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Lettergesh Beach: All You Need to Know about this Connemara Beach

Lettergesh Beach
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Lettergesh Beach Connemara

Connemara has many beautiful beaches that are simply breathtaking and Lettergesh Beach is certainly one Beach that will not disappoint!

The light colored sand on this expanse of beach contrasts with the azure water of the Atlantic Ocean, the vivid blues in the sky and greens and grays of the mountain scenery on a sunny day. Even when the Lettergesh Beach weather isn’t so ideal, the sandy beach is still well worth checking out and great for a saunter.

Tip: Try to time your visit for when the tide is out to get the most out of the long sandy stretch of beach.

On the car park side of the beach, there are larger loose stones and pebbles above the high tide mark. The rest of the beach is mostly sandy, with one or two rocky outcrops which double as good vantage points. Flowing into the sea on the far side of the beach from the car park is the Culfin River and beyond is Culfin Beach

Lettergesh Beach Quiet Man – Fun Fact

View of a cottage beside Lettergesh Beach.
View of a cottage beside Lettergesh Beach. (Photo: Kevin George via Canva)

Film buffs may recognize Lettergesh Beach from the famous racing scene for the Inisfree Cup in the 1950s movie titled “The Quiet Man”. In this scene, the character of Sean Thornton (played by John Wayne) holds his horse back at the beginning of the horse race, before ultimately going on to be the overall winner.

Horses race along the strand, around the rocks and up into the sand dunes, before returning to the beach for the final furlong in the scene. Crowds of spectators cheer on the riders on the beach. 

Although the horse racing sequence is only a short scene, the wildness and beauty of this beach is still very evident. 

What to do on Lettergesh Beach?

The white sands of Lettergesh Beach.
The white sands of Lettergesh Beach. (Photo: Kevin George via Canva)

The expansive Lettergesh Beach makes it the perfect location to go for a beach walk or run and admire the scenery or on a windy day, blow away the cobwebs!

One thing to note in advance is that if you visit at high tide for a long walk, it won’t be possible to walk along the long beach. When the tide is in completely, the rocky outcrops divide up the beach into smaller sections. Best to wait until low tide to get the maximum from this beach.

The shallow clear water is tempting for swimming and other water sport activities. Finding official information about the suitability of Lettergesh Beach for swimming is difficult to find. It is best to ask locally to find out more information about the water conditions. 

Please Note: There are no lifeguard facilities on this beach.

Lettergesh Beach FAQs

Culfin River on Lettergesh Beach at low tide.
Culfin River on Lettergesh Beach at low tide. (Photo: Kevin George via Canva)

Where is Lettergesh Beach?

Lettergesh Beach is in north west Connemara in County Galway. It is located just off the Renvyle Peninsula, north east of Tully Cross, by the townland of Gowlaun. 

Lettergesh Beach Directions – How do I get there?

If you are traveling from Clifden, follow the Connemara Loop road from Tully Cross as it travels north in the direction of Killary Harbour. About 0.5 km after Lettergesh school there is a signposted turnoff to the left for the beach down a narrow road. At the end of this road, you will find the public car park and Lettergesh Beach. 

Note: You’ll find the beach directly if you enter “Lettergesh Beach car park” in Google Maps.

What is Lettergesh Beach Parking like?

There is a relatively large car park on the western side of this beach, which does not fill up as quickly as the nearby Glassilaun Beach car park. Access to the gravel car park is via a narrow side road. 

Tip: The rough surface on the access road and car park might cause some issues for low vehicles.

The beach is directly in front of the car park. Before you reach the sandy part of the beach, there is a section with loose stones that must be crossed and maybe difficult for people with mobility issues.

How long does it take to travel from Clifden to Lettergesh Beach?

You should plan about 35 minutes to travel the Connemara Loop by car from Clifden to Lettergesh Beach.

How long does it take to travel from Galway to Lettergesh Beach?

Galway is located about 1.5 hours away from Lettergesh Beach by car. 

How long does it take to travel from Leenaun (Leenane) to Lettergesh Beach?

The drive by car from Leenaun to Lettergesh Beach takes a little less than about 25 minutes

Can you swim at Lettergesh Beach?

Lettergesh Beach at low tide.
Lettergesh Beach at low tide. (Photo: Kevin George via Canva)

It is difficult to find official information about swimming on Lettergesh Beach. Please check locally for further information before you venture into the water.  

Please Note: There are no lifeguards at this beach. For more information about safe swimming in Ireland, read here

What is the water quality of Lettergesh Beach?

From the information available online, it appears that there is no information about the water quality of Lettergesh Beach. 

Information about the tide times and water quality of the nearby beach, Glassilaun Beach, (which is updated monthly during the summer holiday season) can be found here

What are the Lettergesh Beach tide times? 

As Lettergesh Beach is so close to Glassilaun Beach, you can take the predicted tide times for Glassilaun Beach as an approximation for the Lettergesh Beach tide times. The tide time predictions for Glassilaun Beach are available here and are modelled on data from Clare Island.

Are dogs allowed on Lettergesh Beach?

There is no official information about dog restrictions on this beach available. Please ensure that all dog waste is removed from the beach.

