One of our favorite things to do on vacation is to take a day or two to walk around the area and absorb the atmosphere. Our vacation cottage in New Quay, Ireland gave us wonderful opportunities to do just that. The cottage is located on a road that runs along the Galway Bay and then circles back inland through homes, farms and even a few ruins. To make things even better, on one end of the loop was a ice cream shop and the other had a little shop that served coffee, wine and dessert and Linnane’s Lobster Bar. We tried all three at least once while we were there.
Our first night at the cottage we opted to walk up to Linnane’s for dinner. We were tired from our drive and our grocery store adventure and thought we would get a quick bite. As you can see from the picture, the roadway was narrow and the neighborhood was pretty rural. We were a little concerned about walking back after dark but one of the advantages of traveling to Ireland in July is that the days are VERY long. We were at the pub until past 10pm and still have daylight for our stroll home. We quickly learned that while the population density of the area was low, the population density of Linnane’s was high. It was packed with a wait of over an hour. There was a back porch with a few open seats so we opted for that. We shared oysters and I had the vegetable soup. The vegetable soup in Ireland is different from what we serve in the US. It is pureed like a tomato soup and it is delicious. We ate at Linnane’s twice more during our stay but made sure to have reservations.
On our first full day at the cottage we decided to take a walk and check out the neighborhood. The cottage faces Galway Bay so the first part of our stroll provided breathtaking views of the beach and the bay. As the road curved inland, there was a pond full of swans and on the other side of the road we saw a sign for an ice cream parlor. Even though it was a bit chilly we gave it a try. The ice cream was rich and sweet with the added bonus of a visit from the owner’s golden retriever.
We made it our goal to walk each day and to try not to undo any health benefits by eating ice cream or dessert on every walk. We were marginally successful. We had ice cream once and visited the coffee shop one time.
Our cottage was well supplied with maps and brochures and an unexpected treasure. The owner of the cottage had written a college paper on ten archaeological sites in the area. We made sure to see as many as possible on our rambles. There were a plethora of trails and paths in the area including one that started at a nearby church and went up to a beautiful hilltop with stunning views of the area and bay. This part of the trip is best told with pictures. We hope you enjoy looking at them as much as we did experiencing them. There are so many places to visit in Ireland and we did a relatively small part of the Emerald Isle. I know we will go back and will want to see new and different things. I will find it hard though not to return to our little cottage on the bay.