If you are looking for a scenic and relaxing getaway in Ireland, you might want to consider visiting Cong Woods in Mayo & Galway. This beautiful forest is home to a variety of native and exotic trees, as well as a rich history and culture.

Cong Woods is a large woodland area that covers about 350 hectares between the villages of Cong in Mayo and Clonbur in Galway. It is part of the Ashford Estate, which also includes the famous Ashford Castle, a luxury hotel and former residence of the Guinness family.

The woods are divided by the Cong River, which flows from Lough Mask to Lough Corrib, two of the largest lakes in Ireland. The river also creates a series of underground streams that connect the two lakes, creating a unique geological feature.

The woods are mainly composed of native broadleaf trees, such as ash, oak, birch, and hazel, but also contain some exotic species, such as redwoods, sequoias, beeches, and firs. The woods are home to a diverse range of wildlife, including deer, foxes, badgers, otters, squirrels, bats, and birds.

There are plenty of activities to enjoy in Cong Woods, whether you are looking for a leisurely stroll, a challenging hike, or a cultural experience. 

The Cong Nature Trail is a 2.3 km loop trail that takes you through the most scenic parts of the woods. You will see some impressive trees, such as giant sequoias and redwoods, as well as some historical landmarks, such as Ballykine Castle, a 16th-century ruin hidden among the beeches. The trail is easy to follow and suitable for all ages and abilities.

You can also explore the ‘Mini Burren’. This is a section of limestone pavement that resembles the famous Burren landscape in Clare. It is located on the shores of Lough Mask and offers stunning views of the lake and the mountains. The Mini Burren is also rich in flora and fauna, including orchids, junipers, butterflies, and birds.

Cong Woods is easily accessible by car or public transport. You can also join a guided bus tour from Galway that includes Cong Woods and other attractions in Mayo and Galway.

Cong Woods is open all year round and each season offers a different charm. Spring is a great time to see the wildflowers and the new growth of the trees. Summer is ideal for enjoying the warm weather and the lake activities. Autumn is beautiful for witnessing the changing colors of the leaves. Winter is perfect for experiencing the frosty mornings and the cozy evenings.

However, you should also be prepared for the unpredictable Irish weather, which can change quickly and often. Make sure to bring appropriate clothing and footwear, as well as rain gear and sunscreen.

Cong Woods is a wonderful destination for anyone who loves nature, history, and culture. It is a place where you can immerse yourself in the beauty and tranquility of the forest, as well as learn about the rich heritage and stories of the area. It is a place where you can relax, recharge, and reconnect with yourself and your surroundings.


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Cong Woodland



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