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MAT T DAMON? 48 hours in Dingle Burren Yoga Get Active! Retreat CRAIC AGUS CHEOIL



Go Wild Tourism Magazine, Issue 8, Summer Edition 2017

Feasting by the Fireside

Since 1989

116 O Connell Street, Limerick Phone | 061 410 350 Mail |

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Publishers Note


Welcome to the Spring Summer ’17 issue of Go Wild Tourism Magazine. I’m very proud to say that this is now the 8th magazine in the Go Wild series, as we continue to bring you the best in tourism and food along this stunning 2500km coastal route.

s an adopted Limerick man, having lived there for 25 years, I am delighted to hear that the county is now finally being linked with the Wild Atlantic Way. Our magazine has always been a firm supporter of this as it lies naturally along the touring route, and we hope it brings more business to the region. I’m also pleased to announce that we are adding another new magazine to our portfolio this season with the launch of Go Ancient East, which explores Ireland’s other magnificent touring route on the East coast – Ireland’s Ancient East. All of our magazines are now available for sale in independent newsagents from Cork to Donegal, in addition to hotels and tourism attractions, for the very first time. We are a small entrepreneurial business in Go Wild magazines and we are blessed to have the amazingly talented Niamh Murphy as Editor, our very creative Dave Curtin as

chief designer along with numerous contributors all of whom make this magazine a reality and a high quality publication. A sincere thank you to everyone who has joined us, supported us, and enjoyed our magazines since our “Wild” journey began. Here’s to an exciting and growing future!!!!!

Bobby Power Publisher

Email: Tel: 087 446 7007

Letter from the editor Welcome to the Wild Atlantic Way, where your Irish journey of discovery awaits. This touring route takes you along the entire west coast of Ireland, an incredible 2500 kilometres, without straying too far from the coastline.


s I reached the top of Mount Brandon and looked out over the Dingle Peninsula, I could not imagine another place in the world I would rather be. With views of rolling hills, picturesque little villages and an incredibly wild Atlantic ocean, it was simple spectacular and summed up all that I love about the Wild Atlantic Way.

Likewise my heart again swelled with pride when I watched the recent National Geographic video on the Wild Atlantic Way, which highlighted our country’s raw and rugged beauty. I wonder is it an intrinsically Irish thing to have such a sense of pride in place? We are most certainly a proud bunch, but then again, we live on a beautiful island. I don’t think anyone can live or be here for long periods of time before falling completely in love with

its beauty, the sea, the hills and the characters you meet along the way. In this edition we look at some of the most stunning places on the Wild Atlantic Way from dashing Donegal to majestic Mayo, glorious Galway and rugged Rosscarbery – from walking holidays and adventure breaks to heritage sites, food experiences and the best places to Instagram, there’s something for everyone! We hope that we leave you with as much awe and pride for the Wild Atlantic Way as our team has! A special thanks to to our fantastic publisher Bobby Power, designer Dave Curtin and all our contributors. Happy touring!

Niamh Murphy Editor


Download the FREE Wild Atlantic Way app now – your official guide to the journey of a lifetime. pages/the-app/



Deirdre Hynds, Clair Collins, Louise

For advertising: Bobby Power, Publisher

Morrissey, Damien O’Mahony, Peter Stears,

Shauna Coen

Accounts: Cleo Power,

Photo Editors: Niamh Murphy & Louise


For editorial: Niamh Murphy, Editor

Features writers: Michelle McDonagh,

Graphic Design: Dave Curtin,

A special thank-you to Fáilte Ireland for their support with content and imagery. The Wild Atlantic Way Magazine ltd, t/a Go Wild Magazine. All rights reserved. The Wild Atlantic Way Magazine ltd t/a GoWild Magazine does not accept any responsibility for any advertising content. All unsubscripted manuscripts will not be accepted or returned. No material may be used in whole or in part without the publisher’s prior consent. While every care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of all events, information or recommendations in this magazine, no responsibility will be accepted by The Wild Atlantic Way Magazine ltd, its editorial team, designers, authors or agents acting on their behalf for alterations errors or omissions which may occur.

Ma gazine


Contents 6-7: Dashing Donegal

50-51: Seafoods of the Wild Atlantic Way

8: A lighthouse for Matt Damon?

52: Heritage Sites

10-13: 48 hours in Dingle

54: Lough Derg

14-16: Arts & Crafts Holidays

56-60: Wild Highlights

18-19: Interview with Niall McGarry

63-63: Those shoes were made for walking

20-21: Standun, Best for the Aran Sweater and Irish

64: Best places to Instagram 66: New Rugby Experience for Limerick

Gifts 22-23: Romance is in the air

68-72: Unmissable Experiences

24: To the Manor Born, Ballynahinch Castle

74-75: Locals Guide to Limerick

26: Live like a Rockstar at Dunowen

76-77: Connemara Pub Tours

28: Interview with the woman at the helm of the

78: Rachel’s Irish Adventures 80-81: Glorious Galway, an adventurer’s

Wild Atlantic Way 30: The unmissable Skellig Ring


32-35: Majestic Mayo

82: Competition time!

