Guests at The Radisson Blu Hotel & Spa, Galway can enjoy easy access to the Connemara district with Kylemore Abbey located just an hour's drive northwest of Galway City.
About Kylemore AbbeyIt took four years to fully construct Kylemore Abbey, with the work completed in 1871 after having been financed by Mitchell and Margaret Henry. It was later sold to the Duke and Duchess of Manchester before being purchased by The Irish Benedicte Nuns in 1920. Up until then it had been known as Kylemore Castle, but the Benedicte Nuns duly converted it to an Abbey and opened an international boarding school.
The Benedicte Nuns still reside on the estate to this day, but have opened the Abbey and the Victorian Walled Garden to the public. Each year, thousands of visitors flock to the area to marvel at the castle's architecture and the natural beauty of the surrounding estate.
The six-acre Victorian Walled Garden is a particular highlight: a haven of peace and tranquility complete with flowers, trees and a mountain stream, which runs through the center.
Many historic buildings and castles in Ireland are steeped in legends and tales, and Kylemore Abbey is no different. The Abbey and surrounding Connemara mountains are often associated with Cú Chulainn and Fionn McCool, two of Ireland's most famous giants, who according to local legend often clashed on the mountain sides.
The lake sitting in front of the abbey, meanwhile, is known as 'The Place of the Horse', thanks to another local legend which tells the tale of a white horse emerging from the lake every seven years. Believe it or not, there have been several reported sightings of the creature.