Loughrea is an ancient Irish town in Galway County, which was founded in the early-13th Century. The name, which roughly translates as “grey lake”, refers to the beautiful lake that the town is built around. Loughrea rises up above the lake, originally surrounding a Norman castle that was built on high ground along an ancient trade route between the River Shannon and the Galway coast.
A bustling market town, there’s much to see and do in Loughrea, as well as it being an excellent base for launching oneself into its beautiful surrounding areas. There are plenty of accommodation options for your stay in Loughrea, from spas to bed and breakfasts and highly rated hotels. Browse through Expedia’s selection to find a choice that makes the perfect holiday for you.
Loughrea for History Buffs
Loughrea is an ancient town, and as such has a rich history to be explored. Much of Loughrea’s heritage has been preserved with astonishing care, and visitors to the town can find themselves in the heart of a real, living history.
One of the most fantastic attractions in Loughrea is the town’s medieval moat, which incredibly is still functioning. In fact, it is the only functioning medieval moat in the whole of Ireland. The moat is easily accessible to visitors, and is most commonly explored from Loughrea’s charming 18th Century mall, commonly referred to as “The Walk”.
St. Mary’s Abbey in Loughrea has been home to Carmelite friars for over 700 years. This ancient abbey, dating back to the 14th Century, is an important location of sacred historical interest. It is also rumoured to contain the grave of St. Ruth within its grounds. The abbey holds Mass every Sunday, open to all. There is also a shop and Mass office located on the ground floor of the abbey, which is open to visitors on weekdays and weekends.
Loughrea for Walkers
Loughrea is well situated for some really excellent walking. There are plenty of bed and breakfasts and hostels that make excellent accommodation options for walkers visiting Loughrea, and wanting to access its surrounding areas. Find a comfortable place to rest after a day spent exploring the area, and a lovingly made hot breakfast to start you off on the next.
The Slieve Aughty Mountains stand just outside of Loughrea and make for some truly impressive walking territory. This is a low-lying mountain range, with peaks rising up to 400m. The land is mainly forest plantation, which makes for scenic footpaths and plenty of opportunity for wildlife spotting.
The lake from which Loughrea takes its name also makes for some wonderful outdoor explorations. The lake is home to many water birds and migratory species, and is a site of national importance for the tufted duck and the coot.
Loughrea on a Budget
Loughrea’s main attraction is the beauty of the city and it’s surrounding areas, something that’s free for all to enjoy. There are plenty of budget-friendly accommodation options to give you a brilliant holiday without having to splash the cash.