36-37: Breath-taking moments along the Way 38: The people of the Wild Atlantic Way 40-42: Get Active

84-85: The Great Houses of Hidden Ireland 86-87: Burren Yoga Retreat 88: Flowers of the Burren

44: New Inland Driving Routes

90-93: Best Hotels of the Wild Atlantic Way

46-47: Clonakilty named top town

94-95: Val Robus, Middle Aged Adventurer

48: Rugged Rosscarbery

96: 5 Minutes with Bibi Baskin

Join the fun! 




Ma gazine

e h t e c a r b Em y a W c i t n a Wild Atl of li f e

Clonakilty, West Cork




P.P.S. P. P.S.



Clonakilty, West Cork. tel 023 883 33 52 fax 023 883 46 86 email Dunmore house hotel GO WILD Spring Break .indd 1

cd 15/03/2017 13:55

Dashing Donegal

The county that puts the ‘wild’ into Wild Atlantic Way “Coolest place on the planet” according to National Geographic Traveller


ational Geographic Traveller

Peninsula celebrates its 200th

Rodgers. Located 12km off Donegal

recently predicted big things

anniversary next year - and is one

and the most North-Westerly place

for Donegal, a county often

of Donegal’s proud beacons. Its

on the Wild Atlantic Way, it’s steeped

overshadowed, naming it ‘Coolest place

location truly is wild and wonderful

in history, mythology and folklore

on the planet’, ahead of places such as

and those who venture here are

and boasts a community of artists

Santiago, Helsinki and Greenland.

invariably drawn to the adjacent

inspired by its wild, unspoilt beauty.

Lough Swilly and the sandy Mulroy “It’s a warm-hearted place,

Bay. It’s a haven for nature lovers

but wilderness always feels just a

and the waters around the peninsula

stone’s throw away,” said National

are regularly visited by whales,

Geographic Traveller’s UK editor,

porpoises and dolphins.

Tory Island, Co. Donegal

Pat Riddell. “And it is wilderness, world-class wilderness.” “It’s the kind of place where you

Slieve League Also known by its Irish name -

may spot a golden eagle soaring

Sliabh Liag - this rugged mountain

above Glenveagh National Park, or

on the Donegal coast boasts the

hear Irish spoken as a native tongue

highest sea cliffs in Europe. Some,

in the Gaeltacht around Gweedore

standing at 600m, are more than

and Glencolmcille. Driving Donegal’s

three times taller than the Cliffs

most spectacular beaches, including

peninsulas, there’s a constant risk of

of Moher. Hill walkers will feast

Ballymastocker Strand, which

crashing into the scenery…”

there eyes on the stunning scenery

was once chosen by the Observer

afforded to them on the 2.8km

newspaper as the second most

The county was also voted ‘The

Pilgrim Path while the very best way

beautiful beach in the world. There

most beautiful County in Ireland”

to appreciate the scale of the cliffs is

are 13 Blue Flag beaches in Donegal

by the popular website ‘”Ireland

to view them from the sea, courtesy

- rivalled in number only by Kerry

Before You Die”. It really has the

of Sliabh Liag Boat Trips.

- and a walk along the likes of

best of everything that Ireland has to offer, from first class hospitality in award winning hotels, to unspoilt

Ballymastocker Donegal boasts several of Ireland’s

Rossnowlagh and Fintra won’t be Slieve League, Carrick, Co. Done gal

easily forgotten. Ballymastocker beachview, Magherawardan, Co. Donegal

wild and wonderful scenery, outdoor attractions and pursuits, warm welcomes and lots of craic (fun)! Donegal is also receiving global fame since the Star Wars cast shot scenes for episode eight in the area. It is truly a county that puts the ‘wild’ into Wild Atlantic Way. Here

Tory Island The Gaeltacht island, Oileán

Banba’s Crown

are some of our favourite must-

Thoraí, has long been known as


the Secret Kingdom - and with

peninsula in the country and its

good reason: the 130 people who

tip, Banba’s Crown, is the most

live here traditionally select one

northerly of all. Named after one of

of the islanders to be Tory’s King,

the mythical queens of Ireland, its

a role currently held by Patsy Dan

breathtaking rugged beauty was one

Fanad Head Lighthouse The newly-renovated Fanad Head Lighthouse on the northerly Fanad

Go Wild Magazine - Summer Edition 2017


Malin Head is the most northerly

Fanad Lighthouse, Po

rtsalon, Co. Doneg


chill, , Chur l Park a n io a ge 1 t Na al - Im ea g h Doneg Glenv . o C , kenny Letter

Pilgrim Path, Sli e v e L ea Co. Don gue, Ca egal rrick,


of the locations used in the latest

of the tallest in Europe are to be

Star Wars film. Birdwatchers have

found off the Donegal coast and an

long been drawn to this beautifully

adventure company, Unique Ascent,

“plain of the high tide”, is a

remote place, where the famously

helps fearless daredevils to climb

picturesque village in North-West

elusive corncrake is to be found.

them - at 100m high and half a

Donegal that will be familiar to many

kilometre from the mainland, you

of those who came to the county

need a head for heights and the

to study Irish during their school

steeliest of nerves.

holidays. This proud Gaeltacht region

Banba’s Crown, Malin Head, Inishowen Peninsula, Co. Donegal

Machaire Rabhartaigh, meaning

has been home to the Gael Linn Irish Sea Stack, Tory, Co. Donegal

Language School for 35 years. Its beach is justly celebrated and a ferry service to Tory Island operates from its busy fishing harbour.

