Clew

Posts tagged with: 'Clew'

Mayo, God Help Us

At The Adventure Weekend last week, we had great traffic at our combined Great Western Greenway stand. Mayo County Council’s walking development officer joined Tourism Pure Walking Holidays and Clew Bay Bike Hire on the stand and we attracted good numbers of enquiries.

See our stand below.

The main reaction we were getting was how Mayo is such a beautiful place, but perhaps underdeveloped as a tourist destination. I’d like to think we can grow, but in a sustainable way that is sensitive to our spectacular environment.

Mayo is blessed with really special landscapes. To me, our vast blanket bogs are a wonder of nature. Our mountains, while not that high, are fabulous for walking holidays. Mayo has great cliff-top walks, with huge views over the North Atlantic. Our offshore islands add a further dimension to the attraction of the county – they’re like another county in their own right, somehow even further west than Mayo itself.

Come and enjoy a tranquil morning sea layaking on the becalmed waters of the inner Clew Bay. Cycle at a leisurely pace along the Greenway or our tiny boithríns with next to no traffic. Come on a hike up The Bangor Trail and forget about time for a while.

Yesterday, I was up the huge forests to the west of the Nephin Beg mountains. I was just strolling along, taking it easy, when I came across an otter in a small stream. Deer tracks were around and I saw where they had bark stripped some trees. The cottage in the picture below was abandoned and somehow swallowed up by the surrounding conifers. The track that eventually reached the roadway from the cottage was covered in thick, wet mosses and under several centimetres of still, brown bog water.

That’s Mayo. He has helped us already.

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Just Get Out There

Last evening’s RTE programme Tracks and Trails was a nice ad for Mayo outdoor and active holiday breaks. It’s a pity, however, that they didn’t cover just a little bit more of the terrain than the Cycleway. And did you notice the ridiculous and unattractive fencing along the track, immediately on both sides ? Not exactly pretty.

Anyway, Mayo has what it takes to pass some wonderful outdoors days. Getting out into the fresh (yes, often wet) air does wonders for your mind and body.

Guided walking holidays in Clew Bay and Nephin Beg mountains, Mayo

Get Out There in Mayo - Clew Bay & Nephin Beg Mountains

If you’re in the area, join me for a guided walk on waymarked ways, hills, cliff-tops and so on. I will show you a Mayo that is off the beaten track. We’ll venture into the remote Nephin Beg Mountains or skip along high ocean cliffs. The important thing is to get out into our wild spots and breathe in that unique Mayo air.

You’ll enjoy the break and re-charge the batteries.                                                                             

But also, check out these local providers of outdoor pursuits and great Mayo fun.

Saoirse na Mara sea kayaking –

Call Ali and book a day out on Clew Bay.

http://www.irelandwestseakayaking.com/

Electric Escapes electric bike hire –

Call Paul. http://www.electricescapes.ie/

Clew Bay Bike Hire –

Call Travis. http://www.clewbayoutdoors.com/

All Play wind surfing –

Call Cathal. http://www.allplay.ie/

So, whichever activity you fancy, come to west Mayo for your fix of guided or self-guided walking, cycling, sea kayaking, wind surfing and others like horse riding, sailing, sea fishing, etc.

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Up the Mountains with Eleven

I had a gas day last week in the Nephin Begs, with a lovely group of 11.

We left our cars at 10.30 am, I in the knowledge that the walk would take somewhere between 6 and 8 hours, but knowing that we had plenty of time, even if it turned out to be longer.

My fastest time doing the circuit in question was 6 hr 20 and even that time I was dawdling, as it was in the middle of Orchid season. I had been stopping every couple of metres to look at specimen. On the other hand, I had once brought a group of okay, but a little slow, walkers and it had taken 8 hr 30.

Anyway, this lovely group did the horseshoe in 8 hr 10. But the fun we had with the weather !

We enjoyed brilliant sunshine and warm winds from the east / southeast, mixed with loud thunder over our heads and accompanying fork lightning. The man with the camera had a classic West of Ireland opportunity to take pictures of a sky entirely black on the one side and clear blue alongside to the west.

We peeled off layers, only to pull them back on five minutes later. This is the great attraction of hill walking in Ireland’s west. If you don’t like the weather, just wait 10 minutes.

We saw Frogs, Hares, Meadow Pipits, just one singing Skylark, but no Wheatears, Foxes or Grey Herons, which might ordinarily be encountered.

But it was a day to remember for its truly dramatic weather. Clare Island, off to the west, would appear clearly, then disappear entirely soon after. We even had two occasions where the walking had to stop and the group come in close together, as visibility shrunk to 10 metres.

That’s walking in Mayo – brilliant.

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Clew Bay, County Mayo

Clew Bay is a well sheltered glacier-formed mass of water between Louisburgh and Corraun, in west Mayo. Famed for its ‘365’ islands (there are closer to 85 in reality), it is a quiet spot, with its best parts hidden from general view, west of the Westport to Newport road.

Clare Island stands at Clew Bay’s mouth and, with her many drumlin island friends, she keeps the bay’s waters remarkably calm for the West of Ireland. Well, most of the time anyway.

Boasting great placenames, like Rosmoney, Rosmindle, Roscahill, Rostoohy, Rosnakilly, Rosdogaun, Rosbeg, Roslaher, Rossow, Rossantubble, Rossanrubble, Rosgibbileen and Rosclave, how could you not want to visit ?

And while you’re there, go in for a pint to Fitz’s Buckfield Inn.

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