Some Places to Visit in Ireland’s West

If you’re living in or visiting Ireland’s West, you might like to consider some of these places for a nice walk or some fun out with the family :

1. Moore Hall, near Carnacon, south County Mayo.

Ruined “big house” plus surrounding forests – much of it planted conifers, but also quite a bit of native broadleaves. Nice walks around Lough Carra.

2. Lough Key Forest Park, near Boyle, north Co. Roscommon.

Okay, there’s the paying part, but there is also loads to do without parting with your cash. Kilometres of forest walks, most of it through native and non-native broadleaves, parts also through conifers. Lakeside walks. Feed the swans and ducks. Look at the passing cruisers, etc.

3. The Suck Valley Way, Athleague, south Co. Roscommon.

Head for the lovely Visitor Centre in a former church. Walk along the bank of the River Suck as far as Castlestrange and its La Tene Stone. If you’re up to it, continue to the quaint and pretty riverside village of Castlecoote.

4. Mountbellew Demesne, Mountbellew, north Co. Galway.

Very large and dense conifer plantation has good walks. See its old forge. If you’re lucky, you might spot some deer, or test your skills in finding their footprints.

5. Arigna Mining Experience, near Drumshanbo, mid Co. Leitrim.

Perhaps Ireland’s best paying tourist attraction (in my humble opinion). Visit the old coal mine, guided by the actual miners themselves. If I remember correctly, mining ceased circa 1990 and the guys themselves now bring visitors around. When they’ve retired in the future, I doubt if the experience will ever be the same, so get there soon.

6. Old Head Wood, beyond Westport, west Co. Mayo.

Forget the beach (as pleasant as it is). Walk beyond the beach and discover the amazing, though small, Old Head Wood. Walk through it at a slow pace and take in this tiny piece of old Atlantic Wood. Then exit the far side and walk along the cliff top fields, until you get a clear view of the great Atlantic Ocean and Clare Island in front of you. Spot the Cormorants, Seals, Dolphins, etc. Take note of the poor trees, bent over at 90 degrees eastwards from the fierce and unrelenting Atlantic winds.

Tree Identification and Lore

Tree Identification and Lore

Tree Identification and Lore

I am currently in the process of developing a multi-evening course, entitled “Tree Identification and Lore”.

The course, which will be run in the West of Ireland, will concentrate on  showing how to identify Ireland’s native and main non-native trees, by studying leaves, bark, fruit, habitat, etc. It will be complemented by plenty of ‘treelore’, or tree related folklore.

Our native trees include Oak, Ash, Scots Pine, Yew and so on. The main non-natives of Sitka Spruce, Horse Chestnut, Sycamore, etc., will be discussed also.

Sounds great already, don’t you think ? My aim is to roll it out during March and maybe for eight weeks, to include at least one evening spent out in the woods. I’ll be holding it in MO, RN or G.

Register your interest right now, by emailing me on info at tourismpure dot com. I will be trying to locate it according to where attendees are from. Alternatively, just reply here by posting a comment.