Top Five Activities in Galway

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Galway City Museum:

Behind the Spanish Arch of Galway City, is the new site of the Galway City Museum. Moved there from within the Arch in 2006, the museum exhibits artefacts, relics and collections that depict past and present life in Galway City. Permanent collections include farm and industrial implements, medieval stones, militia artefacts, photographs, art and a maritime exhibit. There are also religious relics and ancient weapons on loan to the museum. The new building is designed as an L-shape and built no higher than three storeys to help it fit in with the surrounding architecture. The final cost of the build was almost €7 million, or $7.6 million.

Aughnanure Castle:

The sixteenth century fortress, home to the 'Fighting O'Flahertys' during their reign as overlords of the  Connemara region, Aughnanure Castle is found about two miles east of Oughterard, in turn around sixteen miles from Galway City. The six storey tower looks out over Lough Corrib, while the grounds contain the remains of an unusual courtyard area known as a double bawn. Caverns and caves wind through the rock beneath the castle, while the name comes from the Irish Achadh na nlubhar, meaning 'the field of the yews'.

Thoor Ballylee:

Another sixteenth century tower, this time near Gort, Co. Galway about 24 miles from Galway City, that was home to poet William Butler Yeats in the 1920s. 'Yeats' Tower' originally belonged to the de Burgh family as part of the Earls of Clanrickarde estates. Yeats purchased the castle from his good friend Lady Augusta Gregory for £35 – just $53 - and renamed it 'Thoor Ballylee' after the Irish word for tower. Ballylee is now filled with furnishings that belonged to the poet, as well first editions of his works, and also contains a tea room and shop in the adjoining miller's cottage.

Dún Aengus:

On the Aran Islands, just off the coast of Co. Galway, are several prehistoric forts and archaeological sites. The most famous of these is Dún Aengus on Inishmore, perched atop a 300-foot cliff. Built originally back in 1100 BC, and refortified in about 500 BC, the fort consists of four concentric dry-stone walls with an almost impassable, defensive system of stone slabs called a cheval de frise. The outside wall encloses an area of about fourteen acres, and there is a nearby Neolithic tomb. There are also at least three similar forts on the island and another on Inishmaan.

Joyce Country Sheepdogs:

On the hills outside the village of Clonbur, thirty miles north of Galway City, is a working sheep farm where the Joyce Country Sheepdogs run about, gathering the sheep flocks. Visitors are invited to marvel at the sheepdog's command of their charges, as farmer Joe Joyce demonstrates his Border Collies' prowess. Aside from the dogs, visitors can meet the Connemara Blackface sheep - one of the few breeds to be tough enough to stand the harsh terrain - and the farm's friendly donkeys.

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