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Thursday, 01 June 2023

Answering your top questions about Kylemore Abbey

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Kylemore Abbey. Famous landmark in Ireland. Castle with a neo-Gothic Church, Victorian gardens & more. Perfect for a day out. Ticket from €10
Kylemore Abbey is a big estate, with a long history and so much to see and do! So it is no surprise that you might have a lot of questions. Whether you are planning a visit or interested in the history, let us answer some of your most frequently asked questions…

Is Kylemore Abbey worth seeing?
We might be biased but, yes! The 1,000 acre estate is beautiful in any weather and makes for a day filled with history, adventure and fun for all people of all ages. If you don’t believe us, why not take a look at some of what our visitors have had to say. 

How much time do you need at Kylemore Abbey?
Your ticket to Kylemore Abbey gives you entry for their entire opening hours so you could easily spend 3 to 6 hours exploring the estate. Visitors can go between the main features of the estate taking in the beauty and history, enjoy the many woodland trails and of course, indulge in the delicious homemade food of the many food outlets. 

Why is Kylemore Abbey important?
Kylemore Abbey has a long and storied history. It’s a renowned place of hospitality, beauty, spirituality, and education. It has long been identified as a place of great innovation from it’s founder Mitchell Henry in 1867 and for the past 103 years has been home to an order for Benedictine nuns. 2024 will see it be the site of the first female monastery in Ireland in over 400 years. 

When was Kylemore Abbey built?
Kylemore Abbey, then Kylemore castle, was built in 1867 for wealthy British eye-surgeon and future MP Mitchell Henry as a “nesting place” for his family. “Kylemore Castle” became known as “Kylemore Abbey” in 1920 with the arrival of the Benedictine nuns of Ypres. 

Can you see Kylemore Abbey without paying?
Kylemore Abbey is visible from a bridge across Pollacappul Lake, it can also be viewed from a distance from Kylemore’s free car park. However, if you want to get close to the Abbey and see inside or explore the stunning neo-Gothic Church, or Victorian Walled Gardens, visitors are encouraged to buy an all-day ticket that gives them access to the entire estate. 

Must I book my visit to Kylemore Abbey in advance?
No. Pre-booking is not necessary but is advisable as it allows visitors swifter entry to the estate. You can see ticket prices, availability, and book now at Kylemoreabbey.com

Who lives in Kylemore Abbey?
A Community of Benedictine Nuns have lived at Kylemore Abbey since 1920. After fleeing war in Europe, the nuns arrived in Kylemore and have gone on to run an international Girls Board School as well as being central to the tourism operation and the crafters behind the beautiful chocolates and soaps handmade in Kylemore. 

Do Nuns still live in Kylemore Abbey?
Yes. The Benedictine Community who have lived, prayed, and worked in Kylemore Abbey since 1920 have been living in various locations on the estate for the past number of years. However, 2024 will see the completion of a new monastery in Kylemore Abbey where the nuns will once again come together to continue their monastic mission. 

What is the nearest town to Kylemore Abbey?
The lively village of Letterfrack is just 5km (3miles) from Kylemore Abbey and the nearest town is Clifden, just 20km(12.5miles) and a beautiful scenic drive. Westport (51km/31miles) and Galway City (80km/50miles) are also quite accessible from Kylemore Abbey. 

Is there parking at Kylemore Abbey?
Yes, there is free visitor car-parking for cars, bikes, campers, and buses. 

Can you stay overnight at Kylemore Abbey?
Currently Kylemore Abbey does not offer overnight accommodation. However, Notre Dame University have 16 en-suite rooms as part of their Global Campus in the St. Joseph’s wing of the castle, and in 2024 the newly built Benedictine will have accommodation for retreats.

How many bedrooms are in Kylemore Abbey?
In the 1800’s Kylemore Abbey boasted 33 bedrooms. Over the years these rooms were repurposed for a number of different uses. Today, there is no accommodation offered by Kylemore Abbey. However, Notre Dame University have 16 en-suite rooms as part of their Global Campus in the St. Joseph’s wing of the castle, and in 2024 the newly built Benedictine will have accommodation for retreats. 

Who is the owner of Kylemore Abbey?
Kylemore Abbey and the estate is under the stewardship of The Kylemore Trust. Led by the Benedictine nuns, The Kylemore Trust is a registered charity chaired by the Abbess of Kylemore and comprised of all professed nuns of Kylemore and some lay members. The Trust’s philanthropic mission is to support the Benedictine monastic way of life, and to preserve and enhance the heritage of Kylemore for the benefit of the nation and the region. The Trust generates funds for its mission through income from tourism & retail and philanthropy. All income (from philanthropy and revenue generation) is used to support Kylemore’s mission as a non-profit organisation.

Does Kylemore Abbey close for the winter?
Kylemore Abbey and estate is open to visitors all year round with some reduced hours and days between November and April. Check out our website for a full list of opening hours

We LOVE sharing as much history and information as we can about Kylemore Abbey so please feel free to contact us with all of your questions and queries.