Glenveagh National Park

Northern Lights

One of six national parks in the

One of the most spectacular

country (five of which are on the Wild

natural phenomena, the Aurora Borealis is associated with Nordic countries - but you don’t have

Inishowen Head Looped Walk Often dubbed ‘Ireland in

Atlantic Way), Glenveagh offers a rich ecological landscape, where a wide range of plant and wildlife flourishes,

to leave Ireland to experience it.

miniature’ thanks to its shape,

including a herd of red deer and

Donegal’s Inishowen Peninsula is

the Inishowen Peninsula offers a

peregrine falcons. Located in heart of

an excellent location to admire the

perfect nature escape. One of the

the Derryveagh Mountains, the park

northern lights thanks to the lack

best ways to explore it is on foot

encompasses over 16,000 hectares of

of light pollution in the area. There

on the Inishowen Head loop - a

lakes, glens and woods as well as the

have been spectacular sightings

route that’s packed with history

beautifully maintained Glenveagh

already this winter - just sign up to

whether it’s the World War II look-


Astronomy Ireland for aurora alerts.

out tower you will pass or the point from where St. Columba set sail for

Northern Lights at Malin Head, Inishowen Peninsula, Co. Donegal, credit Michale Gill

Scotland in the 6th Century. Further south, the Drum and Glen looped walks showcase the majesty of the Glencolmcille Peninsula.

Malin Head, Inishowen Peninsula, Co. Donegal Glenveagh National Park, Churchill, Co. Donegal -

Sea Stacks These remarkable geological structures are formed when tenacious coastal erosion carves and collapses sea cliffs leaving a freestanding pillar of rock. Some

Go Wild Magazine - Summer Edition 2017


Valentia Island. Image Tourism Ireland

e s u o h t h g i l A On the Wild Atlantic Way for Matt Damon?


he whole country is getting

cliffs, the rain coming down, the

excited! Hollywood actor Matt

grey skies. I love the weather.’ OK,

image, this dream of sitting atop of

Damon has revealed his dreams of

we personally think there are much

the lighthouse, looking out to sea and

owning a lighthouse by the sea on

nicer things about the West coast than

how beautiful and peaceful that must

Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way, but said

bad weather, but maybe for once the

be. I don’t know if you can buy those,

he would have to run the idea past his

Irish weather will be on our side if it

wouldn’t they be State owned? If you

wife first. We hope she says yes!

attracts superstars!

could, I’d do it.’

The Jason Bourne star said he fell in

Damon said he also had a love for

So why a lighthouse? ‘I have this

He added, ‘Well I’d run it past my

love with Ireland’s rugged west coast

the Irish landscape, “the geographical

after he travelled from Cork to Galway

landscape from Galway to Cork is like

two years ago with his Argentinian

nowhere else in the world”. And he

wife Luciana and their children.

said the crisp Irish air is ‘good for the

If so, we’d be happy to give you a free


ad in Go Wild Magazine!

Speaking to the Irish Sun, Damon

wife first, then I’d do it.’ So, is anyone selling a lighthouse?

said he would love to fulfil his dream of being a lighthouse keeper. He told the publication, ‘How awesome would that be? Watching

“The geographical landscape from Galway to Cork is like nowhere else in the world”

the Atlantic crashing over the Irish

Go Wild Magazine - Summer Edition 2017


See Exquisite Pieces of Crystal manufactured before your eyes

Waterford Crystal Factory and Brand Experience

The House of Waterford Crystal brings a visit to Waterford to a whole new level, as visitors can witness the creation of crystal masterpieces right before their very eyes. The factory tour is a unique and captivating experience that allows people go behind the scenes for over an hour and see exactly how Waterford Crystal pieces are made and they can witness every stage of production, from the initial design stage right up to the final engraving of the piece.

