Just 15km to the west of Galway, Spiddal is the perfect place to spend a sunny day out with the family. If you are exploring Connemara and the West of Ireland, make sure to include Spiddal in your plans!
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Spiddal is a picturesque seaside village on the shores of Galway Bay, and part of An Gaeltacht (Irish speaking area). Spiddal is one of the largest Irish speaking settlements in the Galway Gaeltacht, and despite being so near to Galway, Spiddal is the quintessential Irish village.
Great restaurants, a beautiful beach, the pier for walks, a craft village with the chance of hands-on activities, and plenty more – Spiddal is definitely worth a visit for a family trip!
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Things to Do in Spiddal
Before you enter the village, coming from the Galway side, there is a great beach to your left which is perfect for sandcastle building and swimming, with a picnic area and benches beside it.
To your right is the Ceardlann Craft Village, with craft shops and An Builín Blasta Café serving lunches, coffees and homemade cakes. In the village you can see pottery, jewellery, woodwork, painting and musical instruments being made. Several shops allow you to get a hands-on experience – you can paint pottery to take on the day or leave to be fired, and have fun with decoupage at An Siopa Bui, while Chalk and Cheese run painting classes for kids.
As you drive through the village, you will come to pedestrian lights with a church on your left. If you turn left beside the church you will find a car park with a quay where boats are tied up. If the tide is in, the kids can have fun throwing stones into the sea or can climb on the rocks.
Beside the car park is a walkway which takes you to the original Spiddal Pier. It is suitable for all the family and buggy/bike-friendly. You can walk along the pier or take a trip on a boat. Behind the pier are rocks where budding and professional anglers can enjoy an afternoon of fishing. Halfway along is a bridge with a small waterfall – the river runs brown from the bog and was described as a ‘river of coke’ by my kids!
The walkway ends at the beach, which is sheltered by the pier, has toilets and a lifeguard on duty during the summer months. It is clean and safe, and kids will have hours of fun splashing and swimming.
If you decide to make a day of it but don’t have a picnic with you, the village has plenty of shops and restaurants where both Irish and English are spoken. Encourage your kids to practise their Irish, even just Go raibh maith agat.
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What other things would you recommend doing in Spiddal with the family? Leave a comment below and let us know – we’d love to hear from you!