The Best of Ireland latest issue of AWAYN magazine


Noel Bonanza Hike 2 Cliffs of Moher, Ireland

You go travelling in Ireland, this has to be near the top of your list of places to go for scenery. Really good value at €6 an adult. Super views, really nice cliff walk in two directions ( over 1.5 hours in each direction), lovely coffee shop and restaurant for lunch. What a view, a spectacular place that will both excite you and frighten you, if you keep to the walled areas everything is fine but on the cliffs the drop is frightening. The place was crowded with tourists, on first entering you will visit a spectacular visitors center that blends in with its surroundings very well. With that comes an opportunity to part with you cash on overpriced gifts and you can also grab a bite to eat here. Leave the visitors center and start the climb to the cliffs , you start to see breathtaking views, the walk takes a bit of effort but they cater for the elderly and wheel chair bound with the type of buggy your familiar with at the airports. Were I in need of one I would probable ring in advance to book one. Beside the views, the wide Atlantic expanse before your eyes, you cant help but notice how stupid people are, sitting on cliff edges with their feet dangling over, some with their kids and you want to yell, "Stupid thats 200 meters high, you fall, you die" Besides that it was stunning, really enjoyed it. What an experience, loved everything, except the guy playing the violin that sounded like a cat being strangled to death slowly.

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Activities: ClimbingClimbing HikeHike
Amenities: Child Friendly Child Friendly Food Nearby Food Nearby Picnic Area Picnic Area Parking Parking Restrooms Restrooms


Chad OShea Northern Headlands of Donegal magnificent hikes

Whether you’re looking for a relaxing getaway in stunning surrounds, or fancy an exhilarating outdoor adventure, the Northern Headlands of Donegal have it all. With breathtaking scenery, golden beaches, rugged islands and a beautiful array of wildlife, this northern - almost untouched - stretch of the Wild Atlantic Way is an absolute essential, any time of year. We set off before midday and made our way towards Mt. Errigal, stopping off every so often to take pictures, I looked back over my collection and put together some of my favourite for the purpose of this post.Bring a spare change of clothes for the way home as the bog land at the very bottom of the mountain is awful, try and wear wellies if you can. The climb up Errigal is very steep and hard but well worth it at the end. Bring plenty of water and sugary foods with you. Coming down the mountain was harder as it is very easy to slip and fall on the rocks, wear suitable hiking shoes for the hike up and down to protect your ankles as injury can occur very easily, try wear gloves aswell as climbing up the mountain holding onto the rocks can become very sore on your hands, but remember, DONT LOOK DOWN!!!

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Activities: HikeHike
Amenities: Hotel Nearby Hotel Nearby Lodge Nearby Lodge Nearby

AWAYN Editorial

Exploring the Historic City of the Tribes

Galway or "City of the Tribes" sits on a harbour on Ireland’s picturesque west coast where the River Corrib meets the Atlantic Ocean. Remnants of the medieval town walls still remain today, but Galway dates back to 5000 B.C. It’s an incredible city, full of fun, culture and history. 


At the heart of Galway city is the 8th-century Eyre Square, which connects with popular Shop Street where you can seek our local crafts and infamous Claddagh Ring. Galway is famous for its traditional music scene and local food. It hosts many festivals and is a cultural hub. Many flocking there to play music, dance, share their art and get swept up in the hustle and bustle of the city.


The colourful city has even been designated the European Capital of Culture in 2020 and is a designated UNESCO City of Film. The minute you arrive in the city you’ll get a sense of how special it is. 


Interestingly Galway has a strong connection to the Irish language Gaelic. Galway has a large population of native Gaelic speakers, so keep an eye and ear out for it around the city.


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On the banks of the River Corrib is the oldest neighbourhood in Galway city called The Claddagh. The area is famous for its association with the Claddagh Ring - an Irish ring that signifies love, loyalty, and friendship.


Lynch's Castle is located on Shop Street and is an original medieval townhouse worth checking out as you explore the busy street. 


Another building of note in the city is Cathedral of Our Lady Assumed into Heaven and St Nicholas. This impressive architectural creation was built in 1965 and has a distinctive with a Renaissance Revival dome.

Spanish Arch known locally as Caoċ Arch is the only remaining part of the front wall of the city, which was built to protect the city in the 1500s. 

The best museum in the city is Galway City Museum. It houses exhibitions on the heritage of Galway and the history of Spanish Arch and the remnants of the city's wall. It even has insights into archaeology, history and sea science of Galway. An insider tip, check out their website for events that they run year round with immersive and educational experiences for adults and kids. 



Things to See:

If you want a tour of the city an open top bus is a great option. It only takes an hour but you’ll see everything from The Claddagh to Galway Bay, Salthill and Spanish Arch. Galway City Open Top Bus is a company offering this tour and the tours run from April through to September. 

Another historical landmark is the Home of Nora Barnacle; she was the wife of famous Irish writer and poet James Joyce. Number 8 Bowling Green has been restored to its original state and offers a fabulous insight into living in the early 1900s. A must see if you’re a history fan. 


