Oughterard, Connemara & Galway City—there are so many things to see and do around The Boat Inn, you’d need a lifetime to get to them all. Oughterard, the Gateway to Connemara, offers easy access to angling and boating on Lough Corrib, to the excitement and history of Galway City, the City of the Tribes, and to the rugged beauty of the mountains and lakes of Connemara.
Oughterard is an area of great scenic beauty, with rolling hills, rivers and lakes. The town is situated on the banks of the Owenriff River, close to the shores of Lough Corrib. Walking in and around Oughterard is fantastic and there is natural terrain to suit all levels. Stroll at your leisure and take in the natural beauty of the village and immediate area or take the challenge of the testing mapped trails in Connemara.
Our community has an energetic walking club—”Corrib Ramblers” who have a great reputation of welcoming the novice or experienced walking enthusiast and are delighted to show the visitor the magic that is found in our locality. Members assemble every Sunday throughout the year at 10:30am at the Oughterard Car Park. A list of more challenging walks is also prepared in advance and these walks take place on every alternate week.
The 50th show takes place this year in September, the first of which was organised by Oughterard Development Company Ltd and held on 20th September 1962.
What might be regarded as the first ever show was held in 1911 – a simple affair with an animal welfare aspect associated with it and featuring ponies and carts as well as donkeys and carts. The Connemara Pony Breeders’ Society also held two of its shows in Oughterard in 1929 and 1930 while a number of very successful shows and gymkhanas were held in the 1940s.
Derroura Mountain Bike Trail is one of Coillte’s custom built and designed trails in the beautiful setting of Connemara in the West of Ireland. With and ever increasing interest in outdoor sports and activities for the individual or families, Coillte have invested in purpose built trails for mountain bikers. The trails are designed with safety in mind and are laid out in such a way as to reduce the risk of interference with other forest users and also to control the speed of the mountain biker. Mountain bike hire is available beside the trail.
Oughterard Golf Club is a parkland course with 18 holes. Lined with mature native Irish trees, numerous water features and sand bunkers that are placed to protect the par of the course.
The Golf Club is renowned for its hospitality and is an ideal venue to include on a golfing holiday in the West of Ireland.
The Oughterard Golf Club’s facilities include a Club House Restaurant, Club House Bar, a Shop, and Practice Facilities.
Lough Corrib is renowned for the quality of its wild brown trout fishing. There is no other lake in Europe to compare with it. It is the envy of the angling world. Lough Corrib stretches 33 miles from Galway City to Maam Valley in Connemara and Oughterard is located about halfway. What makes the Lough so interesting is the myriad of small islands and shallow bays where many hungry trout feed eagerly. You can never say that you know Lough Corrib but you may come to know small parts of it intimately.
In the area, there are eleven coarse fishing lakes, all holding bream, roach, rudd, perch, eel, pike and roach/bream hybrids. There are bait suppliers locally but one needs to arrange in good time to place orders for supplies. The Moycullen lakes range in size from 6 to 400 acres. The Western Regional Fisheries Board has developed a number of them to incorporate quality fishing stands, stiles and foot bridges. Two stands were specially built for disabled anglers along Oliver’s Shore at Bally-quirke Lake and one at Ross Lake. With the newly created facilities there are now several hundred “swims” available at the lakes. These lakes are also good for pike, some fish weighing over 20 lb. Pike to 30 lb have been caught in the past on Ballyquirke Lake. There are over 40 pike lakes within the region. Pike are transferred from some trout and salmon waters to a number of small pike lakes in the region. All the lakes have directional signs and there are detailed access maps available from the Tourist Office.
Ireland’s western coastline is an area of exceptional beauty. The diverse nature of the coastline provides the perfect habitat for a wide range of marine species. The warming influence of the North Atlantic drift encourages fish of the southern climes to migrate along the coast in summer including a large number of blue shark.
The Galway section of the Western Way starts in Oughterard and follows the shore of Lough Corrib to Maam. From Maam, the Way takes a low level course through the great quartzite ranges of the Maum Turks and the Twelve Bens, before descending to the deep, narrow valley of the Killary Harbour and the junction with the Mayo Western Way near Leenane. The total distance of the way is 31 miles, taking in Oughterard, Maam, Maumeen, Toorena-coona and Leenane. The longest stage is that between Maumeen and Toorenacoona, a distance of 14 miles. Maumeen is the highest point at 850 ft.
This walk takes you from high up over Lough Corrib to low down beside the shore of the lake at different points, offering magnificent views of Lough Corrib and her islands. This is a loop walk on road and finishes in the centre of the village.
This walk can also be driven or cycled.
Both Walks start and finish at the car park. Lough Seecon looped walk is 6.5kms and of moderate difficulty with a 75m climb. This Trail Way marking is “Green” with an approximate time of 2hrs.
New Village Walk is also a looped trail and 5kms in length. There is a 50m climb of moderate difficulty with an approximate time of completion being 1.5hrs. The Trail Way marking is “White”.
Drive through Oughterard Village and turn right in the main square, on Camp Street. Follow this road around and over the bridge where you will see it signposted as turning into the Glann Road. This scenic drive, along the Lough Corrib, is beautiful in its own right but ends, 12.5km out at the Hill of Doon. There are gorgeous views from this point but even better are the ones if you climb the paths further on up into the hills. There are gorgeous views from this point but even better are the ones if you climb the paths further on up into the hills.
Between Errisbeg and Murvey, near Roundstone, lies Dogs Bay. Originally called Port na Feadige or Bay of Plovers, a prehistoric settlement was unveiled here in 1990, after a storm. Archaeologists found an ancient wall covering an oval shaped house and a series of pits containing organic remains. They also discovered a skaill knife and a limestone blade, possibly used for butchering and cutting up animals, dating back perhaps as far as 4000 B.C. Animal bones and fish shells were found, but no pottery has turned up, so the people who lived there were from the early Christian times. Dogs Bay, very safe and free from currents, curves beautifully in a mile long stretch of clear white sand made from shells.
Set back-to-back with Dogs Bay, the clearest Atlantic waters of Gurteen can be enjoyed for swimming and almost every type of aquatic sports. The sand is pure white, formed not of quartz but of shells exclusively. These beaches are a real pleasure just to walk along and be in tune with nature, with their sea bird life and fauna.
Connemara is a dream for cyclists and The Boat Inn Oughterard the perfect base for exploring the mountains, lakes and rivers of Co. Galway. We have a secure bicycle lockup on The Boat Inn property for guests and can offer suggestions and maps for cycling in and around Oughterard, along Lough Corrib, or to other destinations in Connemara. If you’re looking to hire a cycle, we can also help you find a local shop to rent your bicycle for the day, a few days, or for the week. If mountain-biking is your thing, then have a look at Derroura Mountain Bike Trail, above.
Galway, the largest county in Connaught, is celebrated in song and story throughout the world and takes centre stage on Ireland‘s western seaboard. A spectacularly beautiful county, it is a medley of contrasts – the wildest and remotest of countryside teamed with one of Europe‘s most vibrant and popular cities. Drawn as if by a magnet, visitors come again and again, captivated by this most special of Irish counties.
Galway City at the mouth of Galway Bay is both a picturesque and lively city with a wonderful avant-garde culture and a fascinating mixture of locally owned, speciality shops, often featuring locally made crafts. Indeed local handcrafts are a feature of the entire region including hand knits, pottery, glass, jewellery and woodwork.
The city has many relics of its medieval past and is worth taking time to explore. It has changed considerably over the last number of years and features a fascinating juxtaposition of new and ancient architecture. The centre of the city is conveniently compact enough to ramble around comfortably.