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Ballinrobe, Co. Mayo, Ireland

Cornmarket- Ballinrobe- Co Mayo- Ireland
Cornmarket, a nice place to start your walking tour of Ballinrobe, Ireland

Ballinrobe (Baile an Róba), located in County Mayo, Ireland, is a small historical town about 45km North of Galway. You can take the N84 by car, or try to catch one of the few buses that make a stop in the town. The bus is a local bus, so be prepared to make frequent stops. Also, the road the bus takes is narrow and windy, and unless you have iron guts or are capable of vomiting a controlled stream into a Pringles can like the girl sitting across from me, you should drive yourself. The town makes for a nice stop, but everything it has to offer can be seen in a leisurely hour or two.

Ballinrobe walking tour map
A walking tour map of Ballinrobe available at the tourist office

Ballinrobe, which means small town on the River Robe, remains true to its name today with a population of 1260 people. The population has actually decreased since its peak in 1840 of 2700 people, and while there may be few people around, there is a community run tourist office on Cornmarket that is very helpful. They recommend a self-guided tour, but if you just wander up Main and Abbey St. you will see most of everything.

Augustine Abbey- Ballinrobe
An Augustine Abbey built in 1313

If you’re in the mood for a nice walk, Bowers Walk is on the West side of the Robe River. It’s a very easy 2 mile walk along the River that starts near the The Mill and The Brewery. You’ll see the former Ballinrobe Castle that was turned into Cavalry Barracks in the 1800’s and is now a backdrop for local soccer games. I saw people fishing along the river trail, but they didn’t have any fish and I’m not sure if it was legal. The river does eventually lead to Lough Mask though, which is supposed to have great brown-trout fishing.

Military bridge on Bowers Walk
An old military bridge spans the Robe River visible on Bowers Walk

If you do take the bus and get stuck in Ballinrobe for longer than you intended, St. Mary’s Church of Ireland on Main St. has a computer with free internet access, but they do take a break for lunch and will kick you out. You can always explore the areas around and maybe see a small rural farm or strange pair of water towers.

Local farmers outside Ballinrobe
Lifelong residents and farmers with a visiting relative in Kilmaine, just outside of Ballinrobe
Two unique water towers
Two unique water towers just outside of Ballinrobe, Co Mayo, Ireland

Ballinrobe Map

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