The Burren is a region of County Clare, but it’s a short round trip from Galway. The landscape in the area is world famous. Its beauty is so incredible, with cliffs, caves and interesting archaeological sites to explore. If you’re a keen photographer this is one part near Galway well worth the trip. 


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Where to Eat:

A more casual lunch spot and for vegan cakes, cookies and really good coffee try Temple Café. Another casual lunch spot is the TGO Falafel Bar (get the shared platter for two it’s unreal). 


If you fancy some alternative teas and just want to sit somewhere for a while and chat The Secret Garden is lovely. For really good coffee and sitting outside Coffeewerk is really good and had lovely crafty bits and books inside, along with a small art gallery upstairs, again with local artists exhibiting. 


Also, there’s a shop called Cambridge’s, which has lots of great food options for on the go.


For the perfect pint, Galway has so many great options for travellers. Their pubs are lively, the pints are tasty and the staff are friendly. You won’t want to leave. Tigh Neachtain’s on Cross Street, Murphy’s, High Street and Garavan’s, William Street are all great pubs to check out. 


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Other activities include kayaking, sailing and diving. Kayak around the Galway coastline; take in Mutton Island Lighthouse and Salthill. Sail Galway Bay takes passengers on short and long trips from Galway to the Aran Islands; this is a worthwhile trip for travellers. The Aran Islands are in Galway Bay. Inishmore is the largest of the islands. On Inishmore is a prehistoric fort called Dún Aonghasa. Inishmaan meaning “Middle Island” is a predominantly Irish-speaking island, so an interesting option for tourists to get a true insight into Ireland. Inisheer is the smallest of the islands, but many of the tours take in all three islands.


If your timings are good you could take in a festival Galway International Arts Festival takes place in July. Galway Film Fleadh takes place in July each year and Galway International Oyster Festival happens in September.


If you’re eager to explore Galway by foot than there are lots of walking tours in and around the city. A walking tour is such a fun way to take in the rich history and cultural heritage of the city's cobblestone streets. Food tours have become hugely popular in Galway in the last decade too. And more for unique foodie experiences try an oyster tour, Poitin and Gin tour, bread and butter workshop, a vegan tasting experience in Connemara or a bike or walk food experience in the nearby the Burren. 


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More ADVENTURES highlights


Lilli Baggio Sightseeing the Great Pollet Sea Arch

Hidden away and it is great when you come across it. Sign posts point you in the general direction but on a nice day there is nothing better than a bit of exploring.To get to the arch from the main road from Portsalon you turn right or if coming from the Fandad Lighthouse obviously turn left, either way is well signposted. A word of warning it is a narrow winding road but not too long and the view from it is spectacular down Lough Swilly as far as you can see. (on a clear day) You have to park up the car and walk through a turnstile to gain access to the Arch. There are two ways to go, 1 across the field and down or follow the path. There is a right of way past a farmhouse but is OK and only occupied for a few weeks in the summer. It is private. Follow the path and curious donkeys who seem to live there. They are friendly but don't like dogs so keep them away or on a lead. The ground becomes rather steep and there is another stile on the extreme left and then you look around the corner and there it is in all it's glory. Even on a wet windy day it looks magnificent for photographs. The sea can be quite rough there so keep well back off the rocks. You can climb out quite a distance to the edge. The rocks at this point are quite steep and you could slip off them so stay on the inside. There are some interesting caves around the same bay to explore when the tide is out if you have time or small children who are "bored". Well worth the visit and you usually find yourself on your own as the trek down puts some folks off. Enjoy
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Activities: PhotographyPhotography WalkingWalking


Elle Mawdsley Walk the Carrick-A-Rede Rope Bridge

The final destination is Carrick-a-Rede Island (home to a single building-a fisherman's cottage) connected to the cliffs by a rope bridge across the Atlantic Ocean. The rope bridge was first erected by salmon fisherman 350 years ago when it was suspended nearly 100 ft (30 m) above sea level. Carrick-a-Rede welcomed this exciting rope bridge experience with the highest number of visitors ever in 2016. As we approach our traditional busy season, we have put in place some new measures to help ensure that Carrick-a-Rede's experience is the best it can be. We are committed to preserving and protecting our special places and spaces as a conservation charity for everyone to enjoy. 

This is a busy attraction on the North Coast , and 7£ per person. The views are absolutely stunning, all the way from the car park right up to the islands over the bridge. If you're going here, make sure you wear sensible footwear, - the ground is uneven and can be slippery, and also take a decent camera with you. The walk to the bridge is fairly long, and difficult in places, but it is worthwhile. They have, very thoughtfully, placed benches at various points along the way, so you can rest if you need to. Apologies if this seems blunt, but if you're in a wheelchair, or are unable to walk very far, forget it - it will be far too difficult for you and there's no where that you can even get a good view of the rope bridge without walking a fair distance. if you can walk, but with difficulty ( I have arthritis and angina) grit your teeth, get on with it, and you won't be disappointed.    

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Activities: HikeHike PhotographyPhotography
Amenities: Food Nearby Food Nearby Lodge Nearby Lodge Nearby Parking Parking