A-Z of Frequently Asked Questions
Is there accommodation in the National Park?
There are not accommodation facilities within the National Park. However there is an array of different accommodation types available adjacent the National Park including bed & breakfasts, campsites, hostels, hotels and self-catering.
Do we have to book a visit?
Groups – Adults
If you are travelling with a group and require a guided tour please make contact with the Visitor Centre in advance. We cannot guarantee a guided your but we try to accommodate all requests. There is no charge for a guided tour.
Groups – Schools/Children
If you are travelling with a group of children e.g. school tour, and wish to have a guided tour you will need to fill in a special booking form. There are no charges for such a booking but we expect groups to adhere to our Child Protection Guidelines set out by our Department (https://www.chg.gov.ie/app/uploads/2015/07/child-protection-policy1.pdf) See page 26 of this documents additional measures expected for Child Protection for the National Parks and Wildlife Service Education Program and Visitor Centres. Please contact the Education Officer for further details (see web page for contact details) – https://www.connemaranationalpark.ie/education/
Why are there no bins outside?
Bins have a tendency to create a litter problem, particularly in car parks. To avoid this we have a policy of no outside bins. Ideally visitors should be taking their waste home with them. We have bins inside the Visitor Centre and encourage visitors to recycle waste materials using the facilities provided.
Is there a campsite in the National Park?
***Please note wild camping is permitted in the National Park but there is a camping exclusion zone as shown below. The nearest camping area in the National Park is several kilometers from the Visitor Centre (approximately 2 hours walking). As per our normal camping code, groups of 10 more will be by permit only. Campfires are not permitted in the National Park. The issuing of permits for campfires is suspended pending review. Campfires and/or disposable barbecues are strictly prohibited within the Connemara National Park.*** ***Staying overnight with camper vans etc. in our car parks continues to be prohibited.***
There is no serviced campsite in the National Park. We recommend that you book into a local campsite. Wild camping is permitted in certain parts of the National Park. Please click here to see details of what wild camping entails.
Can I bring my dog for a walk in the National Park?
Dogs on leads are welcome in the National Park grounds. Only service dogs are permitted inside buildings. You must clean up after your dog, so please ensure that you have a waste bag with you for your visit. Collected waste should be brought home as there are no outside bins in the National Park.
Can I use my drone in the National Park?
Drones are not permitted in the National Park. A permit for drone photography will only be issued under very special circumstances and to those with the proper licenses and insurance cover.
Electric Vehicle Charging
Can I charge my electric vehicle in Connemara National Park?
Yes, we have a designated parking space and electric car chargers available in the public car park. You will need to speak to a guide at the Visitor Centre when you arrive, as one of the National Park staff will have to activate the charger for you. There is currently no cost to visitors who wish to charge their car during their visit to the National Park.
Fees & Charges
How much does a ticket cost?
You do not need to purchase a ticket to enter the National Park. There are no charges for hiking on the self-guided trails or for viewing the exhibition or the film in the Visitor Centre. We also run a programme of events throughout the year that are also free of charge.
Can we park in the National Park overnight?
Connemara National Park car park cannot facilitate overnight parking/camping. The car park is for day time visits only. We recommend that visitors in camper vans who wish to stay in Connemara overnight use one of the local campsites.
Do I need a permit for…?
Certain activities within the National Park require a permit e.g. commercial photography, large scale events, lighting a campfire. Applications for permits should be made to the Park Manager in writing, in person or by telephone, at least seven working days in advance of the event (preferably longer). Certain permits require you to produce a certificate of insurance. Permit holders must be prepared to present their permit when requested by members of the Park Staff.
Can I use public transport to access the National Park?
There are bus services operating from Clifden and Galway to Letterfrack, the village adjacent the main visitor access to the National Park. Details of these bus services can be found on our Getting Here page (https://www.connemaranationalpark.ie/getting-here/)
What are your opening times?
The opening times for both the Visitor Centre and Café/Tea room are detailed at the bottom of the page. The Visitor Centre is open daily and year round (except Christmas Day & St. Stephen’s Day). The Café is open daily (except Christmas Day, St Stephen’s Day), but is only open weekends in the month of January. The grounds of the National Park are open daily and year round. There are some exceptions to this e.g. during inclement weather conditions or maintenance works – we may have to close the National Park or parts of the trails. Please check our website, social media, and weather forecasts before your visit. Always obey signs and directions by National Park staff as visitor safety is a priority for us.
How many trails do you have? How long are the trails? How long do they take?
There are four trails in the National Park. These trails are colour coded and easy to follow. A simple map is available along the trails for your convenience. You can also purchase a map from the Visitor Centre reception desk at a cost of €1. A brief description of the trails follows:
Name: Ellis Wood – Distance: 0.5 km – Duration: 15 minutes
Name: Sruffaunboy – Distance: 1.5km – Duration: 30 minutes
Lower Diamond – Distance: 3km – Duration: 60 minutes
Upper Diamond – Distance: 3.7km – Duration: 90 minutes
All trails (apart from the red trail) start from the Visitor Centre. A return trip to the top of Diamond Hill and return to the Visitor Centre takes approximately 2.5 hours. Please click here to download an overview of the trails.
Are you closed because of the weather warning?
In the event of Met Éireann issued weather warnings the following protocol applies. In the case of STATUS ORANGE weather warnings and STATUS RED Severe Weather Warnings Connemara National Park will be closed for the duration of such warnings. For STATUS YELLOW Connemara National Park will remain open for the duration of the weather warning, except where otherwise notified. Notices will be placed in advance on our website and social media platforms where possible. Click here for more information about our policy in relation to weather warnings.
Is the National Park accessible to wheelchair users?
We provide car parking spaces for people with disabilities. These spaces are found near the kiosk and are the closest available spaces for accessing the Visitor Centre. Additionally if your needs require you to park adjacent the Visitor Centre you can phone ahead a member of staff who will organise for you to access the Visitor Centre directly. Please phone +353 95 41054 or +353 87 2919721. The Visitor Centre is over two different floor levels, and although there is no internal elevator, each level can be accessed separately from the exterior. Part of the Sruffaunboy (yellow trail) is wheelchair accessible; please speak to a guide at the reception desk for more details on this trail.