Lough Carra is a 1,500 hectare marl / limestone lake, located around 16 km straight south from Castlebar. On its eastern shore lies the ruined Moore Hall, home now to an important population of Lesser Horseshoe Bats.
While the land around Moore Hall is now owned by Coillte, and therefore unfortunately mostly planted with non-native conifers, nevertheless, the area is a pleasant one for walking and is particularly child-friendly, being pretty much flat all around.
Indeed, the on-site car park has recently been tarred, which is no harm either when you have the children along.
You’ll be tempted to walk inwards and away from the lake, along the path which completes a circle around the ruins of the big house. This is a nice walk and you can divert into the middle of the circle to view the house. But I’d rather you turned around at the car park and faced the lake. Walk to the right, across a small bridge on the narrow road and then turn immediately left, over a stile and continue in through this largely broadleaf wood, down to the lake shore. It’s nicer.
For more information on Lough Carra, a truly beautiful spot in Mayo, look here, at a website largely developed by Chris and Linda Huxley, who live down there.