National Museum of Ireland – Country Life

This award winning Museum Of Country Life in Mayo is home to the National Folklife Collection which represents traditional life in Ireland throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Fascinating artefacts deal with domestic life, agriculture, fishing and hunting, clothing and textiles, furniture and fittings, trades and crafts, transport, sports and leisure and religion.

Set in the spectacular grounds of Turlough Park, Castlebar, Co. Mayo, the Museum treats visitors to a taste of how our ancestors lived their daily lives, in both difficult and joyful times.

In addition to self guided and guided tours, there are traditional games, activity and clothing carts, handling collection, reading area, activity worksheets and much more for the family to use and enjoy during their visit.

Country Life Events

Calendar of Events for details of temporary exhibitions and ongoing programme of events.

Museum Activities

The Education and Outreach department offers a range of scheduled activities in the Calendar of Events programme that are suitable for families. Adults and children are encouraged to experience these activities together, which can greatly enhance the experience. Many visitors prefer to self guide the Museum and use the Activity and Resource Rooms that are stocked with art materials and computers. A Traditional Games Box is available to borrow during your visit and can be signed out from Reception.

Country Life Guided Tours

Public and group tours are  available.

Groups must book guided tours in advance by contacting the Booking Office.  Further details available from reception. Please contact for details : Tel 094 903 1751; [email protected]

Self Guided Visits

When choosing to self guide the galleries as a family, a visit to the Audio Visual theatre offers background information on the Museum’s Folklife collection and the traditional way of life in the past. The film is approximately 20 minutes long and is suitable for all ages. Floorplans in many languages are available at the reception desk along with information on any temporary exhibitions that may be taking place. Exhibits are labelled bi-lingually (English & Irish) and there are information panels to explain the themes of the displays. Interactive technology, video footage and recordings enhance the visitor experience and aid overall understanding of the exhibitions.

Opening Hours At The Museum

Admission to the Museum is free

The Museum opening hours are:

Tuesday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm
Sunday and Monday, 1pm to 5pm
Closed Christmas Day, St. Stephen’s Day and Good Friday

Country Life Facilities

  • Free car and coach parking
  • Museum shop and café
  • Audio-visual room
  • Activity and resource rooms.
  • All Museum buildings are wheelchair accessible
  • Groups must book guided tours in advance.

Parenting Facilities

  • Baby changing facilities are located in the disabled toilets by the Information desk in the Museum galleries.
  • It is possible to take pushchairs/strollers around the Museum galleries as it is fully accessible with lifts and ramps.
  • Highchairs are available on request in the Museum café.
  • The Museum café is a breast-feeding friendly location.

The Museum Shop

Broad range of specialist books and Museum branded and handcrafted gifts to suit all budgets. Further details from the Museum Shop

The Museum Cafe

Synge & Byrne Café is located in the lovely setting of the Courtyard at Turlough Park House, next to the Museum Shop.

Serving up a delicious menu featuring breakfast, lunch, childrens’ meals and tasty signature salads, coupled with amazing sweet treats from their inhouse bakery – Synge & Byrne Café is the perfect place to relax and recharge during your Museum visit.

Directions To National Museum of Ireland – Country Life In Mayo

By Car:-

The National Museum of Ireland – Country Life is located just outside Turlough Village, on the N5 just four miles east of Castlebar. Free car parking is available onsite.

GPS Co-ordinates: 53.883986, -9.212476

By Bus:-

For bus schedules contact Bus Éireann, Ballina, Tel: 096 71800 or visit

By Train:-

For train schedules contact Castlebar Train Station, Tel: 094 90 21222 or visit

Approximate distances to the Museum from:

  • Dublin: 240km
  • Galway: 80km
  • Sligo: 80km
  • Limerick: 170km
  • Knock Airport: 40km