Clifden Castle, Connemara

Clifden Castle

Whilst taking a drive across the Sky Road from Cifden we stumbled down the hill what seemed to be a Castle ruins. Later that night after a bit of research it appeared to be the Clifden Castle ruins.

We decided the next day we would drive back and go see how easy access  was and see it for ourselves.


Just 5 minutes from Clifden centre along the Sky Road Loop

Getting There

From Clifden

Head north on Westport Rd/N59 toward Church Hill/Sky Rd then Turn left onto Church Hill/Sky Rd. Follow the Sky road for 2.1km until you reach the archway.

Clifden Castle Brief History

The Clifden Castle is a manor house just 5 minutes west of the town of Clifden. It was built 1818 for John D’Arcy, the local landowner and founder of Clifden, and designed in the Gothic Revival style. It was then uninhabited after 1894 it fell into disrepair. In 1935, the ownership passed to a group of tenants shortly after and it quickly became a ruin.

Finding Your Way In

Firstly as mentioned above don’t go by Google maps or your end up in someone’s private garden. It’s for this reason I’d say is why they have electric gates.

Instead look for this Castle archway about 400 metres before on the Clifden side

The Archway from sky road

The Walk In

Once through the arch a walk down country roads for about 1 km through farmland and cattle brings you passed great views of the Wild Atlantic Way and the ocean front.

An easy walk down to the castle your come across 5 stones to keep you on track like these ones below.

The stones Clifden Castle

The final bend gives you a glorious view of the castle standing prominently at the bottom of the hill.

Clifden Castle

At The Castle

The Clifden Castle ruins itself is still quite largely in tact with all the outside structure in place. Obvious signs of wear and tear but I was surprised by the the condition and the structure and how much was still in place

The Clifden Castle close up

When you wonder round the back you can see the back courtyard of the castle. It actually shows the structure isn’t huge and there is a large courtyard.

A few more of the front of the castle and the main tower it’s looks as if the bottom corner of it has taken some damage throughout the years. But ut is certainly as solid as ever.

Other Castles We Have Visited

We love a good castle, if it’s in operation or in ruins we don’t care. With all the history and to think what once went on behind those walls.

Roscommon Castle ruins was one of the first we saw In Ireland. We took a look around the castle and the grounds and thoroughly enjoyed it. See our guide to the Castle Here

Roscommon castle

Lough Rynn Castle in County Leitrim is another one we had great fun visiting and walking around the grounds find out a bit more about This Trip

Lough Rynn Castle

More Wild Atlantic Way

This isn’t the only part of the Wild Atlantic Way we have done we have also, had a road trip to the picturesque village of Doolin and the legendary Cliffs of Moher. See our Road Trip. Further to the North West corner we experienced the historical town of Killala also steeped in history.

How old is the Clifden Castle?

Clifden castle was built in 1818

How much does it cost to visit Clifden Castle?

The castle is free to visit

When did Clifden Castle fall into ruins?

1935 the castle fell into ruins

How far from Clifden is the castle

A short 5 minute drive

Who originally owned Clifden Castle

John D’Arcy was the first owner. John was the landowner and founder of Clifden

By chalkandcheesetravels

We are adventure seekers who love to explore the world. So one day, we decided to write about it here is our story so far


  1. What a picturesque castle to explore…looks like lots of great photo opportunities!

  2. NortheastAllie – For generations, my family has lived in the Philadelphia area, and my writing reflects these influences. This blog explores perspectives on life, encouragement, travel, health, and local living.
    northeastallie says:

    Wow! The castle looks so elegant and beautiful!

  3. What a stately ruin! I’m impressed that it’s so well-preserved. The Connemara region looks pristine and jaw-dropping gorgeous; you’re so fortunate to live in Ireland and be close to these wonderful sites!

    1. It really is Rebecca it’s the first time we have visited this region and it was just stunning

  4. Little Miss Traveller – England – An independent traveller writing about her visits to countries near and far - travel diaries and days out providing inspiration for fellow travellers
    Little Miss Traveller says:

    Oh what a beautiful castle to explore, yet another reason for us to visit Connemara! Hope you have a great weekend!

    1. Connemara is certainly one of the most beautiful places we have visited so far the landscape is vast and just draw dropping at times

    1. I thought the same 1818 isn’t very old for a Castle. I would live a castle to imagine what you could do with it I’d start with digging a mote 😀

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