Guided Factory Tours daily Waterford Brand & Visitor Experience Open Daily

Book online at and receive a 10% discount on adult tickets

Phone +353 (0) 51 317000

Great Blasket Jetty. Image Chris Hill

48 Hours in Dingle The no. 1 home holiday destination that Irish people love


Local Gems

performances include Ellie Goulding,

Dingle was recently voted

Most famous attraction - Fungi

National, Damien Rice, Snowpatrol,

as the No. 1 holiday at home

Fungi, Dingle’s resident dolphin,

Ryan Adams and many others.

t’s not difficult to see why

Amy Winehouse, Elbow, The

destination that Irish people

is one of the main attractions for

love, in the Irish Independent

tourists in the region. See Fungi wild

Best walk from Dingle Town

and free in his natural habitat on a

- Dingle Harbour Walk

Dingle Dolphin Boat Tour. Tours

Walking from the town, take a left

depart at regular intervals every day,

at the harbour and you will arrive at

all year round (weather permitting).

a roundabout, turn right down the

Reader Traveller Awards 2017. A “home away from home” that combines landscape, food, hospitality and craic in a small package full of punch, it is a

laneway opposite Moran’s Garage, Best Hike – Mount Brandon

at the end of the lane there is a gate,

One of the main highlights of Dingle

to the left of this you will see the

for the outdoorsy type is Mount

coastal path. Follow this around to

Brandon, soaring high above the

the left, you will see Hussey’s Folly

views in the country, local fresh

village. Brandon is the second

ahead. Just after the Skellig Hotel

produce and award-winning

highest mountain in Ireland and

go through a stile on to the grassy

restaurants, quirky ‘old-man’

according to legend, St Brendan

path that leads you to the Folly or

pubs, craic agus ceoil (fun and

lived on or near the summit for a

further towards the light house.

music), art galleries and trinket

time. The remains of a sixth century

You can turn back at the lighthouse

cell near the summit suggests some

or carry on along the cliff path

truth in the legend. On a clear day

to Beenbane Beach. Here you can

the summit commands spectacular

even continue on to the next beach

views right across the West coast.

Doonsheane. Allow 2-3 hours.

There are three summits – the main

Best garden – Dingle’s

one at 952m, Coimin na gCna at

Secret Garden

891, and Brandon Peak at 840.

This walled garden is in the heart

Best Art Galleries

of Dingle town. At the side of the

Greenlane Gallery

church go through the gates and

Dingle Art Works Gallery

to the end of the lawn past a small

place where you truly relax and return to again and again. Dingle has some of the best sea

shops, watersports, family friendly attractions, a famous dolphin and incredibly friendly locals. It’s also a place where the Irish language is spoken, and it’s a destination that gives Irish people a sense of place and a pride in our country.

graveyard, there is an arched Best Festival – Other

doorway in the high brick wall that

Voices Festival

leads through to two secret gardens.

Other Voices is one of Ireland’s most

With a little hobbit stage made of

unique music events. Since 2002, the

trees and benches all around it’s a

annual gathering has established

great location for a picnic and to

itself as a musical pilgrimage

escape the wind on a sunny day.

for the mind and the soul. Past

Go Wild Magazine - Summer Edition 2017

- 10 -

Best outing - Blasket Islands

basking shark or minke whale.

This group of Islands to the west of

Single Malt in the Dingle Distillery in Dingle town is an experience that cannot

Slea Head was inhabited until 1953,

Best Pub

be replicated anywhere else in the world.

when only 22 inhabitants remained.

The legendary Dick Macks pub is on every

Ten years ago, a ‘where to eat’ guide

Still uninhabited,the boat trip there

tourists wish list – it’s a throwback to old

could have been written on the back

makes for a great 1/2 day out. You can

Ireland, with quirky locals full of stories.

of an envelope, but there’s been a

leave from Dingle or Dunquin, bring

gastro revolution in the intervening

some food and swim gear. It’s an action

Gallarus Oratory

years, so much so, Dingle was named

packed day including a scenic boat

Standing on farmland on the Dingle

Ireland’s ‘Best Foodie Town 2015’. The

trip, a derelict village rich with history

Peninsula, and dating from (depending

more established restaurants are still

and intrigue, a swim with the seals

on the scholar) the 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th

producing amazing award winning food,

on the most perfect white sands beach

or 12th century, this is a fine example

but you can really notice the difference

and if leaving from Dingle you will

of a Christian place of worship. Its

at the cheaper end of the market.

spot Fungi on the way back. You may

dry-stone construction is totally

If you choose to dine in, there is an

even glimpse a pod of Fungi’s friends,

waterproof, which means the structure

abundance of choice when it comes to

is in almost perfect condition.

local artisan food. The farmers markets are a must, Friday morning in Dingle


Dingle Ocean World, Dingle, Co Kerry

Dingle Aquarium

town, Saturday morning in Milltown at

The Aquarium has Dingle’s largest

the old church and Sunday morning in the

collection of sharks, as well as a Gentoo

clubrooms, Castlegregory. If you miss these

Penguin display. The new exhibit

you can always go to The Little Cheese

features special guests such as Juvenile

Shop on Green lane, Dingle where they

Saltwater Crocodiles, Iguanas, Bearded

stock not only their own award winning

Dragons, Corn Snakes, Pythons as

cheeses, but a fine selection of breads,

well as Boa constrictor Snakes.

sausages and pates all made locally.

