Galway City on Foot with Seán: Stories, History, Local Tips, Chat and More..

Galway City on Foot with Seán: Stories, History, Local Tips, Chat and More..

Tour guide, teacher, actor and storyteller, Seán does not do average:
“His storytelling was compelling and his sense of humour made it one of the most enjoyable tours we have ever taken.” (Tripadvisor)
History, stoytelling, an in-depth knowledge of Galway’s past and present, enthusiasm, humour and warmth combine to create an “excellent, fun and relaxed” experience (Lonely Planet Guide).
Past guests say:
“This man is the real deal for a first-hand guide to Galway.”
“I usually get very bored with the usual history guided tours, but Sean was able to relate history in stories that were exciting and fun to listen and understand!”
“We highly recommend this tour – it’s not to be missed!”
“Sean was very friendly and funny… very knowledgeable and enthusiastic, and he told the real stories behind the history! “
“The most informative, funny, and downright passionate walking tour I’ve had in a long time… Sean’s personality is so magnetic you just want to spend the rest of the day with him.”
* Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
* Starts: Galway, Ireland
* Trip Category: Cultural & Theme Tours >> Cultural Tours




Tour guide, teacher, actor and storyteller, Seán does not do average:
“His storytelling was compelling and his sense of humour made it one of the most enjoyable tours we have ever taken.” (Tripadvisor)
History, stoytelling, an in-depth knowledge of Galway’s past and present, enthusiasm, humour and warmth combine to create an “excellent, fun and relaxed” experience (Lonely Planet Guide).
Past guests say:
“This man is the real deal for a first-hand guide to Galway.”
“I usually get very bored with the usual history guided tours, but Sean was able to relate history in stories that were exciting and fun to listen and understand!”
“We highly recommend this tour – it’s not to be missed!”
“Sean was very friendly and funny… very knowledgeable and enthusiastic, and he told the real stories behind the history! “
“The most informative, funny, and downright passionate walking tour I’ve had in a long time… Sean’s personality is so magnetic you just want to spend the rest of the day with him.”

Itinerary
This is a typical itinerary for this product

Stop At: The Spanish Arch, Spanish Arch, Galway Ireland

We start the tour at the Spanish Arch on the banks of the River Corrib, part of the only remaining fully-intact section of the medieval city walls. Here, we begin the story of Galway, charting its unlikely rise from a Gaelic settlement to a fabulously-wealthy Anglo-Norman walled city state, ruled over by 14 families (the “Tribes”), an international trading port characterised by its loyalty to the Crown and deep suspicion of the Gaels who still surrounded its walls.

Duration: 15 minutes

Pass By: The Claddagh, Galway, Ireland

Across the river from the Spanish Arch lies the ancient fishing village of Claddagh, the place that gave its name to the rollicking 17th century tale of how the world-famous Claddagh Ring came to be. Be ready for galleons, pirates, slave markets, a test of loyalty… and a tale of true love that refused to quit.

Stop At: Quay Street, Galway Ireland

Entering the medieval city proper, we make our way onto Quay Street, the centre of Galway’s life since before the city was founded almost 800 years ago. Today, it is a bustling hub of several pubs, a variety of restaurants, a good few cafés, a few good cafés, lots of music, one very good toy shop, one Claddagh Ring museum…. and one medieval castle.
Frank advice on where to eat and drink (and possibly where not to eat and drink) are freely available at no extra cost.

Duration: 10 minutes

Stop At: Kirwan’s Lane off Quay St, Galway Ireland

We duck off Quay Street to savour this secluded medieval laneway (and, occasionally, to avoid the crowds!). Named after one of Galway City’s famous 14 merchant tribes, Kirwan’s Lane’s beautiful streetscape gives a glimpse into a time when Galway was one of the finest (and wealthiest) cities in Britain or Ireland.

Duration: 5 minutes

Stop At: St. Nicholas’ Collegiate Church, Market Street, Galway Ireland

The story of Galway’s glorious rise and tragic fall comes together at the 700 year-old Church of St. Nicholas (patron saint of sailors and… well, some other professionals).
Hear tales of merchants with too much money and too few morals, English soldiers with a serious grudge against art, slow sieges, fast plagues and, ultimately, a 300 year-long decline that left Galway ready to rise again to become the city it is today.
If you ask nicely, you might also get a nod in the direction of Galway’s finest cheese and wine bar.
And if you’re very lucky, you’re visiting on a Saturday, and all the wonders of Galway’s Saturday Market are on offer here, too (do not miss out on the doughnuts, the fresh oysters or the otherworldly air plants).

Duration: 15 minutes

Stop At: The Lynch Memorial, Market Street, Galway Ireland

With most of the history out of the way, it’s time for one of Galway’s oldest, darkest and most entertaining tales: the 15th-century story of Mayor James Lynch Fitzstephen and his entitled, naughty son, Walter. The story of two hot-blooded young men, rivalry for the affections of a young woman, a violent encounter on the streets of Galway, and one very stern and unbending father.
Oh, and Ireland’s oldest tourist trap.

Duration: 20 minutes

Stop At: Lynch’s Castle 40 Shop Street, Galway Ireland

Standing on Shop St., the city’s central thoroughfare, Galway’s finest medieval building was home to the most powerful of the city’s oligarchs, the Lynch family, for centuries. Today one of Ireland’s most splendid banks, the building features many beautiful crests and carvings, one of which leads to the story of a terrible fire in the castle, and a most unlikely rescue.
You’ll get a recommendation for one of Galway’s finest whiskey pubs, also the setting for the story of an unlikely lavatorial encounter between a well-meaning tourist and a smart alec barman in the 1980s. (And, if you don’t object, the only mild swear word on the tour!)

Duration: 10 minutes

Stop At: Naughton’s Pub (Tigh Neachtain), 17 Cross Street, Galway Ireland

No better way to finish our tour than with the story of Galway’s most remarkable son: Humanity Dick!
Back on Quay St., we stop outside one of Galway’s finest pubs, Tigh Neachtáin. This pretty building wasn’t always a pub, though: in the 18th century, it served as the townhouse of Galway’s most underappreciated celebrity, Humanity Dick himself.
Martin’s life quite literally defies belief: Blazing a trail of triumph and tragedy through the public life of Ireland and Britain, he was, by turns, the most famous duellist in the land (earning him the moniker “Hairtrigger Dick” in his youth), the singular pioneer of legislating for animal rights in the London Parliament, a founding member of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (hence “Humanity Dick”), and landlord of almost all of Connemara. Between times, he was also a regular bankrupt, an exiled fugitive from the law… and one of the late 18th century’s most infamous cuckolds.

Duration: 15 minutes