Sky Road / Clifden Beach Walking Loop

by | May 6, 2017 | Outdoors, Walking

During a sunny week in Galway City and County what better way to experience the beautiful weather and scenery than to go on a selection of walking trips. I have to say here now, I absolutely love walking. Having been an exercise phobic for most of my life discovering walking ‘consistently’ just over a year ago has changed everything. Now when I want to de-stress or re-energize myself I pick one of my favorite locations and just walk. This usually involves trees, blue skies and I don’t need a penny in my pocket.

My first walk of the week was out in Clifden, which is about 77kms from Galway city, a bit of a drive, but sure it was the May Bank holiday weekend after all. We decided on a short walk, looping from the centre of Clifden out the Sky Road and back in by the beach, passing the quay into town.

It was also the first time I used the Wikiloc App to map my walk and record the different walking trails I go on. Since then, I have mapped Renville Park in Oranmore, Monivea woods, Barna woods, Derrydonnell woods, and the Prom in Salthill. To check out my trails click here.

Church of Ireland Clifden

But now, back to the Sky Road walk, the walk took just over two hours, mainly because we stopped and detoured a bit as we went. Starting from the Alcock and Brown Hotel in the centre of Clifden, we walked uphill past the Church of Ireland, one of the two church peaks that dominated the town’s skyline.

Sky Road / Clifden Beach Walking Loop Road Sign Directions

Making our way to the Sky road, passing the Abbeyglen Castle hotel on our left, we quickly came across the first detour I wanted to make up to the D’Arcy monument. It commemorates Clifden town founder John D’Arcy, 1785-1839. Built on a hill overlooking the town, it delivers breathtaking views of Clifden nestled in the picturesque landscape of rugged mountains, bogs, and coastline on a good day.

Sky Road / Clifden Beach Walking Loop D'Arcy Monument Clifden

Sky Road / Clifden Beach Walking Loop Clifden Town view from the D'Arcy Monument

Moving on from the monument, we continued our walk out the sky road until we came to a castle gate-styled structure. Continuing through the pathway will lead you to Clifden Castle, originally John D’Arcy’s residence. Built-in and around 1810.

We planned to make the loop back into the town, so we decided to continue, but instead of taking the road to the left, we followed the sign for the Sky road loop, which led to our 2nd detour. After a quick Google search, we realised that way was a 16km walk, which we weren’t planning on for that particular day (but definitely in the future). We then had to retrace our steps back to the left turn.

Sky Road / Clifden Beach Walking Loop Old Stone Shed

Following this narrow winding road, it eventually joined up with the beach road just up from the Clifden Boathouse. From there, we took the road left and headed back towards Clifden.

Sky Road / Clifden Beach Walking Loop Pony in a field

Sky Road / Clifden Beach Walking Loop Sheep

Sky Road / Clifden Beach Walking Loop Clifden Beach

Passing by the Quay, which was built in 1831 from plans drawn up by Alexander Nimmo, it is a short walk up-hill back into the town.

Sky Road / Clifden Beach Walking Loop Clifden from the Pier

Sky Road / Clifden Beach Walking Loop Beach Road to Clifden

In total the walk was 6.5km including detours. To view the walk or download the walking trail click here