk. We parked in town behind a small grocery/convenience store. We then walked through the Ashford Castle grounds (passing by the statue and Quiet Man museum as well as the church in the opening scenes of the film). Since there was a private event at the castle, we had to take the long way around to the Falconry school. This ate up a bit of time although it was a lovely walk in surprisingly sunny and warm weather. After the hawk walk, there was little time left. The rest of the group went to see the Cong Abbey while I broke away to shoot a few pictures of the town and had a 10 minute visit to the museum. It's not much (the museum), but I'm a HUGE fan of the movie, so it was worth it.

Posted by
280 posts

Shawn,
Just FYI, the tour department states that you will receive your hotel list 3 weeks before you leave. We are on the GAS tour starting September 1 and we got our hotel list on August 6. So, that was about three and a half weeks before the tour. Enjoy your trip. We have the Ireland tour on our bucket list. Give a report after you return.😊

Posted by
5634 posts

Interesting -- as a Los Angeles native, "where the movie was filmed" to me is usually "sound stage in Culver City." So ... not that exciting a use of tour time (a chacun son gout) Give me history or architecture or magnificent views.

Posted by
13 posts

Hey Pam...

Sorry about the delay in Cong....some of us would have loved to see more of the village, however...making the wrong turn didn't help! Our group was wonderful and so understanding...we talk about the oops often...Do you remember the comment of the "Body of Water"? Thankfully we had the best in the world guide.

Posted by
8203 posts

Oh My Word! Waving Hello to Robin/Frank/Sue! I do not remember the Body of Water but I agree we did have the best guide. I still laugh at some of his outrageous stories and we do mention at least weekly, Seamus the Irish wolfhound and the prodigious quantities of um...pottying. I was just thinking today about how we had to outrun the bus full of Germans to the bathrooms at Yeats' grave. Too funny!

PS The whole bus was glad you found your way back. No way were we leaving!

Posted by
13 posts

Pam...
Waving back at you , Roger and Cinda.....great group and great trip.