Dingle Brewery

‘Best Restaurant in Kerry’ – Idás

Housed in a 19th-century creamery

Idás recently scooped the coveted title

building, this terrific craft brewery, Crean’s

of Kerry’s Best Restaurant at the Irish

Brewing Company use Kerry natural

Restaurant Awards. Head chef Kevin

spring water and simple techniques to

Murphy is a self-taught cook with a

make their lager as pure as possible.

background in art, who followed his

Admission includes a self-guided or

dream. Their menus showcase both

guided brewery tour as well as a pint.

foraged ingredients & prime, local

There’s so much more including Dingle

produce - monkfish liver with unripe

Distillery, the seal sanctuary, museums,

blackberries and chickweed; foraged broth

quirky shops, art galleries, and regular

of land and sea with a Glenbeigh oyster;

festivals, watersports, horseriding,

lamb with fermented root vegetables and

surfing, cookery schools, Skellig boat

wild garlic; Crozier Blue with peated

trip, pop up chef, picnics and more!

blackberry - all beautifully executed.

Great Eats

Fungi, The Dolphin.

Dingle’s food scene is one of the best in the

Best seafood - Out of the Blue

country – it has everything from Ashe’s

Dining in Out of the Blue is a very special

oyster shots made with Dingle vodka to

and unique experience. Seafood is cooked

An Gailearaí Beag’s Dingle Gin Soup, deep

and served to the highest standard.

fried Mars bars, local homemade ice cream,

Everything depends upon the catch of

craft beers, and fabulous coffee houses.

the day and nothing but the best will do.

There are an incredible 76 destinations

If there’s no fish, the restaurant doesn’t

in the town to enjoy local foods.

open. The menu, given on blackboards,

For a tourist to be able to drink Dingle

changes every day offering a huge

variety of whatever is available from the boats that morning. The restaurant is compact and cosy with modern rustic decor and wonderful artworks. Anyone who is lucky enough to get a table will be delighted. To book call 066 9150811. Blue Zone - Green St A funky restaurant with a late night bar that does fantastic pizzas and salads, there are often live music sessions of jazz and blues. Perfect for large groups or family

Best for large groups / Best for luxury

Best for contemporary lovers

meals, it’s a great place to relax in the

- Wild Atlantic View Dunquin

/ quirky style – The Green

afternoon or after a night in the pub if you

Sleeps 8 in 4 double bedrooms

House, Dingle Peninsula

are looking for somewhere laid back and

(can sleep 10 with 2 on sofa bed)

Sleeps 6 in 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms. Pet

fun. Open all year, to book call 066 915 0303.

Price from €236 per night.

friendly. Price from €122 per night.

In a word, STUNNING. Wild Atlantic View

The Green House is a contemporary home

An Canteen - Dykegate Lane

offers the ultimate in quality & luxury with

with panoramic sea and mountain views,

A hidden gem and a great spot for a pre-

the best views of Kerry’s Atlantic Islands….

that you can enjoy from an outdoor hot

film dinner as it’s metres from Dingle’s

Indulge yourself in it’s wild beauty. Every

tub. The large bright open plan living

legendry Phoenix Cinema. A great

west window frames an Island as the

area is ideally suited to relaxed holiday

selection of distinctive dishes prepared

property overlooks the Blaskets, Skelligs

entertaining, and it has a clay pizza oven

with care from the finest and freshest local

and Slea Head. With beautiful, unique

with BBQ. Just a few minutes’ walk to the

ingredients for a great price. It’s a great

open plan living areas, four bedrooms all

beautiful Ballyguin beach and Brandon

little find and last year was number one

with en suites and stunning grounds that

Pier where you can have a drink at the

on Tripadvisor for the whole of Dingle,

include a top of the range Hot Tub. This

legendary Murphys Bar overlooking

so the consumers choice. Open 5 till

property will exceed all expectations.

Brandon Bay, the longest beach in Ireland.

‘Made with love in Dingle’ is the tagline

Best for views – Tigin An

Best for Dingle town - Morningside

for this excellent little ice cream parlour/

Bear, Dingle Peninsula

Sleeps 8 in 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms (pet

coffee bar. All ice-cream is hand made using

Sleeps 8 in 4 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms.

friendly) Price from €135 per night.

locally sourced ingredients, as it has been

Price from €243 per night.

Morning Side is a classic & contemporary

since 2000. Founded by Sean and Kieran

The outside veranda and glass fronted,

home, nestled on a quiet street in the middle

Murphy, this is a gem of a place to kick

first floor balcony offer unbeatable

of Dingle town with a rear courtyard

back, indulge, and read the first chapter of

views. This magnificent home with its

that soaks up the morning sun. The main

a book you’ve wanted to start for ages.

established gardens, alfresco dining and

living area has fashionable interiors with

10pm daily. To book call 086 660 3778. Reel Dingle Fish - Bridge Street The best Fish & Chips take-away on the Peninsula … with a great selection of freshly battered local fish, tasty sauces and proper chips. You can grab your take away, sit on the Harbour and soak up Dingle. What more could you ask for? Call 066 9151713 to pre-order. Best ice-cream – Murphy’s Ice Cream

eclectic furnishings will create wonderful

iconic 50’s furniture resembling a set

Your home from home in Dingle

memories. The French doors lead out onto

from Madmen. You can walk to all the

Dingle feels like a home from

the expansive veranda where you can

restaurants, pubs, galleries and shops

home, so here’s some inspiration

take in the harbours activities and the

that Dingle town has to offer including

on the top guesthouses and

Iveragh Peninsula beyond. Tigin an Bear

all the fabulous harbour, sea and hill

holiday homes in the region.

is just a short stroll into Dingle town.

walks from and within the town.

