Sunday, 17 July 2016

The Return to Innisfree - Travel Review and Advice

Epilogue                                                                        Ireland

Leap of Faith Travel Review

My trip to Ireland was outstanding along with the fond memories of Cong and the film ‘The Quiet Man’ 1952.
We could have possibly used flights or a train to get to our destination but what better way is there to experience the area than to drive yourself along with the ones you love.

Stena line was the ferry we had used to travel across from Cairnryan to Belfast but there is a variety of routes to take which are:

1.     Liverpool – Belfast
2.     Holyhead – Dublin Port
3.     Fishguard – Rosslare

There are a lot of facilities onboard the ferries including duty free, Amusements and even a big screen cinema experience. There are also plenty of restaurants and bars on board and convenience shops to explore.

If you are a John Wayne/Maureen O Hara fan and loved the 1952 film, ‘The Quiet Man’, then pack your bags and head to Cong. A lot of the film locations are in this quaint village and there is also a Quiet man museum so you can immerse yourself in the film and admire the amazing artefacts and memorabilia of this great film. They also sell guidebooks about the film and points out all the film locations ever used in the film with detailed maps of where they are. They also run a guided tour of the village based on the film which is very good for those who would find it difficult to find the locations plus the tour guide gives you brilliant information about each location.

As for the village itself it is truly peaceful with plenty of fishing areas. There is a trout fishery opposite the Quiet man museum to which you would need a fishing license. Also Ashford castle grounds require a fishing license but it is definitely worth it for the relaxation. The fish there are either Rainbow trout, Perch, Pike and many more. Cong has plenty of eating areas and local shops with a petrol station for those just passing by. The best place to eat for the evening I thought was Danaghers bar, the staff were extremely friendly especially allowing our dog to enter as not many places would do that in the area. If you get stuck in any way there is a tourist information centre located within the town full of guidance about the surrounding areas and other places to visit. There are also a few accommodations either bed and breakfast or hotels in the village but if you have the money and the fact you only live once then get yourself booked in at Ashford castle.

Ashford castle was a medieval castle but is now a 5 star luxury hotel. It is set in 350 acres of land with the beautiful shores of Lough Corrib. It has 82 guest rooms, a wealth of activities which I happily took part in with extreme fine dining. The gardens are fabulous alongside the beautiful nature walks through the woodland areas. The activities I did were:

1.     Clay pigeon shooting
2.     Archery
3.     Falconry
4.     Horse riding

The experience was absolutely fantastic especially falconry which I will hold dear to me. All the staff of the activities were amazing too making the experience enjoyable. These activities are easy to book too by ringing the equestrian centre and request a time for booking. They will ask if you are staying at Ashford Castle but it does not matter if you do or not.

There is also a cruise which you can take for the afternoon. It departs from Ashford castle for the 2 hour 15 minute journey along the breathtaking Lough Corrib with a stop off at Inchagoill Island with a few heritage sites amongst it. There has an onboard refreshment too so it saves you from carrying around your own food and drink.

The place we stayed was a self catering accommodation called ‘Corrib view villa’ located 2 mile on the outskirts of Cong. We were actually hoping to stay in Cong itself but unfortunately, most of the hotels wouldn’t accept dogs. However, Corrib view villa was perfect for this reason. It is located in a farmland area so it is a very peaceful place to stay with your family with large traditional rooms and plenty of walking pathways towards the Lough.
I would like to thank the owner of Corrib view villa for the amazing accommodation. I also would like to thank the staff members and instructors of the equestrian centre who were incredible with me and patient especially when it took me a very long time to pop a balloon with archery.
Again I urge John Wayne/ Maureen O Hara fans and the film ‘The Quiet Man’ 1952 to visit the little gem of Cong with so much history to share.

Live life to the fullest
It’s the best way
Live every moment intensely
Because life is too short
And the moment comes when we are going to die
And we’d have wished to do so many things we didn’t
That is why we have to enjoy every moment
One must enjoy life
Try not to acquire so many things
But instead have experiences
Accomplish everything you want to do
No matter the effort it deserves
Life is too short and one must relish it

Below I have added links which hopefully will help you along your way:  Type Corrib View Villa in the search bar.

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