An Insider’s Guide to Athenry
Insider Guides

An Insider’s Guide to Athenry

What better way to spend your time in Galway than by visiting one of the finest surviving medieval towns in Ireland. Located east of Galway city, Athenry is a picturesque sea of green and has more than its fair share of unmissable attractions to keep you entertained. To help you discover all of Athenry’s best bits, we’ve narrowed down a list of our favourite spots in town, check them out below…

FOOD & DRINK

The Old Barracks Restaurant
At the very heart of Athenry town, the award-winning The Old Barracks serve a wide range of delicious dishes, from tasty breakfast options to seasonal salads, excellent burgers and Sunday roast dinners. They are famous for their fantastic locally inspired menus which include pastries and treats which are made fresh each day at their on-site bakery. Their sister business Stone House - Pizza Bar has a huge range of tasty pizza options available that are guaranteed to keep the whole family happy after a day out exploring the local area.

The Earl Inn 
If you are looking to head off on a night out to remember, look no further than The Earl Inn. With incredible drink deals, a brilliant food menu, live music and the occasional BBQ & disco night, whether you're after a weekend brekkie, a late dinner, after work drinks or Saturday night live music, they really have it all! Located just 1km from Junction 16 on the M6, The Earl Inn also caters for hens and stag dos, birthday parties and  provide their own cocktail classes, so if you have a special party coming up be sure to get in contact with this fabulous team and see how they can help.

J Glynns Pub
While in town, you simply must experience a day out at J Glynns Pub. A terrific atmosphere, live sports on the big screen and creamy pints of Guinness, what more could you ask for? From the moment you step in the door you’ll be treated like one of the regulars and feel right at home amongst the company of their friendly staff. They have all the best Athenry recommendations and are full of craic so you can’t go wrong when you stop by for a pint and chat at J Glynns Pub.

The Garden at Dowlings
Add a visit to The Garden at Dowlings to your Athenry agenda now and thank us later! Out back they’ve got a stellar beer garden that regularly features live performances, and a night out at The Garden at Dowlings paired with their exquisite cocktails is a night out you’ll never forget. Comprising 3 areas, you can enjoy a pint and some trad music in the main bar, cocktails with the girls in their blossom tree room or dance the night away in their festival area. However you would like to spend your day in Athenry, The Garden at Dowlings has you covered.

The Filling Station
Satisfy all your coffee shop needs at Athenry’s The Filling Station. This is a one stop shop for a pick me up gourmet coffee, pastries and sandwiches. Here, you can enjoy a refreshing iced coffee in their outdoor area or take shelter from the elements in their creative box office sit down area. This Athenry spot is also dog friendly so if you are travelling with your pup, be sure to introduce them to The Filling Station team.

The Nook
Spoil yourself to some of the delicious goodies at The Nook. This spot is sure to go down a treat with the little ones and we have to recommend it for all the grown ups with a sweet tooth too. All their pastries, crepes, chutneys and relishes are made from scratch so rest assure you this is wholesome food at its finest. Pop in at midday for a brunch of coffee and crepes, and then get yourself and the kiddos a few raspberry and chocolate muffins for the road.

HISTORICAL INTERESTS

Dunsandle Castle & Woods 
This 15th century castle is absolutely filled with stunningly unique architectural features, including an anti-clockwise spiral staircase, a minstrel’s gallery and a secret chamber. Surrounded by a beautiful 20 acres of woodland, there are plenty of pathways and picnic areas to explore. You might even spot some woodland creatures on your travels! Tap here to discover an in-depth look at its fascinating history.

Castle Ellen House
Originally built in 1810, the ruins of the castle can be admired to this day from the front door of Castle Ellen House. It was not until 1974 that Míceál Keaney began the slow process of restoration and created the tranquil escape from the city this area offers. From decorative plasterwork to open fireplaces, there is plenty to be admired at Castle Ellen House.

Dominican Priory Ruins 
Back in 1652, this 13th century Dominican priory was destroyed by Cromwellian troops, with the tower surviving until 1845 when it finally collapsed. The site of the ruins are littered with tombs and grave slabs - most notably that of Meiler de Bermingham, who was the original founder of the priory - and it most definitely worth a visit.