Go Wild Magazine - Summer Edition 2017

- 12 -

where the mountains touch the sea, the area

Best for couples – The Little

is very popular with walkers, artists and

Sanctuary, Dingle Peninsula

fishermen. You can walk down to Murphy’s

Sleeps 2 in 1 bedroom. Price

pub on the pier for a great atmosphere all

from €74 a night.

year round. The Cottage also has a large

The Little Sanctuary is nestled in a lush

garden with patio and is pet friendly.

wood at the mouth of Macha na Bo valley. The moment you turn up the little picturesque lane at the bottom of the Conor Pass you will know you are somewhere very special. Like something out of a Tolkien novel, the steep wall of the valley rises

Best for budget – Little Liss

dramatically from the crystal waters of the

Cottage, Brandon

Owenmore River. This one bedroom loft

Sleeps 6 in 3 bedrooms, price

apartment is a lovingly restored farm house

from €50 per night.

full of authentic details and quirky nooks.

The Little Liss Cottage is perched up on Lios Na Caolbhui overlooking the beach

For holiday home bookings, contact Stay

and pier at Brandon both a 5 minute walk

YNA Dingle on www.stayynadingle.

away. The sun floods through the cute

com Stay YNA Dingle is the largest

cottage most of the day reflecting off the

holiday letting provider in Dingle

ocean. Surrounded by legendary walks

town and the Dingle Peninsula.

Two great Dingle Locations

Town Centre Location Steeped in History & Atmosphere

Overlooking Dingle Bay ¥ Excellent Facilities including Leisure Club & Spa

Main St, Dingle, Co. Kerry +353 66 915 1638

Dingle, Co. Kerry +353 66 915 0200

Go Wild Magazine - Summer Edition 2017

- 13 -

E V I T A E R C GET iday

o n an

l o H s t f a r Arts & C NEED Some INSPIRATION!

Arts and Crafts holidays are a great way to pick up new skills. And where better to tap into your creative side than on the Wild Atlantic Way, a place that inspires. It’s no surprise that this coastal stretch is a haven for artists and craft makers. From woodturning to jewellery making, painting, photography and sewing, there is a course to suit everyone.

Pottery in Dingle

Louis Mulcahy Pottery An ideal stop on the Dingle Slea Head Route on the Wild Atlantic Way is Louis Mulcahy’s pottery workshop showrooms and Café. Stocking an extensive range of ceramic giftware and tableware, each piece of hand crafted stoneware pottery is dreamed up and designed by Louis and everything is made on-site by him along with his team, from tiny pots to huge urns, in striking glazes reflecting the rich colours of the peninsula. After years of customer’s requests to be allowed see his work in progress or to try their hand at throwing a pot, Louis Mulcahy agreed to dedicate an area at his pottery to visitors wishing to experience the craft for themselves. A professional thrower can be seen going through the daily routine of throwing pots and will assist visitors in making their own “masterpiece”. You can either bring your raw pot home or have it fired, glazed and delivered to your home. The professional

Go Wild Magazine - Summer Edition 2017

potter is also available to answer any questions that visitors may have about the processes involved in making pottery. In addition to the throwing experience there is also an audio visual demonstrating the casting and jiggering processes which are used at the workshop. The techniques of glazing and decoration are also revealed. You can also enjoy Dingle crabmeat, Dingle Peninsula cheese or local spiced beef, all of which feature on the menu in the café upstairs. Daily specials include savoury tarts, fish-cakes, and a chilli-crab sandwich and Café favourites include Raspberry and dark chocolate Brownies, Kerry Apple Cake, and freshly baked scones and brown bread. Gluten free options are always on the menu. The café is recommended by Georgina Campbell and McKenna’s Guides.

Painting in Donegal

Point in Donegal, which was recently named the best hotel in Ireland by Trip Advisor. This painting break will see guests tutored by artist Conor McIntyre on the shores of Lough Eske, with food and accommodation included for €565 per person. See

Get crafty in Mayo Derryaun Craft The rural townland of Drummin in Mayo is pastoral Ireland at its best and the rolling green surrounding the stone cottage of Derryaun Craft is a great place to look for creative inspiration. Artist Suzie Sullivan will teach you the art of dyeing, jewellery making, weaving, spinning and wire work! Suzie is an award winning fibre artist whose work is a fusion of her own artistic vision and her diverse craft techniques comprising hand dyed felt, flamework glass and silk paper. She gets her inspiration from Irish culture, myths and fairy-tales and the wild surroundings of her Mayo home.

