On a still, clear day Kylemore Abbey is arguably Ireland’s most beautiful man-made attraction. The stately home-turned-Benedictine Monastery is nestled attractively between a wooded hillside and a lake that reflects the building with mirror-like perfection. The building is a beauty but the setting is the reason for this attraction’s popularity.
There are plenty of companies in Galway offering daytrips to the Connemara region’s essential visit and by car it’s approximately 90 minutes past a perfect mishmash of mountains, lakes and bogland.
There is so much to do you could easily spend two hours or even more here. Start with one of the short and sweet house tours. Learn about how this inaccessible area of West Ireland became the family home of a rich English family before transforming into a monastery for Benedictine nuns from Belgium in the 1920s. Then wander around the lake to the adorable neo-gothic church.
A ten minute walk (or short shuttle bus ride) from the lake in the opposite direction is the wonderfully restored Victorian walled garden. There are also a number of walking trails across the hillside for a different perspective on Kylemore Abbey and the lake.
This secluded attraction also importantly offers two decent cafes with a good range of lunch food plus plenty of indoor and outdoor seating.