Nature is taking advantage of the absence of human activity during lockdown; left unchecked by the hand of man there is an explosion of wildness even in urban areas like Ballina. Drab roadside verges and muddy riverbanks are being transformed into wildflower meadows and the dawn chorus, even in my near-town-centre setting, has never sounded […]
Guide to Loop Walks and Walking Trails in County Mayo
Walking in Mayo comes with a guarantee - magnificent scenery, clean air, and only the soothing sounds of nature to disturb your peace. Mayo walking trails and looped walks cater for everyone. Whether you like to trek for hours over remote and mountainous terrain - or prefer a more leisurely stroll along a well-surfaced trail with more gentle gradients, Mayo has it all for those who enjoy walking while on holiday. There is such a variety of Mayo walks you will never be disappointed. Mayo looped walks take you along white sandy beaches, skirt clifftops with breathtaking views of the North Atlantic, down forest trails, and around by beautiful lakes.
An early morning walk took me into a foggy, mysterious world of curious shapes, faint silhouettes and a monochrome, wintry landscape not yet warmed by the rising sun. In this almost fairytale time just before sunrise, fog adds mystery to the most ordinary edge-of-town landscapes, letting the imagination take flight in the stillness of the […]
The words hauntingly beautiful perfectly describe the Doolough Valley, evoking the natural wonder of this remote glacial scene of towering mountains and brooding lake that is forever scarred by the memory of the men, women and children who were left to die there during the Great Famine. When I first passed through the Doolough Valley […]
We miss so much that past generations loved – the walk along a quiet country road or boreen. Following the green line as I like to call it – that mossy band of worn grass flecked with cheerful daisies unfolding down the centre of the quiet byway inviting the walker to stroll further into the […]
Ballycastle, the gateway village to the wild wilderness that is North Mayo, has one of the most scenic looped walks in Ireland.
Diamond Hill, overlooking Connemara National Park Visitor Centre in Letterfrack, is one of the most easily climbed mountains in Ireland, rewarding those who venture to the summit with magnificent views in every direction.
It’s great fun to create a looped walk from scratch. Spread the Ordnance Survey Map out on the kitchen table and, as the radio jingle used to say, “let your fingers do the walking” while you set about discovering somewhere new to explore.
When the R312, linking Belmullet and the wider Erris region to Castlebar, makes the headlines it’s usually to do with justifiable calls to upgrade the road that takes motorists through many dangerous twists and turns on their journey to the county town.
Blanemore Forest Archaeological Walk near Moygownagh is another gem in Mayo’s treasure chest of extensive Neolithic sites – the best known of which is the Ceide Fields near Ballycastle.
The lovely aroma of Meadowsweet filled the air as I wandered through McMahon Park in Claremorris on a beautiful July Saturday.
I took advantage of the lovely early June weather to travel the Monasteries of the Moy Greenway, the walking and cycling route that will link Ballina and Killala when it’s completed.
The long drive from Ballina to the south-west corner of Mayo where the Mweelrea Mountains slope down to Killary Harbour is always a pleasure as we look forward to the magnificent Atlantic seascapes that await us.
Over the years, whenever I passed the road sign to Derryhick Lake near Pontoon, I made a mental note to check out this secluded lough at some stage.
I finally got around to walking the Castlebar to Turlough Greenway in mid-April and I wasn’t disappointed by the 7km trail that opens a door to the countryside for walkers and cyclists in Castlebar.
My regular visits to Castlebar are never complete without a walk around beautiful Lough Lannagh – the urban park and walking trail that is a recreational oasis in the heart of Mayo’s county town.
Drummin Wood near Pontoon has one of the most scenic forest walking trails in Mayo with lake and mountain views to complement the wonderful woodland scenes.