The Fields of Athenry  
Made famous by The Dubliners, The Fields of Athenry is a ballad that has become an unofficial national anthem here in Ireland. There’s nothing quite like gazing down at the patchwork quilt of green fields, watching the small free birds fly and experiencing this piece of authentic rural Irish life.

Athenry Castle
The incredibly well-preserved Athenry Castle boasts a richly decorated first-floor doorway and windows, while the interior contains an audio-visual room and exhibition. Dating back to the late 12th century and early 13th centuries, the architectural style of this site is truly something to be marvelled at.

SHOP

Just Kidz
Stocking a range of major kid clothing brands, Just Kidzstocks an incredible collection of children’s clothing, shoes and accessories. They also offer shoe fitting in-stores so be sure to drop in and get the expert team’s advice on all your sizing queries. If you know someone with a baby on the way, the Just Kidz Baby Box is an ideal and original baby present that contains loads of helpful newborn baby items. So, whether it’s a gift for a precious newborn, a birthday present for a deserving little one or a much-needed pair of runners for a growing child, you can find it all at Just Kidz.

Peggi Browne Interiors 
What can only be described as an Aladdin's Cave of wonders, Peggi Browne Interiors is a hidden gem full of stunning collections of furniture, mirrors, home accessories, candles and loads more. With new deliveries arriving in-store each week every visit to Peggi Browne Interiors will introduce you to gorgeous new products. The amazing team also offers a one to one service in order to help you find the perfect piece of furniture for your home.

Athenry Antiques 
With a focus on giving new life to vintage items, Athenry Antiques has a beautiful array of unique antique furniture and collectables that would be a gorgeous addition to any home. All of their valuable pieces are also available for viewing and purchasing on their online store. You could spend hours examining all their fascinating antiques available in their store, never knowing what treasure you’ll discover amongst their vast collection of one-of-a-kind items.

Elegance Boutique
Whether you are on the hunt for a new outfit or looking to find someone the perfect gift Elegance Boutique is the place to go. From a lovely floral dress to the more casual leisure wear the team at Elegance Boutique has something to suit every occasion. With new pieces being added to their collection each week, you are sure to find a brand new outfit to add to your wardrobe.

SLEEP

Lodge at The Old Barracks
Spend your night in comfort with everything you need right on your doorstep at the Lodge at The Old Barracks. Your stay with them will include the comfort of king size beds and quality linen with the addition of locally inspired furnishings, and breakfast is served each morning in their award winning Old Barracks Restaurant. With its close proximity to Athenry Castle, Athenry Heritage Centre, and the Athenry train station which provides regular trains in and out of Galway city daily, this is the perfect base for exploring Galway and the Wild Atlantic Way.

Raheen Woods Hotel
Nestled amongst the famous fields of Athenry, the 4 star Raheen Woods Hotel offers its visitors a tranquil getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city. With the Tranquillity leisure centre and spa on site which includes their Kardio Kids indoor state of the art play centre, there’s something for the whole family to enjoy at Raheen Woods Hotel.

Athenry Street Mural

OTHER SPOTS TO VISIT

Athenry Heritage Centre 
Dive into the history of this historic Galway town with the help of Athenry Heritage Centre. The team at this spot are always more than happy to advise you on your travels and will teach you the full history of iconic Athenry locations in a fun, informative manner. With a range of activities and events to choose from, the Athenry Heritage Centre provides an excellent experience for anyone visiting the area.

Street Mural that Changes Colour with the Weather 
Hope it Rains | Soineann nó Doineann’s Changing States is a vibrant street mural by Galway artist Shane O’Malley which changes colour depending on the weather. Located just above the Square on the gable end of Glynn’s Bar, Changing States is an abstract painting that changes its shape, size and colour in reaction to rainfall. The direction, intensity and amount of rain determine which version of the mural is visible, making it as changeable as the weather!

District Health & Fitness
One of the best personal training and healthy lifestyle facilities in East Galway, District Health & Fitness can cater to all your health, fitness, nutrition, retail, injury rehabilitation needs and much more. They’ve so much to offer people of all abilities, so if you’ve been thinking about making lifestyle changes, District Health & Fitness is just the place for you.