Discover East Galway: Athenry and Tuam
Galway City gets all the attention, but it’s a big auld county with lots to see and do! For your weekend forays and adventures, we’ve got loads of tips for exploring: where to sleep, eat, drink, and what to do for a perfect getaway.
East Galway is home to some of Galway’s oldest medieval towns, with castles and abbeys aplenty. Woodland, lakes and the low peaks of the Slieve Aughty mountains makes this area a wonderful destination for young families, or people looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life!
Just thirty minutes from Galway City, Tuam has really come on the upswing in the past few years. There’s a proper foodie scene going, and it’s with the new motorway it’s easy to head out that way for an afternoon. (Above: Gather Restaurant; Browne’s)
For a comfortable, casual family meal, it doesn’t get better than Gather! The restaurant is cosy and laid-back, offering a very warm welcome to everyone who steps through the door. They won Best Casual Dining and Best Kids Menu in Connacht at the Irish Restaurant Awards, proving that they’re truly a destination spot for families who enjoy their food! (Pictured above)
Varden House, High Street, Tuam // more here
Ard Rí House Hotel
This stylish, family-friendly hotel is located just outside the town of Tuam, half an hour from both Galway City and Connemara. Their lovely Kiltevena Restaurant makes an elegant dining destination, and the Dick Dowlings Bar offers a casual dining experience with carvery lunches and an a la carte menu. The Ard Rí also has a luxurious afternoon tea service, including homebaked treats, tea and a glass of prosecco for a special treat!
Milltown Road, Tuam
This award-winning restaurant and bar is the perfect place to relax and enjoy time with friends over craft beer, cocktails, and delicious food. A wide bar, open fire and a warm, elegant atmosphere invites you to take your time and savour. Their team works closely with local suppliers to build a modern menu based around what is available locally and seasonally for that unbeatable, fresh taste.
The Square, Tuam // more here
If you’re looking for something to do with a group in Tuam, try axe-throwing! It’s like dart-throwing, but more intense (and dare we say, more fun!) The sound heads at Tom O’Hawks will give your group a quick lesson and safety tips, and then help you group get competitive between each other, throwing axes at targets. If you get a dead-on bullseye, you’ll join their elite Unicorn Club — and who wouldn’t like that??
Tuam, Galway // more here
The Beauty Suite
Craving a little pampering on your visit? The Beauty Suite are a high-tech beauty salon offering 3D brows, laser hair removal, and CACI facials. This cosy salon is relaxing and professional and offers some of the most innovative beauty treatments around.
Egan’s Lane, Tuam
This charming medieval town is full of lovely cafés and bars to enjoy during your stay in Galway. It’s an easy 25km from the City, and there’s even a train that gets you there in ten minutes! Check out Athenry Castle and Heritage Centre which stands at the edge of the Clarinbridge River.
Old Barracks Bar & Restaurant
This lovely family bar and restaurant is the perfect place to spend a cosy meal, whether it’s Sunday lunch, a family dinner or a weekend brunch. Their award-winning bakery keeps the place stocked with cakes, scones, tarts and patisserie delights. If you’re looking for a place to stay, The Lodge at the Old Barracks is homely and comfortable with king-sized beds, flat screen TVs and an understated elegance throughout.
Cross Street, Athenry // more here
Raheen Woods Hotel
Just fifteen minutes from Galway City in a beautiful woodland is the peaceful Raheen Woods hotel. The rooms are beautifully decorated and welcoming, with flat screen TVs, crisp white linen, and fluffy towels for that luxurious feel you want when you’re staying at a hotel! Their Tranquility Leisure and Spa is well worth a visit, with a 20-metre pool and cardio room for a bit of exercise, and a range of treatments available from massages to facials.
Inside the hotel you’ll find Kardio Kids, which is a fun exercise and play centre for children.
Athenry // more here
Tapas by night, and amazing home-baked sweet treats and amazing coffee by day, the Town Café ticks all the boxes for us. Warm and cosy inside, they have daily specials, toasty warm sandwiches, and a huge range of fresh pastries available all day long. About every two weeks on a Saturday night, they stay open late for tapas night. You’re greeted at the door with a glass of wine or prosecco, followed by a sample platter of options like garlic and chili prawns, chicken and chorizo, croquettes and more!
Cross Street, Athenry // more here
The Nook Café and Creperie
This café right in the centre of town is truly a little nook, but it has lots of character and always offers a big welcome. They serve up the most amazing sweet and savoury crepes. It’s the perfect place to take the family for a break, and they serve some awesome coffee to keep you going through the day!
Church Street, Athenry
Gill’s Bar and Restaurant
Just a year old in Athenry, Gill’s Bar has already become a hub for family celebrations, special occasions and gatherings in Athenry. They’re also brilliant for casual or intimate dinners. The menu has something to suit all tastes, from chicken goujons to veggie fajitas!
Old Church Street, Athenry
The Hop Inn
Live music, cocktails, live sports — the Hop Inn is a lively bar in a historic building, always offering a warm welcome and lots of fun to be had. They’ve got a pool table and a cute little beer garden out the back! It strikes the perfect balance between respecting the traditional history of the building and bringing a modern, vibrant atmosphere.
Davis Street, Athenry