Kylemore Abbey Tour (Tips and Guide For First Time Visitors)

Nestled at the base of Druchruach Mountain and along the shore of Lough Pollacappul in Connemara, Kylemore Abbey is one of the most iconic attractions in Galway, Ireland. It is also one of the most beautiful castles in Ireland. And no visit to Ireland is complete without spending a half day to the castle ground. If you are looking for Kylemore Abbey tour tips and guide, this article covers everything that you need to know about Kylemore Abbey and Victorian Walled Garden.

kylemore abbey castle

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The castle has over 70 rooms and it’s located in 15000-acre of lands. The Abbey also features visitor center, gift shops, cafe and tea house, a gothic church and the Victorian-walled garden.

Who built Kylemore Abbey?

Kylemore Castle was built by Mitchell Henry, a wealthy doctor from England, as a gift to his wife Margaret in 1871. It was sold to the Duke and Duchess of Manchester in 1903 and was then purchased by the Irish Benedictine nuns in 1920. Kylemore Abbey, a Benedictine monastery was then founded in 1920 on the grounds of Kylemore Castle, in Connemara. The abbey was made to an international boarding school from 1923 up to 2010. Also, since the 1970s, the estate has been opened to the public.

Can you stay at Kylemore Castle?

No. The Abbey doesn’t have a hotel. However, if you want to stay in castle hotels in Galway, you can check these affordable castle hotels in Ireland to fully experience the castles in Ireland.

Things to do in Kylemore Abbey & Victorian Walled Garden

1. Check out the restored rooms in the castle and learn its history

There are several rooms inside the castle that are accessible to the public which will give you a peak to the lives of the Mitchell family and the succeeding owners of the Abbey.

Some of the rooms are also used as a place to exhibit the artifact collections of the nuns and those who lived in the Abbey.

kylemore abbey castle

2. Visit the Neo-Gothic Church

The Neo-Gothic Church of Kylemore was built after Margaret died. Margaret contracted a dysentery while on holiday in Egypt with her family. After 16 days and at the age of 45, Margaret died and left a grieving husband and 9 children. The church was built in memory of Margaret and a testament of Mitchell’s love for her.

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Neo Gothic Church Kylemore

3. Pay respect at the mausoleum

The Mausoleum is the resting place of Mitchell and Margaret Henry. When Margaret died in Egypt in 1874 due to dysentery outbreak, Mitchell made sure to bring her body back to Kylemore castle and built the church and the mausoleum for her. When Mitchell died in 1910 in the United Kingdom, his body was also brought back to the Abbey to finally rest with his beloved wife.

Mausoleum Kylemore Abbey

4. Explore the Victorian Walled Garden

The Victorian walled garden is one of the best features of the Abbey. With 6 acres of space, it consists of a formal flower garden, vegetable garden, herb garden, glass houses, fruit trees, shaded fernery, and the famed head gardener’s house.

The garden is also considered one of the best gardens in Europe and considered one of the most advanced gardens during the Victorian period.

Victorian Walled Garden Kylemore Abbey

5.Witness an amazing performance from global artists

The neo-gothic church in Kylemore castle occasionally holds a number of events all throughout the year which showcases performances from amazing choirs and performers across the world.

Inquire with Kylemore Abbey directly using the contact information below for the schedule of these performances.

Opening Hours of Kylemore Castle

The Visitor Centre

From 9:00 am to 6.00 pm (Garden closes at 5.45 pm)

Shuttle Bus is running

From 9:00 am to 6.00 pm (Last Bus from Garden to VC at 5.50 pm)

The following are the opening hours of the establishments inside the castle ground:

Kylemore Craft & Design Shop

Open seven days a week throughout the year

November to March: 10.00 am to 4.30 pm

April to July: 9.00 am to 6.00 pm

July & August: 9.00 am to 7.00 pm September to October: 9.30 am to 5.30 pm

Bank Holidays will operate as normal working hours

Mitchell’s Cafe

Open every seven days a week throughout the year

Garden Tea House

An entrance ticket is required

Open 7 days a week, Easter to November 13th 11.30 am to 4.00 pm

Henry’s Takeaway Coffee Shop

Open everyday in July and August from 11.00 am to 5.00 pm

Admission Fee

€14 for adult

€10.50 for a student

€10 for senior

€28.00 for a family of 4.

The ticket for Kylemore Abbey includes access to the following:

  • The restored rooms in the Abbey (Ground Floor Only)
  • The Neo-Gothic Church
  • The Mausoleum
  • Woodland and Lakeshore Walks
  • The Victorian Walled Garden (Including shuttle bus to and from the Garden)
  • Entry to performances in the Neo-Gothic Church when scheduled.

How to go to Kylemore Abbey by public transportation

How to get to Kylemore Abbey from Dublin

Kylemore Abbey is over 283 kilometers from Dublin. If you don’t have a car, you can take connecting buses from Dublin to Galway and then to Kylemore Abbey. From Temple Bar, Crampton Quay station in Dublin City, you can take a Citylink bus (#716, #763, #660) to Galway Coach Station. This takes about 2.5 hours for €12-21 one way or €24-42 round trip. 

And then from Galway Coach Station, walk to Eyre Square for 2-3 minutes, Galway Bus Station to take a bus that goes to Kylemore Post Office. This takes about 2 hours for €14-17 a trip or €28-34 for a round trip. Then from the bus stop, just walk about 10 minutes to get to the entrance of Kylemore Abbey. In total, you’ll spend between €52-76 for the bus fare alone.

