Skip to Content

A 60 Second Guide To The Long Walk In Galway

A 60 Second Guide To The Long Walk In Galway

The Long Walk has been a prominent Galway City landmark for many years.

In fact, it’s arguably one of the more notable landmarks in Ireland, appearing on endless postcards and tourism adverts.

Literally a row of colourful houses lining the dockside, it’s perhaps not the most exciting place to visit, but it is arguably one of the most evocative parts of the city.

Below, you’ll discover the story behind this corner of the city along with where to grab a good eyeful of it from afar.

Some quick-need-to-knows about the Long Walk

the long walk from afar

Photo via Shutterstock

Although a visit to the Long Walk in Galway is fairly straightforward, there are a few need-to-knows that’ll make your visit that bit more enjoyable.

1. Location

You’ll find The Long Walk a 5-minute stroll from the Latin Quarter, just past Galway City Museum and the Spanish Arch where it overlooks the River Corrib. Across the water, you’ll see Nimmos Pier, while behind the iconic houses lies Galway Dock.

2. A focal point for tourists

If you’re arriving in Galway City by boat, the Long Walk is one of the first things you’ll see. But even if you’re driving or flying in, there’s a big chance you’ve seen the walk. It’s appeared in countless music videos, adverts for Galway, and much more. As such, it’s a popular place for tourists looking to grab a photo of one of Galway City’s most well-known streets.

3. Where to get a good view

There are a couple of places nearby where you can get a good view of The Long Walk. One of the best is over near the Claddagh, at Nimmos Pier (here on Google Maps).

4. The (not so long) walk

Long in name but not in nature, the walk is actually only about 314 metres long in total. You’ll be able to walk its length in two minutes, though it’ll probably take much longer if you’re taking photos! Anyone can enjoy the walk, with decent access to wheelchairs and buggies.

The story behind the Long Walk in Galway

Long Walk galway

Photos via Shutterstock

The Long Walk is a magnet for tourists and photographers looking to capture the vibrant colours and quirky nature of the street.

With its postcard-perfect aesthetic, bright shades, and waterfront location, complete with swans, it’s easy to see why. But there’s more to the Long Walk than its pretty face.

The history of the Long Walk

The Long Walk was originally built in the 18th-century by the Eyre family. Its original purpose was to extend the quays and act as a breakwater to construct a mud berth.

Parts of the original walk, which featured a number of archways leading into town, were destroyed in 1755 by a tsunami caused by an earthquake in Lisbon.

The Rope Walk

The iconic houses mostly belonged to local artisans, one of whom was a ropemaker.

For a time, the area was known as the Rope Walk, due to the fact that this merchant would lay his ropes out along the length of the Long Walk. 

It wasn’t always the most desirable part of town, and in the early 1900s it was poorly lit, roughly surfaced, with barred windows, and hens roaming the streets. Many of the houses were tenements, filled to bursting.

A bloody past

The street has also borne witness to many crimes and murders, with the river providing a quick and easy way to dispose of bodies and evidence.

Most notably in October 1920, the Sinn Féin councillor and businessman Michael Walsh was dragged from his home, the Old Malt House, on the High Street, and brought to the Long Walk.

Here, he was shot and his body thrown into the river. A plaque on one of the houses (number 29) marks the spot and serves as a memorial.

Fortunately, those days are now long gone, and the area is much safer and more welcoming than ever before. However, knowing its past gives you something to ponder as you walk the street and enjoy the sights.

Places to visit near the Long Walk

One of the beauties of the Long Walk is that it’s a short spin away from many of the best things to do in Galway.

Below, you’ll find a handful of things to see and do a stone’s throw from this iconic sight.

1. Galway City Museum (1-minute walk)

galway city museum

Photos via Galway City Museum on FB

A small yet comprehensive museum that spreads over three storeys, Galway City Museum is home to a wealth of exhibits and artifacts that document urban life in the city. A celebration of the city’s heritage and culture, it’s brimming with fascinating photos, ancient stonework, nautical knick-knacks, and local artwork. Well worth a visit, and while it’s free to enter, tickets should be booked in advance.

2. The Spanish Arch (1-minute walk)

spanish arch

Photos via Shutterstock

Just across from the museum and pretty much marking the end of the Long Walk, it’s worth stopping off at the Spanish Arch, which is one of Galway’s best-known attractions. The intricate stone archway leads into the medieval marketplace, which is now filled with a good selection of cafes, restaurants, and bars. A great place for people watching or gazing into the waters of the River Corrib as it spills into the sea.

3. Food + drink in the town (5-minute walk)

Grind Coffee & Food Hub

Photos via Grind Coffee on FB

There are tons of places to get a bite to eat or a drop to drink within minutes of the Long Walk. We take you to our favourite trad spots in our Galway pubs guide and our favourite places for a bite in our Galway restaurants guide.

4. Galway Cathedral (15-minute walk)

Galway Cathedral

Photos via Shutterstock

Following the gorgeous riverside walk from the Long Walk to Salmon Weir Bridge will take you to the magnificent Galway Cathedral. A key feature of the Galway skyline, the dome-shaped roof can be seen for miles around. Drop by to admire the fantastic exterior, or pop in to check out the breathtaking interior, complete with statues and stunning stained glass windows.

FAQs about The Long Walk in Galway

We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from ‘Can you stay in one of the houses?’ to ‘Why is it famous?’.

In the section below, we’ve popped in the most FAQs that we’ve received. If you have a question that we haven’t tackled, ask away in the comments section below.

How long is the long walk Galway?

The Long Walk is roughly 314m in length and it’ll take you just 5 minutes to walk its entire length. So, yes, it’s not very long at all!

When was the Long Walk in Galway built?

The Long Walk was originally built in the 18th-century by the Eyre family. Its original purpose was to extend the quays and act as a breakwater to construct a mud berth.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.