walking tours

Posts tagged with: 'walking tours'

Walking Tours Ireland 2012 – A Photographic Review

I was sitting here reviewing some photos from 2012 walking tours, when I thought, well, why not share them in a blog post. So here we go. I’ve selected five photos that might inform the would-be visitor to this wonderful part of the world what a walking tour in Mayo and Connemara might consist of. I hope you enjoy the pics.

Walking tours Ireland - Mayo

Inisturk, off the Mayo coast

The first is of the wonderful Atlantic Ocean. Being out on a boat, heading to or from one of Mayo or Connemara’s offshore islands is a real treat. This pic is of the imposing cliffs on the western edge of Inisturk, on an impossibly beautiful early summer’s day. The light was fab that day and we really enjoyed a great stroll around this small, beautiful Mayo island.

Walking tours Ireland - The Bangor Trail

The Bangor Trail, Mayo

The second is of the very special Bangor Trail, a centuries old drover’s track across bog and below mountains in west Mayo. Though this was taken on a bright day, it actually suits this lonely, hidden place to be under lower cloud cover. This is a fantastic, wet place – a place where Atlantic blanket bog and wild west of Ireland weather will dominate you, rather than the other way around.

Walking tours Ireland - Belmullet

The Mullet Peninsula, Mayo

This is the low-lying and very remote Mullet Peninsula, in north west Mayo. Beyond Belmullet town, this place is a full 80 minutes drive from Castlebar or Westport. But it’s very much worth the visit, even if only to tramp along its stunning beaches in bare feet. Feel the wind in your face and look out over the haunting islands and rocks of Iniskea, Inisglora and others.

Walking tours Ireland, Maumtrasna

Corrie lakes below Maumtrasna

In February, fog filled the valley floor below Maumtrasna, as we approached from Barnahowna. Slowly, it dissipated, to reveal the twin corrie lakes of Loughs Nambrackkeagh (foreground) and Nadirkmore (below the dramatic cliffs, beyond). Ireland’s finest example of a true plateau, Maumtrasna offers excellent loop walks, taking in its fantastic valleys.

Walking tours Ireland - Iniskea

Abandoned homes of Iniskea

With its broken down homes as backdrop, Iniskea Island makes for one of the finest day trips in the West of Ireland. The boat out from Blacksod is a treat in itself, skipping between the Mullet peninsula and various little islands and rocks. The island, with its fascinating mix of human history, tragic tales, industrial heritage and varied coastal wildlife, is a place visitors never forget. A very special trip.

Walking tours Ireland 2013

If you’d like to cosider a walking tour in this part of Ireland during 2013, visit my walking tours page. You can view one-day hikes also.

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Walking Tours in Ireland – Anatomy of a Day

Walking tours in Mayo, Ireland, are about enjoying the beautiful coastal, mountain, lakeshore or woodland landscapes our part of the country has to offer. And they’re about the people we meet and share our time with.

Walking Tours - guided walking holidays Ireland

Enjoying themselves in Mayo

Sitting in a quiet rural pub by night, I observe members of our small group recounting stories and sharing opinions on where we’ve been today. They can be overheard admitting to one another that they had never really known much about Mayo until now. They’re having a good time.

Earlier in the evening, they had been enjoying each other’s company around the dinner table in our B&B. Telling eachother where they come from, where they’ve walked, what they like. Getting to know eachother. There’s a lovely camaraderie you find on walking tours, born from sharing 6 hours of hiking through wind and bog, with nobody around but us.

We had returned to the B&B around 5 pm, giving us all plenty of time to relax before dinner. People drifted off to their rooms for a shower and a lie-down, delighted with their day of walking two lovely, fairly easy cliff-top trails. With sea air in their nostrils and sea spray in their hair, they were glad to have the chance to rest their legs. It’s an integral part of a walking tour.

The day had begun with a wholesome breakfast – you know, the most important meal of the day for the walker. But we’re not talking about a 7 am rise here. No, this is a relaxing walking tour. Breakfast was at 8 and we left the house at our leisure, around 9.30.

Walking tours in Ireland - Tourism Pure Walking Holidays

A Wonderful Sea

Our first walk brought us along cliffs rising to 230 m, with great views across the North Atlantic. Even transferring from the first walk to the second was enjoyable, with good craic, interested questions and varying opinions being bandied about the minibus. When you hear opinions, you know you’ve a great group. We munched on our packed lunch and sipped a cup of tea. The second walk was easier than the first, with new views and seabirds to accompany us all along. They liked the wind. They loved the waves crashing on the rocks below.They didn’t even mind the rain shower. Finishing up after 4.30 pm, we happily regained our B&B.

So as we lounge in the local pub, I reflect that successful walking tours are first and foremost ones where walkers have fun. And, heck, if the sun shines, all the better.

Find walking tours in Mayo, in the West of Ireland.

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Walking Holidays in Ireland

There are many great reasons for taking walking holidays in Ireland. Of course, we have the beautiful landscapes, particularly here in the west. We have the nice and relaxed pace of life along our west coast. We have the great craic in our rural pubs. But, of course, most of all we have the people. You’ve heard the phrase, “strangers are but friends waiting to be met”.

Walking holidays in Ireland

Discovering Ireland's Lakes

Walking holidays in the west of Ireland are about discovering our huge Atlantic blanket bogs, our exciting cliff-top trails and our offshore islands. They are about our mountains, although low at only up to 1,000 m, majestic and with spectacular views over the coastline all around. They are about our inland lakes and our tiny little villages, full of charm. They are about our pubs and the melodic sound of Irish traditional music that fills the best of them. They are about our lovely hosts in their special B&Bs and the effort they make to make all my guests feel special.

But walking holidays in Ireland are also about learning of our rural culture, our history and our tremendous Irish legends. They are about stories of battles, chieftains, churches and castles, about the land, The Great Famine and the struggle for independence. For many from the UK and USA, they are about learning of how their forefathers lived. For our continental visitors, they are about hearing and learning more of this fabled land that is Ireland. But most of all, it’s about the expereience of getting to spend time in our lovely land and meeting our people.

You’d be welcome.

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