Glass Making and more in Kinsale

Donegal - Rainbow; Image Brian Lynch

Harvey’s Point Those with ambitions to paint should check out a five-day deal offered by Harvey’s

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Kinsale Pottery and Arts Centre Kinsale Pottery and Arts Centre provides arts and crafts courses for adults and children, specialising in pottery/ ceramics, glass fusing, jewellery-making, and mosaic-making. They run weekly classes, weekend breaks, summer schools and summer camps, and tailor-made workshops for corporate groups and private parties. Kinsale Pottery is close

Distinctive pieces made with skill and passion by the team in our Workshop near Clogher Strand, Ballyferriter, Co. Kerry


The Perfect Stop on Dingle’s Slea Head Drive Clogher Strand, Ballyferriter, Dingle, Co. Kerry

Open 7 Days, All Year Oscailte Gach Lá

Tel Fón: 066 9156229 •

to the centre of the beautiful historic harbour of Kinsale, famed for its restaurants and shops.

Photography in Westport Wild Atlantic Photography At times, it can feel like an obligation to capture everything you see when you’re travelling somewhere as visually unique as the Wild Atlantic Way. Tom Ramwell can teach you not just ‘what to shoot’ but ‘when to shoot’. Based in the postcard-perfect town of Westport County Mayor, Tom runs photography workshops on the Wild Atlantic Way, partnering with Eaglewood Lodge.

Bone Carving in Galway The Bone Carving Studio The Bone Carving Studio and Gallery in Galway offers the only bone carving classes in Ireland. At a one day class, you’ll create your own bone carving from start to finish. Whether you’re a visitor or a native, a bone carving class is the perfect activity for a rainy Galway day and it’s also a unique souvenir, whether you create a piece to keep for yourself or you make something special for someone special !

To commemorate their 160 year anniversary, Belleek have launched the Belleek Archive Collection 1857-2017. This is a collection of 16 pieces of Belleek, representing sixteen decades of design and craftsmanship. Each piece takes you on a journey through the years, and each piece has a unique 2017 anniversary backstamp. The archive collection is available to view and purchase in Belleek’s retail showroom in the visitor centre. You can take a guided tour of the Centre, which will bring you on a 30 minute tour of the manufacturing process that takes place to produce Belleek. All tours have a personal guide that will firstly explain what the visitor is about to experience. From the beginning the visitors will see, hear and touch the product throughout the tour. The Visitor Centre at Belleek Pottery offers visitors a unique experience whilst visiting the Fermanagh Lakelands. Their museum houses a collection of the finest Belleek every produced over the last 160 years. The Belleek retail showroom is a modern, stylish retail outlet, displaying the vast product range of Belleek products for sale. From tableware collections to basketware, you will be sure to find a gift for any event or special occasion.

Kinsale Harbour; Image Tim Thompson

To finish off your visit to Belleek, the restaurant offers a selection of hot and cold food during the week and soup and sandwiches at weekends. They also have a scrumptious selection of baked goods and sweet treats to accompany your tea and coffee, all served on Belleek tableware.

Ireland’s oldest working pottery

Belleek Pottery Why not take a day trip with all the family up North and enjoy and experience what Belleek Pottery Visitor Centre has to offer. Celebrating 160 years of expert craftsmanship in 2017, Belleek Pottery is Ireland’s oldest working pottery. Since 1857, Belleek Pottery has been welcoming visitors from across the world to the unique village of Belleek, nestled by the banks of Lough Erne in Co. Fermanagh.

Go Wild Magazine - Summer Edition 2017

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A location spectacular beyond belief

enjoy • relax • explore Parknasilla is only a short drive along the Wild Atlantic Way from the vibrant town of Kenmare. But what really counts is our immediate location set within a "Tropical Paradise" of islands, inlets & hidden beaches. So come stay with us and wake up to our beautiful sea views, indulge in a little spa pampering, explore one of our many coastline walking trails, enjoy a guided sea kayaking tour, play a little golf and in the evening come dine with us in The Pygmalion Restaurant where exemplary cooking, good wine and great service will impress. Parknasilla Resort & Spa, Sneem, Co. Kerry, Ireland Tel: +353 (0)64 6675600 Email:

NIALL MCGARRY INTERVIEW with Michelle McDonagh He’s a Mayo man working in Dublin and London, but it’s the City of The Tribes that Ireland’s most successful digital media entrepreneur, Niall McGarry, calls home.


After graduating from college

would not travel internationally.

in Limerick with a degree in

“I found that I was going to a lot

marketing in 2002, Niall moved

of different websites for news,

to Galway and instantly fell

sports, fashion, and business, etc

for the magic of the city.

but there was no site pulling all

“I arrived in the middle of

of this information together in a

Craughwell, County Galway.

