Along the Wild Atlantic Way (the moniker given to Ireland’s west coast) Cong is set amidst the Lough Corrib and Mask. The thatched-roof houses, well-tended gardens, winding streets, and the one odd pub called Pat Cohan (patcohanbar.ie) are everything you’d imagine in a twee Irish village. Traipse around the ruins of the 13thcentury Augustine Cong Abbey, or go boating on Lough Corrib. Head to Inchagoill (7 kms from Cong), the largest island on the lake, for spectacular views of the mountains of Connemara. The grounds of Ashford Castle are perfect for long walks amidst hundred-year-old trees, or for a round on their nine-hole golf course. Visit the Falconry School located on the grounds of the castle for an exhilarating evening learning to fly hawks. Don’t miss the afternoon tea at the castle’s Connaught Room or a meal of sumptuous steaks at Cullen’s At The Cottage.