The first time I drove through Cong, my first thought was what a pretty village it was. It was so picturesque driving through the town with it’s colourful buildings, the river running through and the Abbey on either side of the road. My first instinct was to get out and explore what the village of Cong has to offer.
Cong Abbey is situated on either side of Abbey Street in Cong, and first dates back as far as the early 7th Century, but has since been destroyed and reconstructed in its history. In the early 12th Century, fire destroyed the Abbey, but around 1135 it was refounded by Turlough O’Conor who was the High-King of Ireland. The Abbey was used as a learning centre for approximately 3000 students who studied at the Abbey. In 1203 the Abbey was again reconstructed after the Norman knight William de Burgo attacked the village of Cong. The Guinness family also left their stamp on the Abbey, when they rebuilt the Abbey in 1860. Sir Benjamin Guinness employed the Foys from Cong who were gifted with fine stonework masonry. You can see this masonry today in the Gothic doorway columns and arches and carved capitals.
When you visit the Abbey, you can freely walk through the ruins and read the information boards.
The Quiet man, Statue of John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara
Just across from the Cong Abbey you will find the Quiet Man statue of John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara.
The Quiet man tours and giftshop
If you are a fan of the movie The Quiet Man, you can visit the museum in Cong which is an exact replica of the cottage filmed in the movie. Inside you’ll find the same furnishings, costumes and artifacts seen in the movie. At the museum you can also take a tour by appointment of the film locations or even watch the movie.
cross the border to galway, or to mayo
You can put one foot in Galway, and the other foot in Mayo placing you in two counties at the same time. The Cong River which divides the counties in Cong is a short but wide river, only 1 mile long, which meets up with Lough Corrib.
count the ducks at the cong duck pond
Quite a peaceful setting, in the village their is a spot of calm water which is home to dozens of ducks.
take a look at the cong salmon hatchery
In Cong you can learn more about the Atlantic Salmon Life Cycle. At the Salmon Hatchery, they have tanks where the salmon eggs are safely hatched and where the salmon fry can grow. As the salmon grow they are moved into bigger tanks at the Hatchery. Once they have grown till about 14 months old, they are set free from their tanks and start to move into the Cong River.
When I went to Cong, I noticed that the Salmon Hatchery is closed to the public, but you can see the layout of the hatchery and its tanks through the fence.
go to the Ard Na Gaoithe Forest
A 7 minute drive away from Cong Village will take you to the Ard Na Gaoithe Forest, offering beautiful walks along the Carrib Lough and a quiet swimming spot.
You can see more on my article about it: https://shellsadventures.com/2021/09/12/ard-na-gaoithe-forest-cong-ireland/
go on an adventure at ashford outdoors
Ashford Outdoors has a variety of activities, no matter what age you are! From Clay Pigeon shooting, ziplining, horse-riding, there are plenty of activities to choose from. You can take a look further at https://shellsadventures.com/2021/09/04/ashford-outdoors-ireland/
- Photograph I took of the information board at Cong Abbey