Introducing Loughrea & Around
Named for the little lake at its southern edge, Loughrea (Baile Locha Riach) is a bustling market town 26km southeast of Galway. Loughrea has the shallow remnant of a medieval moat, which runs from the lake at Fair Green near the cathedral to the River Loughrea north of town. Since the opening of the M6, the town is less frenetic with traffic and is good for a stroll.
Not to be confused with St Brendan's Church on Church St, which is now a library, St Brendan's Catholic Cathedral, dating from 1902, is renowned for its Celtic-revival stained-glass windows, furnishings and polished granite columns.
Near Bullaun, 7km north of Loughrea on the R350, is the pillar-like Turoe Stone, covered in delicate La Tène–style relief carvings. It dates from between 300 BC and AD 100 and was found at an Iron Age fort a few kilometres away.
East to Ballinasloe, 6.5km from Loughrea, the Dartfield Horse Museum & Park allows horse lovers to learn about the horse's role in Irish history. The pony rides thrill kids and you can book longer riding adventures on horseback.