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Or you can take this full-day guided tour in Cong and Kylemore Abbey from Dublin. It is only €45 and it includes a side trip to Cong in Connemara, a hotel pick up, an air-conditioned coach and a tour guide.

 

How to get to Kylemore Abbey from Galway

Kylemore Abbey is over 78 kilometers from Galway. If you don’t have a car, you can take a bus that goes directly to Kylemore Post Office. From Newcastle Road-NUIG West Gate station in Galway, you can take a Bus Eireann (#419) to Kylemore Post Office. This takes about 1.5 hours for €13-17 one way or €26-34 round trip. Then from the bus stop, just walk about 10 minutes to get to the entrance of Kylemore Abbey.

Or you can take this full-day guided tour in Connemara and Kylemore Abbey from Galway. It is only €30 and it includes a side trip to the villages in Connemara, a hotel pick up, an air-conditioned coach and a tour guide.

 

How to get to Kylemore Abbey from Cork

Kylemore Abbey is over 281 kilometers from Cork City. If you don’t have a car, you can take connecting buses from Cork to Galway and then to Kylemore Abbey. From St. Patricks Quay station in Cork, you can take a Citylink bus (#251, #251-X) to Galway Coach Station. This takes almost 3 hours for €12-20 one way or €24-40 round trip.  And then from Galway Coach Station, walk to Eyre Square for 2-3 minutes, Galway Bus Station to take a bus that goes to Kylemore Post Office. This takes about 2 hours for €14-17 a trip or €28-34 for a round trip. Then from the bus stop, just walk about 10 minutes to get to the entrance of Kylemore Abbey.

How to get to Kylemore Abbey from Shannon

Kylemore Abbey is over 169 kilometers from Shannon City. If you don’t have a car, you can take connecting buses from Shannon to Galway and then to Kylemore Abbey. From Shannon Airport bus station, you can take a Bus Eireann (#343, #X51, #419) to Galway Coach Station. This takes almost 4 hours for €11-16 one way or €22-32 round trip.  And then from Galway Coach Station, walk to Eyre Square for 2-3 minutes, Galway Bus Station to take a bus that goes to Kylemore Post Office. This takes about 2 hours for €14-17 a trip or €28-34 for a round trip. Then from the bus stop, just walk about 10 minutes to get to the entrance of Kylemore Abbey.

How to get to Kylemore Abbey from Limerick

Kylemore Abbey is over 97 kilometers from Limerick City. If you don’t have a car, you can take connecting buses from Limerick to Galway and then to Kylemore Abbey. From Henry St station, you can take a Citylink (#251, #419) to Galway Coach Station. This takes almost 1.5 hours for €8-15 one way or €16-30 round trip.  And then from Galway Coach Station, walk to Eyre Square for 2-3 minutes, Galway Bus Station to take a bus that goes to Kylemore Post Office. This takes about 2 hours for €14-17 a trip or €28-34 for the round trip. Then from the bus stop, just walk about 10 minutes to get to the entrance of Kylemore Abbey.

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Contact Information

Location:  Kylemore Abbey, Pollacappul, Connemara, Co. Galway, Ireland

Email: bookings@kylemoreabbey.com / info@kylemoreabbey.com

Phone: +353 95 52001

Tips for visiting Kylemore Abbey

1. Check the weather

Kylemore Abbey is best to enjoy in fine weather.  So if you can, try to visit during summer or early spring season so you can better explore the place by walking around the area.

2. Always layer up

Ireland’s weather is fickle and one moment it is fine but it gets colder without any warning. To make sure you are up to date with your packing list, check our monthly packing list guide.

3. Take a group tour if you can’t drive

Driving in Ireland is recommended but if you can’t rent or drive a car, then it is better to join tours rather than take public transport. Aside from the fact that taking public transport is more expensive, it is also more time-consuming.

4. Take a packed lunch with you

If you are joining tours, we recommend packing your own lunch. Although there are cafes in Kylemore Abbey, it takes time to get food and consume them which eats up time that you can use for exploring the castle grounds. If you packed your own food, then you can eat lunch on the way to Kylemore and then just start exploring when you get there. It saves you time and money as well.

Kylemore Abbey Tour

kylemore abbey tour

There are several tours that go to Kylemore Abbey. It just a matter of starting point. Below are some of the best day tours to Kylemore Abbey that we recommend if you are staying in Dublin or Galway.

Kylemore Abbey Tour from Dublin

This full-day guided tour in Cong and Kylemore Abbey from Dublin is a good alternative for commuting. It is only €45 and it includes a side trip to Cong in Connemara, a hotel pick up, an air-conditioned coach and a tour guide.

 

Kylemore Abbey Tour from Galway

This full-day guided tour in Connemara and Kylemore Abbey from Galway is cheaper than taking public transport. It is only €30 and it includes a side trip to the villages in Connemara, a hotel pick up, an air-conditioned coach and a tour guide.

 


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KYLEMORE ABBEY TOUR TIPS AND GUIDE TO FIRST TIME VISITORS | KYLEMORE ABBEY GALWAY IRELAND | KYLEMORE CASTLE GALWAY IRELAND | GALWAY TRAVEL IDEAS | GALWAY TRAVEL DESTINATIONS | GALWAY TRAVEL TIPS | IRELAND TRAVEL IDEAS | IRELAND TRAVEL DESTINATIONS | IRELAND TRAVEL TIPS #ireland #galway #connemara #kylemore #castle #travel

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