Enhance your stay and choose from a host of onsite estate activities; including golfing, falconry, fishing, traditional boat tours and cycling. Wind down with an estate walk and picnic or stay cosy indoors and enjoy a movie in the relaxed surroundings of our Abbey Movie Theatre.
Falconry on the Estate
A captivating and thrilling experience – falconry the sport of kings – is available to our guests of Glenlo Abbey Hotel & Estate.
Get up close and personal with many birds of prey within the sheltered Walled Garden.
Guided and instructed by experienced Falconers, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to interact with some of nature’s top predators.
Abbey Movie Theatre
Cinema at Glenlo Abbey
Sink into luxury, velvet chairs and lose yourself in a good movie in the cosy surroundings of our Abbey Movie Theatre.
Fishing on Glenlo Abbey Estate
Located on the shores of Lough Corrib, Glenlo Abbey Hotel & Estate is the perfect base for a fishing trip when in the West of Ireland. Our team are happy to assist you in planning such an activity. Guided fishing ghillie packages can be arranged directly at reception.
Golf at Glenlo Abbey
Set on the banks of Lough Corrib, the scenic Glenlo Abbey Golf Course is situated only 2.5 miles from the vibrant city of Galway. Designed by Ryder Cup legend Christy O’Connor Jr, the course has been recognised as one of the best 9 Hole Golf Courses in the Republic of Ireland.
The courses offers a unique and challenging experience to golfers of all levels, including a signature 4th hole on an island green. Located on the grounds of the 5 star Glenlo Abbey Hotel & Estate, the course welcomes visitors from around the world.
There is also a 21 Bay Driving Range, the ideal place to get some pre-round practice in.
Enjoy a bike ride around the 138 estate, a pathway runs around the perimeter of the estate, allowing you to see the estate from a completely different perspective.
Make use of our estate bicycles, complimentary to our hotel residents. We can arrange a picnic for you, to get away from it all and dine al fresco on the waters edge.
Kindly note that bicycles are cleaned and sanitised after each use and must be booked in advance.
Step back in time at Glenlo Abbey
History of Glenlo Abbey
The Ffrenches were an Anglo-Norman family who first settled in Ireland in Co. Wexford and from there gradually spread to other parts of the island. The family first arrived in Galway in the early fifteenth century. It is said that the family descend from Sir Maximilian Ffrench, the first of the name, whose descendants accompanied their kinsman, William the Conqueror, into England and fought at the Battle of Hastings.
The house was originally known as Kentfield House, before becoming Glenlow or Glenlo House, deriving from the Irish Glean Locha, meaning ‘Glen of the Lake’.
The adjacent Abbey was constructed in the 1790’s as a private church for the family but was not completed and never consecrated. It is typical of eighteenth-century Church of Ireland chapels, which are often found on large demesnes.
The house and surrounding 138-acre estate were put up for sale, being described as an “admirable and unique mansion, wanting scarcely anything that art or taste can suggest” and as having “every accommodation a family of distinction can desire, including, three Reception rooms, nine Bed Chambers, Cellars, Kitchen Pantry, Laundry, Servants Hall and sleeping rooms, with very appropriate and well-built offices, Stewarts’ Apartments Garden, Farm Yard”.
It was eventually purchased by the Blakes, another of Galway’s illustrious tribal families. In 1897, the estate was purchased by the Palmers who remained there for the following 90 years.
In the 1980’s the house and estate were again sold, this time to the Bourke family who lovingly restored the house and converted it into a hotel.
In the 1990s, two original carriages from the Orient Express were purchased and placed on the grounds of Glenlo Abbey Hotel & Estate. Dating from 1927 these carriages served on the Paris to Istanbul to St. Petersburg route; one of the pair was used in the making of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express. Today serving as the Pullman Restaurant, the carriages offer a unique dining experience.
2013 to the present day
In 2013, Glenlo Abbey Hotel and Estate was acquired by Galway Hotelier John and Marie Lally. Significant investment has been made to the hotel and estate grounds. In 2020, twenty three guest rooms were added to the portfolio extending the number of rooms and suites at Glenlo to seventy three also added to the portfolio is Glo Spa and a new causal eatery Palmers Bar and Kitchen.
The Lally’s continue to curate and restore this magnificent property and estate making it one of the leading luxury hotels in Ireland.
Our experienced concierge team holds a wealth of knowledge on the best restaurants, bars, venues and key activities to do within Galway city and Connemara. They can organise bespoke itineraries to the Cliffs of Moher, Kylemore Abbey and the secluded spots to discover along the Wild Atlantic Way. The concierge team can also reserve onsite activities including falconry, Golf, Fishing and a River cruise on the River Corrib.
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