Sky Road / Clifden Beach Walking Loop
During a sunny week in Galway City and County what better way to experience the beautiful weather and scenery than to go on a selection of walking trips. I have to say here now, I absolutely love walking. Having been an exercise phobic for most of my life discovering walking ‘consistently’ just over a year ago has changed everything. Now when I want to de-stress or re-energize myself I pick one of my favorite locations and just walk. This usually involves trees, blue skies and I don’t need a penny in my pocket.
My first walk of the week was out in Clifden, which is about 77kms from Galway city, a bit of a drive, but sure it was the May Bank holiday weekend after all. We decided on a short walk, looping from the centre of Clifden out the Sky Road and back in by the beach, passing the quay into town.
It was also the first time I used the Wikiloc App to map my walk and record the different walking trails I go on. Since then, I have mapped Renville Park in Oranmore, Monivea woods, Barna woods, Derrydonnell woods, and the Prom in Salthill. To check out my trails click here.
This is all part of a project I am working on called talk’n’walks, I promise there will be much more about this very soon, at the moment though it is still in the developmental stage.
But now, back to the Sky Road walk; the walk took just over two hours, mainly because we stopped and detoured a bit as we went. Starting out from the Alcock and Brown Hotel in the center of Clifden, we walked up-hill past the Church of Ireland, which is one of the two church peaks that dominated the skyline of the town.
Making our way to the Sky road, passing the Abbeyglen Castle hotel on our left, we quickly came across the first detour I actually wanted to make up to the D’Arcy monument. The monument was built to commemorate Clifden town founder John D’Arcy 1785-1839, because it is built on a hill overlooking the town, on a good day it delivers breathtaking views of Clifden nestled in the picturesque landscape of rugged mountains, bogs, and coastline.
Moving on from the monument we continued our walk out the sky road until we came to a castle gate styled structure. If you continue through the gates the pathway will lead you down to Clifden Castle, originally John D’Arcy’s residence it was built in and around 1810.
Our plan was to do the loop back into the town, so we decided to continue on, but instead of taking the road to the left we followed the sigh for the Sky road loop. Which lead to our 2nd detour, after a quick Google search we realized that way was a 16km walk, which we weren’t planning on for that particular day, (but definitely in the future) we then had to retrace our steps back to the left turn.
Following this narrow winding road it eventually joined up with the beach road just up from the Clifden Boathouse. From there we took the road left and headed back towards Clifden.
Passing by the Quay, which was built in 1831 from plans drawn up by Alexander Nimmo, it is a short walk up-hill back into the town.
In total the walk was 6.5km including detours. To view the walk or download the walking trail click here