Ballycastle, the gateway village to the wonderful, wild wilderness that is North Mayo, has one of the most scenic looped walks in Co Mayo.
The Sralagagh Loop Walk is just one of a number of tourist attractions, including the Céide Fields Visitor Centre, and Downpatrick Head blowhole, that is conveniently located near the pretty seaside village of Ballycastle.
The village sits at the start of the North Coast Road (R314), the scenic route that winds its way along Mayo’s rugged and spectacular North Western coastline of cliffs, breathtaking seascapes, and magnificent views of the Stags of Broadhaven towering from the wild North Atlantic.
The start of the Sralagagh Loop Walk is well signposted and is located a few hundred metres outside Ballycastle, heading North along the R314, one of the key routes along the North Atlantic Way.
After crossing the small bridge over the Ballinglen River, the walk takes about two hours over country lanes and forest paths. The gentle climb is worth it for the magnificent views over the heathered hills and bogland where the Neolithic discoveries at the nearby Céide Fields have revealed this part of North Mayo’s 5000-year history of human habitation.
The highlight of the Ballycastle Loop Walk is the panoramic views of Ballycastle, and Downpatrick Head as you reach the summit of the walk.
The gentle descent on the return journey brings you along winding country lanes which in the autumn are lined with delicious blackberries for your enjoyment.