Oughterard is a small town in County Galway, on the shores of Lough Corrib 26 km northwest of Galway city. It's on the edge of the Connemara hills and has accommodation and other visitor amenities; it's a commuter town for the city and its own population in 2016 was 1318. Although it's best known in film for the stone bridge seen in The Quiet Man, Oughterard and its denizens also inspired The Irish RM, published from 1899 and televised 1983-85.
Citylink Bus 923 and Bus Éireann 419 between them run every hour or two from Galway to Oughterard and Clifden, normally by the main road N59. On Tuesday mornings, Bus 419 takes a roundabout route from Clifden via Cleggan, Letterfrack and Leenane before returning to the main road at Maam Cross, thence to Oughterard and Galway; the return bus sets out from Galway at 18:00.
The bus will take you along N59, you need your own wheels for anywhere else.
- 1 Aughnanure Castle, Oughterard H91 PX20, ☏ . Mar-Oct daily 09:30-18:00, Nov to 16:00. Well preserved 16th century tower house in picturesque setting by the shores of Lough Corrib. Adult €5.
- 2 Brigit's Garden, Rosscahill, ☏ . Daily 10:00-17:00. Brigid was a Celtic goddess of spring, who morphed into the Christian St Brigid of Kildare (451-525 AD). These are botanic gardens heavily dosed with Celtic mythology. Adult €8.
- 3 Glengowla Mines, Glengowla, Oughterard (N59 five km west of village), ☏ . Mar-Oct daily 10:00-18:00. These were active 1851-1865, mining galena: lead sulphide, from which the lead is easily extracted. The ores also yielded silver and a little gold. Entry to the mines is by guided tour: it's on a farm where they also demonstrate sheepdog handling. Adult €11.
- 4 The Quiet Man Bridge is the picturesque stone arch bridge used as a location for the 1952 film starring John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara. Further west towards Maam was "White O'Morn" cottage: this is nowadays a ruin, but there's a replica in nearby Cong where most of the film was shot.
- Oughterard Golf Club is south side of the village towards the castle. Course is 5860 m, par 72 off the white tees, round €40.
- Fishing on Lough Corrib is free but you'll need to hire a boat.
- A clutch of stores in village centre: Centra (daily to 23:00), Keogh's and Joyce's.
- Powers Thatch, Main St, Oughterard, ☏ . Daily 09:00-00:00. Great little bar and restaurant, often has live trad music.
- Faherty's, Kelly's and The Boat Inn are in village centre at the foot of Camp Street.
- Lots of small B&Bs in the village and by the lough.
- 1 Carrown Tober House, Billamore, Oughterard (on N59), ☏ . Grand little B&B just outside village. B&B double €80.
- 2 Waterfront House, Golf Course Road, Oughterard H91 PW89, ☏ . Pleasant relaxing B&B by lough. B&B double €80.
- 3 Ross Lake House Hotel, Drimneen (off N59 at Rosscahill), ☏ . Stylish 19th century country house hotel in extensive gardens. B&B double €160.
- 4 Ross Castle is a 17th C mansion built over the earlier castle, and available for self-catering lets and events. In the late 19th C it was the home of Violet Florence Martin and Edith Somerville, who co-wrote the Stories of an Irish RM.
- 5 Currarevagh House, Glann Rd, Oughterard H91 X3C2, ☏ . Upscale hotel in a Victorian sporting lodge, first-class cooking. Open mid-Mar - Nov. B&B double from €160.
As of June 2020, you'll get a good mobile signal from Eir, Three and Vodafone along N59 from Galway to Oughterard and Clifden. 4G in the village is okay with Eir, patchy with Vodafone and dead with Three.
- West on N59 to the resort of Clifden. Follow the scenic lane to Cleggan for ferries to Inishbofin Island.
- Turn north at Maam Cross to reach Leenane, a fjord, and a mountain that English mapmakers didn't care to name correctly.
- The lane southwest comes to Costello and Rossaveel, which has ferries to the Aran Islands.
- Lively Galway city is only half an hour's drive.