Kylemore Abbey is one of the most iconic tourist attractions in Ireland. Carved into the mountain rock of Connemara, the Abbey is reflected in the waters of Lough Pollaacapull.
Built as a magnificent castle, in 1868 by Margaret and Mitchell Henry, the Abbey has been home to the Benedictine nuns since 1920.
Over the last 150 years, the Abbey has been a retreat for landed gentry, before becoming the home to the Benedictine nuns who fled Brussels during the First World War. In 1923, the nuns created a world-renowned boarding school for girls, Scóil Áine, which closed its doors in 2010.
Today visitors can explore the six-acre Victorian walled garden and explore the 33 bedrooms, libraries and drawing rooms within the Abbey.
The surrounding 1000 acres offer beautiful woodland and lakeshore walks, with guided history tours and hikes available. Discover the beautiful gothic church built by Mitchell Henry, following the tragic death of his wife and stop by the red brick Mausoleum in the woods, where the couple are now buried.
Legend has it, that if you are in the woods, children should stop at the Giant’s Ironing stone to make a wish. The stone was thrown in a feud between the mighty Cú Chulainn and Fionn Mac Cumhaill. To make a wish, children should stand with their back to the stone and throw three pebbles over the rock. It’s bad luck to wish for money, so wish wisely!
On a wild day, you may also be lucky enough to spot the white horse on the lake; relax with a soothing cup of tea and home-baked scone in any of the three Vitorian tea rooms on site; or pass the time in the Connemara craft shop. Whichever you choose to do, you won’t be disappointed by the charms of Kylemore Abbey.