27 Sep 2019
The Visitor Centre at Ireland’s famous Connemara National Park on the Wild Atlantic Way is to open to the public all year round.
Renowned Irish dramatist and wit Oscar Wilde called it a place of ‘savage beauty’, and there could hardly be a more fitting description of the striking scenery of Connemara.
Romantic, rugged and distinctive, the stunning scenery of Connemara National Park has inspired as many breathtaking adventures as it has photographs and Instagram posts.
Following a recent announcement by the Irish Government, the Visitor Centre will open all year round, and with no admission charges to the Connemara National Park, including the centre’s exhibition and audio-visual tour, visitors will now be able to get the full experience at the iconic site at any time.
Close to the hearts of Irish people and visitors alike, as well as a key stopping point on the Wild Atlantic Way, Connemara National Park covers a vast area of scenic mountains, expanses of bogs, heaths, grasslands and woodlands, with the Visitor Centre and main access point located near the village of Letterfrack in County Galway.
Mother Nature rules in Connemara, and the park is also home to red deer, Connemara ponies, and a huge variety of bird-life, including skylarks and peregrine falcons.
The Irish language, song, dance and literature are all well preserved in the area, and with such a beautiful unspoilt landscape it’s no wonder that the region is a playground for outdoor activities. It is easy to admire the scenery and take in the fresh country air with horse riding, cycling or hiking in the mountains.
Romantic and rugged, the stunning scenery of Connemara National Park
One of the best hikes is up the cone-shaped Diamond Hill, so named because of its sparkling appearance when sunlight reflects off its quartzite rock surface.
From the Visitor Centre a 7km loop walk takes you to the peak, along gravel footpaths and wooden boardwalks. At the top the views are exhilarating. Look towards the Wild Atlantic Way to see the islands of Inishturk, Inishbofin and Inishshark which lie off Connemara’s stunning coastline.
To the north and east lie the sharp-peaked summits of the Twelve Bens mountain range, a favourite of hikers and hill walkers, while you can also look down on the turreted Kylemore Abbey, a wonder of nineteenth-century architecture and said to be Ireland’s most romantic building.
Be prepared to stand in awe. Because that's what Connemara National Park is all about. It will fill your heart with something quite special.
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