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.
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