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Is Athenry a good place for a family to stay on holiday?

NY, NY
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Is Athenry a good place for a family to stay on holiday?

Hi there. I was wondering if anyone on this forum would be able to tell me if Athenry was a good place for a family to stay for a week or more during a family vacation. Our priorities are to find a location with access local music as well as easy access to hiking and bicyle riding. We have three children and I was hoping to rent a home where they would be able to go outside and roam around and explore the countryside.

I originally planned to stay on the Connemara coast but many of the locations are quite remote, although beautiful and with interesting coastlines we would no doubt love to explore. My children love to swim and I understand there are a number of very nice swimming lakes near Galway, which is how I happened upon Athenry. We were also interested in being in close proximity to Galway so it would be easy to visit pubs and hear live local music.

I cannot tell if Athenry is more like a suburb or bedroom community for Galway, or if it is a rural community and would make a good base for our travels. I was last in Ireland 12 years ago so I am not sure how the areas have changed.

Thank you very much for any advice you can offer.

County Dublin...
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1. Re: Is Athenry a good place for a family to stay on holiday?

With all due respect to Athenry, I'd go further west.

Maryland
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for Las Vegas, Washington DC, County Donegal, Western Ireland
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2. Re: Is Athenry a good place for a family to stay on holiday?

(swimming lakes?? I'm not sure I've ever seen anyone swimming in a lake in Ireland. Bring wetsuits!)

I would stay in Connemara over a stay in Athenry.

Milwaukee
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3. Re: Is Athenry a good place for a family to stay on holiday?

Hmmmmm. I rented a wonderful place in Athenry for a week 5 years ago. Stone stables converted into a couple townhouses on a lovely estate. No longer operating, near as I can tell. We were adults, me and my sibs, no kids.

The good: Again, wonderful digs, tree lined entry road, lisconner stone floors and a peat fireplace, all done up comfortable and cozy with great modcon.. Short walk to the train station: one stop = central Galway. Easy driving to get to our midland targets as well as the coast. Interesting castle. Delightgful shopkeeper up the road.

The bad: walled city = very narrw streets. Many shops closed down, not too much nightlife. A little gritty, depressed even - and this was while the celtic tiger's heart was beating strong.

I can't recommend it for a family for a week or more. Kids would like the castle, but after that...there's not much there there.

NY, NY
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4. Re: Is Athenry a good place for a family to stay on holiday?

Thank you all so much. I must confess I was secretly hoping for a "Secret of Roan Inish" type of place but so many of the coastal towns are quite a far travelling distance from Galway.

This is the website that gave me the idea it might be nice to stay near Lough Rea: outdoorswimming.ie/Co/Galway/lough_rea.html

Although the house I was considering looks very nice, I secretly suspected Athenry was not the most picturesque or bucolic town to stay in since it is hard to find information about it or many pictures of it. Sort of like staying in New Jersey when visiting NYC (no disrespect to NJ, being a Jersey girl myself).

If anyone can suggest a lovely coastal town with good access to music I would much appreciate it.

Thanks again,

Jennifer

Milwaukee
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5. Re: Is Athenry a good place for a family to stay on holiday?

I was going to ask when you planned to visit, but that may not matter. Temp in the 60s is pretty much the high mark it seems no matter the month. 70s is rare, and 80s - like the next couple Galway days - well, I imagine that calls for a celebration. And sending photographers to the lakes! (Did you notice how pastey pale those kids in the pix were?)

Would your kids really want to swim if it feels like April or October (in NY)?

Maybe best to build the trip around other activities than swimming.

NY, NY
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6. Re: Is Athenry a good place for a family to stay on holiday?

One of my daughters is part seal and will swim regardless of the temperature. However, the swimming is not a critical part--I was just using it to help me narrow down a location. I was mostly interested in finding a home that had an interesting backyard or coastline where they could explore the beach, or had a stream or bog to keep them interested. Or a lovely meadow. But it seems most of the towns in Connemara have one or two shops or pubs at the most and are a far distance from Galway.

Galway,Ireland
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for Galway
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7. Re: Is Athenry a good place for a family to stay on holiday?

There are loads of holiday homes, cottages etc all along the coast road into Connemara, Barna and Spiddal are good locations, if youre driving which you are i assume then music can be heard in Galway and the drive in is no more than 30 mins.

Western Ireland...
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8. Re: Is Athenry a good place for a family to stay on holiday?

Not sure how County Galway is central to your plans but perhaps you might consider a location along the Western Greenway, a car free cycle route between Westport and Achill Island.

Westport is the largest town on the route - no shortage of restaurants and music venues, plus easy access to sea swimming at Bertra beach and Croagh Patrick for a good challenging walk.

Newport is much smaller but close to a nice walking area around Furnace Lake.

Mulranny is further west, smaller again, but the Mulranny Park Hotel offers nice self catering apartments and are very much tied in with the cycling options that the Greenway provides.

The Greenway is not for the exclusive use of cyclists by the way; it is used in equal measure by walkers and due to the fact that it is sited on an old rail track, there are no steep gradients.

NY, NY
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9. Re: Is Athenry a good place for a family to stay on holiday?

Thank you. I did not know about the Greenway. My husband likes to cycle very much and I will definitely check out your suggestions. There were many lovely holiday homes to rent in the Westport area.

10. Re: Is Athenry a good place for a family to stay on holiday?

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