What facilities are at Lettergesh Beach?

There are no lifeguards, bins or toilet facilities at Lettergesh Beach. There is a relatively large gravel car park for public use.

Where can I find Lettergesh Beach accommodation?

There are plenty of holiday homes in the Connemara region, but as it is a popular location in summer, you might need to book early. 

Connemara Camping

Sunset at Renvyle
Sunset at Renvyle (Photo: Stephanie Salmon via Canva)

There are several different camping options in Connemara, especially for those who enjoy camping near beaches.

The Connemara Caravan and Camping Park located just beside Lettergesh Beach is an ideal spot to relax and enjoy the beach and the surrounding amenities. Steps lead directly from the Lettergesh camping site onto the beach.

A little further away there is another campsite, The Renvyle Beach Caravan & Camping Park located close to Renvyle Beach, less than 15 minutes drive from Lettergesh Beach. This camping park boasts superb beach and mountain views, as well as the typical campsite facilities.  

Clifden Eco Beach Camping and Caravanning Park, near Omey Strand, (ca. 45 minutes drive from Lettergesh Beach) is another option.. This campsite is located beside a quiet beach and offers sheltered pitches with great views.  

Things to do near Lettergesh Connemara

Beaches near Lettergesh Beach

Renvyle Beach
Renvyle Beach on a dull day with scenic surroundings. (Photo: Babett Paul via Canva)

For those who wish to visit some of the other spectacular Connemara Beaches you don’t need to search far, Glassilaun Beach and Renvyle Beach are both located in the close vicinity of Lettergesh Beach. 

Glassilaun Beach

One of the best beaches in Connemara is definitely the crescent strand of Glassilaun Beach. Its soft white sand and crystal-clear blue water looks far more tropical than the west of Ireland on a good day!

This idyllic spot, located only a short distance from Lettergesh (ca. 5 minutes drive), is a popular spot in summer, but like many beaches in this area is pretty much deserted most of the time outside high season.

As well as being a magnificent beach, it has amazing scenery all around it with unrivaled views of the Mweelrea Mountains on the other side of Killary Fjord. There is a small public car park located by the beach.

For more information about Glassilaun Beach, including swimming options or questions about whether Glassilaun Beach wild camping is permitted (it is not, by the way), please check our detailed Glassilaun Beach Guide

Renvyle Beach

The waves on Renvyle Beach
The clear waters of Renvyle Beach. (Photo: Kevin George via Canva)

On the Renvyle Peninsula lies the impressive Renvyle Beach, also known as White Strand Beach. The sand on this beach is indeed white and the long beach is well known as a great spot to watch the western sunset

As well as the mountain views that this beach offers, you can also see the islands of Clare Island, Inishturk and Achill Island. Take note that there is only a limited number of car spaces in the public car park by the beach. 

Killary Sheep Farm

One of the more unique attractions in this area is the Killary Sheep Farm. This family friendly attraction is likely to be a very memorable experience, especially for younger children.

During the visit, you will be able to see a live sheepdog demonstration, which shows how closely the farmer and Border Collie sheepdog must work together to round up the sheep. 

Spring lamb in a field
Spring is the best time to visit if you want to bottle feed the lambs. (Photo: Antoninapotapenko via Canva)

Depending on the time of year, the owner will show you different sheep related activities, for example mid-March to Mid-April are the best times to visit if you want to bottle feed the lambs or summer if you want to see the sheep being sheared

There are also plenty of opportunities to ask questions and learn more about sheepdogs and sheep farming in this scenic part of Ireland.

Note: It is worth booking ahead if you plan on visiting.

Scubadive West

For those who wish to learn to scuba dive or for the more experienced, to dive in the clear waters of Connemara, then Scubadive West, located next to Glassilaun Beach is an ideal attraction. 

The profession and competent staff offer a range of different courses the content of which are geared to suit the needs of beginners to experienced divers. As well as dives in the sheltered coves, they also offer wreck dives as well. 

This is a great way to explore the underwater biodiversity of this special area in Ireland. 

Kylemore Abbey and Walled Gardens

For many on a trip around Connemara, a visit to the picturesque Kylemore Abbey and its Walled Victorian Gardens is a must. Kylemore Abbey, with its photogenic reflections in the lake, must be  one of the most iconic landmarks in Ireland and frequently features on postcards and calendars. 

The building itself has a long history, as well as being a private residence, it has also functioned as a home for Benedictian Nuns from Belgium and a girls boarding school until 2010.

Connemara National Park

Tully Mountain from Connemara National Park
View of Tully Mountain from Connemara National Park. (Photo: onlyfabrizio via Canva)

The Connemara National Park in the heart of Connemara is well worth taking some time to explore. Famed for its landscapes and nature, this is probably one of Ireland’s most beautiful areas and is home to  impressive wildlife including birds of prey and pure-bred Connemara Ponies. There are also several different walking trails in the park.

Information about the park including walking trail maps and other places of interest can be found in the Connemara National Park Information Centre in Letterfrack. The centre is open daily with the exception of Christmas Day and St. Stephen’s Day.

Beaches in Connemara

For more information about other great beaches to visit in Connemara, check out our guide to the best beaches in Connemara.