When it comes to activity weekends, our new franchise hostel in Clare Island is worth hopping on a boat for. This is all down to the Hostel Manager in the Go Explore Hostel, Carl O’ Grady. He is forever coming up with new ideas to attract visitors to this wild island off the coast of Mayo. Carl is a great fan of doing things differently. We think this might be because Carl, like most islanders, had to take a boat journey just to go to school. Or it could be that he had to amuse himself in ways that mainlanders would never think of, like jumping off cliffs into the ocean or maybe it is because Clare island was once a the outpost of Irish pirate, Grainne O’ Malley back in the day.
Whatever it is, when Carl gets an idea in his head he usually runs with it, even if everyone thinks he’s mad. One time he created an adventure race on the island and when no-one bothered to turn up, he did the race himself. Sure why not? When news got out that there was a lad running up and down mountains and swimming across the bay on his own, everyone wanted to see what the craic was. Now there is an annual adventure race on the island. Not content with that, Carl also created the annual Clew Bay Raft Building championships which was on last weekend.
If that wasn’t enough, Carl has created an activity weekend for the LGBT community in September. Now that the referendum is over and everyone is coming out to check out Clare Island, Carl has laid on plenty of outdoor activities. This is more of a bonding weekend based around activities than a match-making festival. So if you are more interested in the pursuit of adrenaline rather than romance, these are the activity weekends for you.
For those who prefer their activity weekends to be more foot-tapping than cliff-jumping, Go Explore Hostel is setting itself up as a new music destination. The downstairs Sailors Bar overlooking the blue green Clew Bay is banging out the tunes every weekend in the Bard Room during the summer and most of the Autumn months. With members of the Saw Doctors and The Waterboys booked to play soon, along with the likes of Paddy Casey and homegrown acts like The Moran Brothers, Clare Island is quickly becoming the latest quirky venue to make a name for itself along the West Coast.
Just make sure and check out Go Explore Hostel and get your ferry tickets to the island.