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Is it crazy to stay in BOTH Spiddal and Clifden, Connemara region?

Is it crazy to stay in BOTH Spiddal and Clifden, Connemara region?

Jul 29th, 2011, 12:58 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 3,254
Is it crazy to stay in BOTH Spiddal and Clifden, Connemara region?

Is it crazy to stay in BOTH Spiddal and Clifden in the Connemara region of County Galway, Ireland? They are about 1.5 hours apart by car.

On a trip to Italy in 2004, we stayed in BOTH Siena and Florence, and it was wonderful...they are so different, even though they are close together.

I have all of my accommodations booked for Ireland in September 2011 except for 1 night. I'm traveling with my husband, and we love Irish Trad music, including both lively music and the "sean-nos" style of unaccompanied singing in Gaelic or in English. We also enjoy wild Irish scenery. Our favorite places to stay are friendly guesthouses and b&bs, which are unique to the area.

We prefer to spend a minimum of 3 or 4 nights in each accommodation, and use it as our "base" for day-trips to the surrounding areas. These are our "bases":

Bunratty (1 night)
Kilkenny (3 or 4 nights)
Kenmare, County Kerry (3 or 4 nights)
Spiddal?? Co. Galway (1 night?)
Clifden, Co. Galway (3 or 4 nights)
Dublin (2 nights)

There are 2 interesting accommodations in Spiddal in Connemara that intrigue me: Cloch na Scith in Kellough, Spiddal (An Spideal), and Tuar Beag in Spiddal. Both would provide an experience of staying with locals in the Gaeltacht area of Connemara, County Galway.

Is it a good plan to include a night in Spiddal, even though it's only a 1.5 hour drive to our next stay at Clifden? Or, alternatively, where would we stay for that 1 "missing" night? Other ideas for the "missing" night:
--Add the missing night to either Kenmare or Clifden
--Stop overnight in Ennis
--Stop overnight in Killaloe

We are excited about this trip...it's our 2nd trip to Ireland, but we are going to places we haven't seen before! Our visit to Clifden will coincide with part of the Clifden Arts Week which should be fun. Thanks for your thoughts on my question.
Melissa5 is offline  
Jul 29th, 2011, 09:23 AM
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 986
To add to the mix....consider An Caladh Gearr Thatch Cottage just outside Spiddal: http://tinyurl.com/c24oyg
She has just three rooms and I think you will be charmed.
jaja is offline  
Jul 29th, 2011, 09:45 AM
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 6,818
Melissa...whatever you finally decide, pop into Destry's for lunch... yes, named after the Jimmy Stewart-Marlene Dietrich western "Destry Rides Again" with the movies posters all over the little place. Very unusually funky..excellent food choices and pastry par excellence. You're probably much too young to know the movie, but it was a classic, c.1939-40. It's on Clifden's main street.

stu tower
tower is offline  
Jul 29th, 2011, 11:20 AM
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 4,433
If you want sean nós singing, you have a chance of finding it in Spiddal, but you might not happen on it. You would need to make local enquiries. There is much less of it in Clifden.

For some reason, I have never felt an urge to overnight in Clifden. It has its charms, but for me a coffee-break there is sufficient.
Padraig is offline  
Jul 29th, 2011, 12:07 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I'm with Padraig on this and though I have stayed in Clifden, I don't think I would plant there for 3-4 nights. You're likely to find more entertainment around Galway (Spiddal, Oughterrard etc) than out there in the "capital".

wojazz3 is offline  
Jul 29th, 2011, 09:24 PM
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wojazz3 and Padraig:
My original plan was to spend a few nights in Roundstone as our base for Connemara. But then I found out about the Clifden Arts Week, which includes music and poetry among the arts. I realized it would be an advantage to stay within walking distance of Clifden in order to attend special events. On our first trip to Ireland, we didn't attend any special festivals, so this will be something different. And I love poetry and literature, and we both love music.

But...I do find myself hungering for that experience of spending at least 1 night in a village...in this case, in a village in the Gaeltacht area of Connemara. So I am considering adding the night in Spiddal.

Padraig: Thanks for pointing out that we are more likely to come across the sean-nos style of singing in Spiddal, but that we might not find it.

In Clifden we are staying at The Quay House, which sounds unique and hopefully will have a sociable atmosphere.

stu tower: I'm making a note of Destry's for lunch on Clifden's main street. Since I'm in my 50's I'm delighted that you think I'm "much too young" for anything!

jaja: Thanks for tossing another quaint thatch cottage into the mix! I looked it up and yes An Caladh Gearr Thatch Cottage outside Spiddal also looks intriguing.

THANKS YOU ALL! I love these discussions because it helps me to get an inside view of a region. On a future trip, I'd like to spend more time in a village like Spiddal, and also spend a night on the Aran islands.

I'll just have to keep returning to Ireland and Connnemara until I do get to hear that elusive "sean-nos" unaccompanied singing, in both Gaelic and English. It's haunting and soul-searing. We did hear it once on our first trip to Ireland about 5 years ago.
Melissa5 is offline  

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