Often you can live in a city for years, thinking you know the place, only to be surprised by hidden gems around every corner, and history that you never knew of.
Galway is no exception to this, but one advantage the City of the Tribes has, is that you only need your own two feet to explore it.
Galway Walking Festival returns this month for its second summer of pounding the pavements, with over a week of free tours.
This initiative to ‘Get Galway Going’, is supported by Galway City Council, and follows the success of last year’s Festival.
From April 15 – 24 there will be up to three, totally free, walking tours a day, for a total of 30 over the course of the festival.
These will explore different points in its history, the architecture and heritage of neighbourhoods, the music and literature originating here, and links with other countries.
Check out the schedule of free walking tours in the brochure below.
As well as English, different tours are available in Irish, French, Italian and German.
Booking is either online through the Galway Walking Festival website at: www.galwaywalkingfestival.ie.
Here’s a little bit more about the different tours on offer, and the people who will be taking you on them.
All tours start in Eyre Square unless specified otherwise.
Brendan J. Hynes –NUI Galway Campus Walking Tour
Come on a walking tour of one the most beautiful University Campus in Ireland which was founded in 1847. See the famous quad, the concourse from the 1970’s and the Alice Perry Engineering Building. Discover the famous past alumni from Michael O Shaughnessy to Martin Sheen. Let master guide Brendan J. Hynes take you on a journey of discovery.
Kathleen Reid – The Story of Galway City
Discover how it all began for the City of the Tribes.
This tour is all about the history and heritage of the city. We will walk through the medieval streets and see how the city has managed to retain much of its grandeur and character from its medieval past
Ger Considine – Heritage and Culture
Discover Galway’s rich heritage and lively culture
Patrizia Interlandi – Italy and Galway: A Shared History
Hear tales of the links between Italy and Ireland through the centuries – a walking tour for all ages with an Italian guide who has made Ireland her home
A leisurely loop walk from St Nicholas Collegiate Church to the Rowing Club while you are listening to fascinating stories of Italians who came to Ireland and of Irish people who ended up in Italy.
Medieval bankers, sought-after craftspeople, the Italian king of Irish roads, the mysterious whereabouts of Daniel O’Connell’s heart and much more…
Bilingual with Italian.
Gabrielle Campbell – 14 Tribes
A walk through the city and the centuries, concentrating on the 14 tribes that made Galway a great city. Starting at Eyre Square, finishing at the cathedral, approx 90 minutes duration. Bilingual in French.
James Walsh – The Claddagh
The Claddagh region had its own unique culture and heritage as most of the men were fishermen and great sailors who plied their trade since the sixth century.
But before Nimmo’s Pier was built they were subject to winds and storms that arrived in the Spring and damaged boats.
This Pier was built between 1820 and 1830 and opened up the fishing to other vessels. The main boat used by them was the Galway Hooker with its famous red sails and great control.
One of these is on show at the Museum and so we will start the Walk at the Museum where there is more information about those boats.
There are many treasures of song and music to be had on this walk not least a visit to Kate’s Cottage along the return journey which is a wonderful restored cottage from the thatched cottage era, pre-1926 and has many artifacts of great interest to the connoisseur of heritage items associated with that era and collected or made by the owner.
Derek Spillane – Discover Galway City from the Latin Quarter to the River Corrib.
Discover Galway City Centre on a meander from the Latin Quarter to the River Corrib. The tour covers 800 years of history with many tales, some fun, some gruesome.
Karen O’Leary – Wonderful Walks Tour
Colour, beauty and inspiration are added to the side streets by locally and internationally acclaimed street artists, including Finbar 247, Sufek_west, Danleo, Emma Blake and Shane O’Malley.
This maybe the most Instagrammable tour that you have ever been on.
Tour duration, 60 to 90 minutes. All welcome. Bilingual in German.
Meet at Hughes Opticians, Wood Quay at 12:00 and finish at Wolfe Tone Bridge.
Jim Ward – Galway 1916 – 23 Revolutionary period
Although Galway County had the largest uprising outside of Dublin in 1916, Galway City was relatively quiet with mixed loyalties.
The subsequent Tan War and Civil War did bring some activity to the City. In Jim’s walk, the local sites associated with the period are toured in the context of the ideology and times.
Meet at Tourist kiosk in Eyre Square
Jim Ward – Salthill walk
Jim is a native of Salthill’s ‘The Village’. In this relaxing walk, the history and character of this colourful resort are toured with tales galore of this mid-point of the Wild Atlantic Way.
Meet at the Aquarium, Salthill
Anne Burke – Architecture Tour of Galway City Centre
On the tour you will see many outstanding examples of Galway’s built heritage dating from the 12th to the 20th century while walking in the footsteps of its Medieval citizenry, the street layout of the city having remained much the same for the last few hundred years. “
The tour lasts one and a half to two hours.
Billy Murray – Galway through Literature and Film
Tour of the city taking in the cultural interests with both buildings and statues such as Padraig O Conaire and Oscar Wilde, buildings such as the Savoy cinema, Town hall, Taibhdhearc, Druid, Kirwans Lane theatre, the Arts Centre, Bowling green etc.
Discover what makes Galway a UNESCO city of film and creativity with poet and writer, Billy Murray.