Galway - Claregalway - Tuam - Milltown - Claremorris - Knock - Kiltimagh - Bohola - Foxford - Pontoon - Castlebar - Ballintubber - Ballinrobe - Headford - Galway
(178km / 112mls).
, take the N17 (Tuam Road) to Claregalway
, a village with a ruined Franciscian Friary, standing near the Clare River. The flat farmland along here is relieved by Knockma Hill where, it seems, fairies once lived. Tuam
, an ancient town has fine monuments, including a 12th century High Cross. In early christian times, St Jarlath founded a monastery here. Tuam is also home to Irish band, the Saw Doctors. Continue on to Milltown, with its restored mill tank, and to Claremorris
, an attractive market town. From here continue to Knock
, where on 21st August 1879, an apparition of Our Lady, St Joseph and St John appeared. It is now a Marian Shrine, attracting 1,500,000 visitors annually.
Leaving Knock, turn left for Kiltimagh
and continue on to Bohola
. After Bohola turn left then right for Foxford
by a very pleasant route. A trip to Foxford's Woollen Mills and Visitors Centre is recommended. A nun, Mother Agnes Morrogh-Bernard founded the mills in 1892 and Foxford became famous for its tweeds, rugs and blankets. An audio-visual history of the mills is followed by a tour. For further information Tel 096-56756. Next stop is Pontoon
, via the scenic road which is bordered on either side by Lough Conn and lough Cullin. Pontoon is a famous angling centre where the President of Ireland, Mary Robinson has her summer home. Take the R310 to Castlebar
and N84 to Ballinrobe
. The famous and beautiful Ballintubber Abbey is off this road. Founded in 1216, it was suppressed by both Henry VIII and Cromwell, but still remains a place of worship. Continue on to Ballinrobe and return to Galway via Headford. Distance 178 km/ 112miles (approx).