The town of Knock is small and rural, but has grown to cater to many tourists. As a place, it is nothing much to look at, but if you are interested in religion then it can prove to be fascinating. The focal point of the town is the Knock Shrine, and this is what attracts thousands of pilgrims and visitors every year. The airport has had the effect of opening up this region of Ireland and now offers connections to London for weekend breaks. The surrounding countryside and rich archaeological landscape makes it a place well-worth visiting.
Knock was made famous in 1879 when 15 people experienced a vision of the Virgin Mary, St Joseph and St John the Baptist. The area was marked and has since been a place of pilgrimage. It’s easy to forget the importance of the Catholic Church if you are visiting Ireland, but when you are in Knock, this serves as a significant reminder. For Catholics, this shrine, along with Lourdes in France and Fatima in Portugal, rates as one of the leading confirmations of their faith.
Knock Folk Museum
This museum documents the story of the Knock Apparition and places it in the context of life at that time. There are some artifacts relating to the apparition and the miracles associated with it. There are also permanent displays covering fishing, farming, crafts and clothing. The museum is open from May to October.
If you are exploring the area by car, then Ballintubber Abbey can be found in the town of Claremorris. This is the only church in Ireland founded by an Irish king that is still in use. Highlights include the 15th century western doorway and 13th century windows on the right side of the nave.
This beautiful bay was founded where the Keel River joins Lough Mask and is an area of outstanding natural beauty. In addition to the abundant flora and wildlife, the Partry Mountains provide a stunning backdrop to the lake, which has many islands and bays to explore.