From falconry and fishing to lake cruises and kayaking, there are some amazing things to do on and around the beautiful Lough Corrib. Stretching all the way from Galway City to County Mayo, Lough Corrib is Ireland’s second biggest lake and has around 365 islands, ranging in size from the miniscule to the massive. Perfectly placed along the banks of the lough, Ashford Castle is the ideal spot from which to explore and enjoy everything that Lough Corrib has to offer.
The fishing on Lough Corrib is fantastic, whether you want to learn the art of angling or you’re a seasoned pro. The 44,000-acre lough is known throughout Ireland and beyond for the quality of its fishing, especially for wild brown trout, salmon, and pike. To experience it for yourself, rent a boat (from several locations around the lough) or team up with Frank Costello, Ashford Castle’s very own Ghillie. For the best fishing possible, grab your waders and head out to the lough between March and September, or try your hand at salmon and trout fishing from February, the official start of the season.
For an exciting on-the-water experience, charter a luxury vessel, rent a fishing boat, or opt for one of the daily Corrib Cruises. Departing from Ashford Castle, the cruises offer a wonderfully relaxed way to explore the lough. Kick back and relax with cocktails and live music on the Traditional Music Cruise, or see the islands up close on a two-hour Island Cruise. There’s even a cruise dedicated to the history of the lough, for those after something a little more scholarly.
With verdant woods to wander in and remarkable historic sites to visit, no trip to Lough Corrib would be complete without seeing its largest island, Inchagoill. Highlights include the Hiberno-Romanesque Church of the Saints, St. Patricks Church, and the Lugnaedon Pillar. The latter monument alone is worth the trip: dating back to the 6th century, it’s believed to bear one of the oldest Christian inscriptions in existence.
Ever wondered what it would be like to fly your very own hawk? Located on the grounds of Ashford Castle, right on the shores of Lough Corrib, Ireland’s School of Falconry offers hour-long “Hawk Walks” during which (with the help of a trained instructor), you can fly a majestic Harris hawk through the woodlands of the estate and along the shores of the lough. If an hour with your new feathered friend feels all too short, you can always opt for the Extended Hawk Walk, for some extra bonding time.
Biking and Kayaking
Sometimes the best way to explore somewhere new is by rolling up your sleeves and getting stuck in, and the “Pedal and Paddle” activity at Ashford Castle offers just that. This three-hour tour takes in the best of the Lough Corrib area, both on land and on water. Cycle through the beautiful grounds of the estate before taking to the water for a spot of kayaking – you can also hire bikes from the hotel if you fancy some alone time in the outstanding natural scenery.
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