I am almost relucant to wrtie this review as selfishly I just want to keep this absolute hidden gem all to myself. This is so I can go these whenever I want without having to worry if it is booked out ! Shanbolard is my discovery of the year and the perfect base to explore Connemara / Co Galway and Co Sligo from. Shanbolard is set in a 300 acre farm of the most incredibly beautiful and wild countryside and coast with prise coral sand beach on to the was and fresh water lake. This is an organic type family farm with a wonderfull walled garden full of all sorts of fruit and vegetables. These range from all the usual to the more exotic Chinese Pock Choi to Plums. Claire and her children even grow some of their own Tea, I kid you not and they make their own Elderderberry delicious cordial etc.
The whole family are just really great people and they have built a haven of peace and beauty where you can completely relax in the most peaceful surroundings anywhere in Europe.
Having said that you can rent kayaks not only there but also very nearby in the adventure centres around the Killary Fiord and village of Leenan where you can also get the best mussels and brown bread and chips in the world, washed down with Guiness that tastes better there than in most pubs - maybe its the sea air and the sea water that gives one the thirst?.
If you love animals and nature this is also the place, as besides the Horses and Connemara Pony's and seven hives of Bees that Claire keeps, there are the happiest free range chickens I have ever seen, even a few african guiney fowl that they have to protect from the wild Pine Martins that and Hawks that make raids from time to time.. I can go on and on- all I can say is I have already booked togo back in July and will be a regular visitor now that Claire ha opened the cottage up for holiday letting...