If you are looking for a scenic and historic destination in the west of Ireland, you might want to visit Clifden Castle, a ruined manor house that stands on the Sky Road near the town of Clifden in County Galway. Clifden Castle was built in 1818 by John D’Arcy, the founder of Clifden and a prominent landowner in the Connemara region. The castle was designed in the Gothic Revival style, with pointed arches, battlements and turrets, and was surrounded by a large estate of over 17,000 acres.

Clifden Castle was the main residence of the D’Arcy family until the mid-1800s, when they lost their lands and fortune due to the Great Famine and the subsequent social unrest. The castle was then sold to the Eyre brothers, who used it as a holiday home until 1894, when it became uninhabited and fell into decay. In 1935, the castle was acquired by a group of local tenants, who owned it jointly, but did not maintain it or restore it. Today, the castle is a ruin, partly covered by ivy, but still retaining some of its original features and charm.

To visit Clifden Castle, you can park your car near the original gatehouse on the Sky Road, which is a narrow but scenic route that offers stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean and the Connemara landscape. From there, you can walk along a winding trail that leads to the castle, passing by five standing stones that were erected by John D’Arcy as decoration. The walk takes about 15 minutes and is suitable for most fitness levels. However, be aware that the trail can be muddy and uneven in places, so wear appropriate footwear and clothing.

Once you reach the castle, you can explore its exterior and admire its architecture and location. You can also enjoy the views of the nearby Clifden Bay and the Twelve Bens mountain range. However, you cannot enter the castle or climb its walls, as it is private property and there are signs warning of falling masonry and other hazards. Therefore please respect the owners’ rights and do not trespass or damage the castle.

Clifden Castle is a fascinating example of Gothic Revival architecture and a reminder of the history and heritage of Connemara. It is well worth a visit if you are in the area and want to see something different and atmospheric. However, please note that there are no facilities or amenities at the castle. Please do not litter or leave any trace of your visit, as this is a sensitive and protected site.


53.491729, -10.056698

Clifden Castle



Chateau en ruine encore bien conservé de l'extérieur

July 8, 2023

10′ de marche du parking. Porche magnifique en sortie de parking.

Vue magnifique du chateau qui domine la baie.

Vue la vétusté, il est interdit de s’aventurer à l’intérieur.