Top 8 things to do in Galway this Autumn
From buzzing streets and vibrant festivals to sweeping bays and unforgettable landscapes, Galway is brimming with Irish culture, old and new.
Escape to the City of the Tribes to see for yourself how Galway makes the most of its charms this Autumn.
1 -Take a walk and kick some leaves
One of the very best things about Autumn is witnessing the leaves transform through a spectrum of shades before ultimately falling, creating a vibrant carpet of colour. To say that Barna Woods is idyllic would be a serious understatement. Home to a variety of different flora and fauna as well as some of the last natural growing oaks in the West, the park’s network of paths running throughout the woods make it a great place to soak up the season. Another great place to clear the mind and gather your thoughts is the beautiful Connemara National Park. Encompassing about 2,000 hectares of scenic mountains, expanses of bogs, heaths, grasslands and woodlands, the park has been keeping the public happy since 1980. Fill your lungs with that crisp Autumn air, nothing beats it.
2- Kit Yourself Out
We all know Galway’s one flaw is its unpredictable weather; we’ve been known to have the elements of every season in the one day. But sure look, isn’t it “better to be safe than sorry”? Stop by Mishnóc for all your leather needs, whether that be a pair of handcrafted shoes, a leather coat or a new bag for all your bits, they’ll make sure you’re goosebump free. You’re also going to want to fill your wardrobe with some knits, so hit up Aran Sweater Market for all the jumpers, hats, scarves, gloves and socks you could ever need. No cold toes this Autumn!
3 – Visit Kylemore Abbey
You’ll know you’re in for something special as you approach Kylemore Abbey and see the iconic baronial castle reflected in a Connemara Lake. Enjoy the perfect family day out at the former monastery, delving into its history of tragedy and romance, before exploring the extensive woodland and lakeshore walks and the beautiful Victorian walled garden as you take in the stunning autumnal colours. Stop in for a homemade scone before you leave at Mitchell’s Café or the Garden Tea House.
4 – Visit the Ballinasloe Horse Fair
An extravaganza of all things equestrian, with entertainment, music and great family fun. 2023 sees the Ballinasloe Horse Fair celebrating the significant 301st year of the Ballinasloe International October Fair & Festival which is held annually in the town of Ballinasloe, County Galway. The equestrian days are Saturday, Sunday and Monday. On the Sunday and Monday, the Fairgreen is the place to be, with every breed of horse and pony on display from the beautiful Connemara Pony to trotting ponies and wonderful Irish draughts.
5 – Galway Aboo Halloween Festival
Something spooktacular is taking place in Galway this Halloween Bank Holiday Weekend. On Saturday and Sunday of the October bank holiday weekend, the city’s medieval streets will host many fun and free events planned for the weekend with high-spirits guaranteed. The fiendishly creative Macnas Halloween Parade is expected to return once again in Halloween 2022 but has yet to be confirmed.
Some of the Halloween events include:
6 – The Galway International Oyster & Seafood Festival
The Galway International Oyster & Seafood Festival is an annual event held each year on the last weekend of September in the centre of Galway City. A highlight in the west of Ireland’s festival calendar, it is the world’s longest running Oyster Festival and one of the most internationally recognised Irish events.
During this popular food festival, you can expect to experience a wide variety of tantalising events to enjoy from seafood trails, oyster hot spots, oyster opening (shucking) championships including the Oyster ‘Olympics’ or World Oyster Opening Championship, foodie talks & tasting events in some of Galway’s finest restaurants, food provenance tours, sample delights at the intimate food village at The Festival Marquee, a Mardi Gras style Gala Event through the streets of Galway, Best Dressed Lady competition, the Tribal Oyster Feast Off oyster eating competition along with family activities, live music, cooking demonstrations, ‘Hot Oyster Awards’ cooking challenge and more.
7 – Autumn Racing Returns to Galway
Autumn racing returns to the Galway Racecourse with the first of five Autumn race meetings commencing Monday 18th (NH) and Tuesday 19th September (flat). Followed by three fixtures in October, Tuesday 10th, Sunday 29th and BH Monday 30th.