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“The walk down is part of the experience!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Clifden Castle

Clifden Castle
Clifden, Ireland
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Ranked #4 of 20 things to do in Clifden
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Attraction details
Oshkosh, Wisconsin
Top Contributor
234 reviews 234 reviews
56 attraction reviews
Reviews in 93 cities Reviews in 93 cities
146 helpful votes 146 helpful votes
“The walk down is part of the experience!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 25, 2013

We decided to try to see the Clifden Castle during our recent visit to the Connemara region. I hadn’t read a recent Trip Advisor report that suggested that the castle was no longer open to the public [until afterwards]. My wife and I had to find the castle first, so it was kind of an adventure but we spotted it from the highway. We drove through an archway only to realize there really wasn’t any place to park the car and the lane wasn’t one I felt safe in driving on . So I managed to turn around in one spot and we left the car at the back off the main road and walked down. The lane was wet in spots and we had to hug the fence and inch along for a stretch. But after that it was a nice walk on a lane that wound down to the ruins of the castle. We met a young couple there who were coming in across a field from a different direction. Turns out they were from Mexico and visiting Ireland on their honeymoon while my wife and I were celebrating our 40th wedding anniversary in Ireland!
We enjoyed exploring around the castle ruins and the back buildings a little farther away. It’s the type of “attraction” that my wife and I enjoy but the walk there would not be for everyone- certainly not for families with young children.
After our trip, I checked with the local Irish publication “What’s On” about the status of the Clifden Castle. They confirmed that it was not an “official” attraction and the castle was on private land but that it was part of a ‘commonage’ and that the owners were happy to allow visitors to walk to the castle. They added that the Clifden Castle was an important part of Clifden’s history. I would suggest if you visit that you stay on the lane [there is one section where the fence was down and the lane was covered with water- and we stepped over the downed fence and walked in the field] and be respectful of private property. I saw no “no trespassing” or similar signs around and there was one signpost that indicated “Castle” on our walk.
So, we enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone up for a hike and ready for a little adventure. Check out my posted pictures! Oh, note there are no "facilities" along the way or at the castle ruins.

Visited September 2013
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75 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Saginaw, Michigan
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“A pleasant diversion”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2013

We were looking for something off the beaten track to do one afternoon on our recent trip to Ireland. We were staying in Letterfrack at Rosleague Manor (a great place, by the way) and had a few hours to kill. We had heard of the castle and asked for directions at the tourist office in Clifden. We also asked if there would be an issue with trespassing, and they said no problem. It was a good thing we had gps, however, because it is a bit hard to find. There's really no parking for it, so we just pulled off the road out of the way. There was no one else around. It's a relatively easy walk to the castle. The view over the water is quite nice. You can't really get inside of the castle to explore, so you're limited to just walking around the exterior. I wouldn't plan your trip around a visit but, if you've got some spare time, you could do worse.

Visited August 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newport News, Virginia
Top Contributor
101 reviews 101 reviews
26 attraction reviews
Reviews in 41 cities Reviews in 41 cities
133 helpful votes 133 helpful votes
“You can't go here anymore, it seems”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2013

This castle, the D'Arcy family castle, is located outside of Clifden with about a half a mile walk down to the water where the castle sits. The archway entrance to the walk down to the castle lies between two houses, and therein lies the problem. According to what I was told by one of the residents adjacent to the property, the castle and its grounds have been bought by nine families with historical ties to the property, and they have placed it off limits to outsiders. Indeed, in order to access the castle you must pass over their land which passes through cattle fields on a small gravel road. One of the landowners was repairing his fence one day and politely informed me that the property is not open to visitors anymore, although he did allow me to go down. I had been visiting this castle for several years as it is a very impressive ruin in a beautiful pastoral setting on the water. It's a small castle, but the scenery is gorgeous and it's a nice walk from where you must park your car. Perhaps if you were to get permission they might let you go down there. But this year there was a sign clearly marking it as private property and asking you not to trespass. It's a shame, really, because there never were very many visitors at one time there, and any abuse looks like the work of local teenagers.

Visited June 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sterling, Virginia
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
29 attraction reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
“Beautiful Castle”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2013

See the castle, a remnant of the town's early beginning and founder. It's a nice walk by the sea. Unfortunately some have engraved their names onto the castle exterior which is really despicable and terribly short sighted. Imagine a majestic place treated this way. So please give this castle and the land and people around it respect and be a kindly visitor, not a moron. Treat it as the special gem that it is and preserve it for others and your own descendants.

Visited August 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dublin, Ireland
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Leave the car and walk!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2013

Just when you think you've been fooled into thinking there is a castle here at all......you round the bend and there it is! Mixed messages from locals as to whether it is private property or not (my sister was stopped from going through twice!) but persevere and once you respect the 'off limit' areas you should be fine. I wouldn't recommend driving down the track.....we were in 'off road' mode and it was still a bit tricky. Leave the car at the top and walk down - probably 10-15 min walk. You cannot go inside the walls of the castle but it is worth a visit nonetheless and some good photo opportunities.

Visited July 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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