Arts Festival week and there

quintessentially Irish way. I saw

Galway may be home

was so much going on, it was

a gap in the market, I knew there

now, but Niall credits his

such an exciting place.”

must be a lot of other men like me.

entrepreneurial spirit to his

He spent a year selling advertising

“Anything I do, I go into thinking

native Castlebar which, he says,

for The Galway Independent — the

I will make a success of this, and

only time he worked for anybody

I knew I had to make a

else — before setting up his own

commercially viable entity so I did

media company, Impact Media

think it would be a success, but I

in 2003. He ran Impact for seven

could never have predicted just how

years before selling it to a Cork

successful it was to become,” he says.

marketing company, while he

Since founding Maximum Media in

devoted himself to his newest

2010, Niall has overseen the growth

venture, the website

of an Irish media phenomenon. With provides an online outlet

four award-winning digital brands

Garda station and library, and a

for Irish men with an interest

– JOE, Her, SportsJOE and Her

redeveloped hospital. It was the era

in areas like sport, technology,

Family – he has overseen the launch

of Padraig Flynn and there was a

entertainments, motors and fashion.

of a quartet of unique, innovative

lot of new building and expansion.

The name comes from the ‘average

platforms that, between them,

I was very much bitten by the bug.”

Joe’ or “Joe Soap” as Niall jokes

command over nine million unique

he was not narcissistic enough to

users in Ireland per month and

call it and stereotypical

boast comfortably the largest social

Irish names like Mick or Pat

media community in the country.

very Friday evening, the founder of the largest social media community

in Ireland, leaves the Big Smoke and heads West to his home in

was a very progressive town when he was growing up. “There was a lot happening in Castlebar at the time, it was punching above its weight as a small town in the West of Ireland. It had a small airport, the International Song Contest, a new

Go Wild Magazine - Summer Edition 2017

- 18 -

He launched Her Family in January 2015

Tony Barrett, coupled with the in-house

at the end of the year. His parents

targeting the lucrative parenting space.

creation of topical, hilarious videos, the

have also moved to Galway and live

“Her Family has a very specific

like of which are not seen anywhere

in the nearby village of Oranmore so

angle. Just because you become a

else (one of which recently garnered

he sees them at the weekends also.

parent doesn’t change who you are.

250 million views), has seen JOE Media

While he would still love to see Mayo

It’s news for people who happen to

develop into a brand like no other.

win an All Ireland, Niall says he regards

be parents and parental advice.”

Niall now employs a staff of 40 out

himself as “from Galway now”.

In 2015, Niall looked beyond the island

of his London office, and up to 90

He enthuses: “Galway has just enough

of Ireland and launched JOE Media in

full-time staff in Dublin. While his

of everything, it’s such a friendly

the UK, making a bold statement in

brands continue to grow on either

place and as a blow-in, I found the

one of the world’s most competitive

side of the Irish Sea, his aim is to

people so welcoming. It’s a beautiful

media markets. Applying the lessons

establish Maximum Media as the

city, the medieval architecture

he learned in Ireland, the JOE and

most relevant media organisation in

is very different from other Irish

SportsJOE brands quickly gained a

Ireland within the next five years and,

cities. It’s a very cosmopolitan place

foothold in the UK and, within just

as it expands internationally, see his

with all types of cultures, and it’s

20 months, built up a Facebook and

JOE brand become the media brand

a safe city with a low crime rate.

Twitter following of over eight million,

of choice for men the world over.

“Dublin is cool and the weather is a

helping attract over 10

Having realised he couldn’t set up

bit drier, but the sun sets in the West

million unique users each month.

and run a national media brand from

and the Irish Sea is nowhere near as

Technical and editorial innovation,

Galway, Niall moved to Dublin after

attractive as the Atlantic Ocean. The

combined with an investment in unique

selling Impact Media and he commutes

Atlantic seaboard and Galway Bay in

and authoritative voices have propelled

between Dublin and London Monday

particular, the way the Clare Hills and

the growth of JOE Media and seen it

to Friday. However, every Friday

in certain parts, the Aran Islands define

fast become the voice of men in Britain.

evening he heads back to Galway to

the landscape, is breath-taking, I’ve

The site’s growing cohort of respected

his seven and a half year old son, Max,

taken so many unreal photos out there.”

and well-known journalists such as

from a previous relationship, and his

Nooruddean Choudry, Dion Fanning and

fiancee Sarah, who he is set to marry

Go Wild Magazine - Summer Edition 2017

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The best place to buy an Aran Sweater and Irish gifts A famous tourist destination for over 70 years, Standún is a store steeped in tradition, known for its huge selection of Aran sweaters and Irish fashion labels. Now run by sisters Cliona and Laragh

On release from prison this interest in all

The best place to buy an Ar

Standún, the Standún family have owned

things Irish continued to grow and when

and managed this department store for

Máirtín and May came across a small dra-

three generations and have built a repu-

pery shop in Spiddal for sale while on a

tation for the range of quality Irish goods

cycling holiday in Connemara, their des-

including hand knits, delicate pottery,

tiny was sealed.

traditional tweeds and stunning handcut crystal.

Humble Beginnings...

Standún was the first business to export

A famous tourist destination for over 70 yea known for its huge selection of Aran

the Aran sweater to the US, supplying large department stores such as Nords-

trom and Lord & Taylor and it was voted

the Best Quality & Value Sweater by the Wall Street Journal. At one stage there

were over 700 women around the country knitting pieces of Aran sweaters that

The drapery shop cost six hundred

café with its breathtaking views of the Cliffs of Moher, The Aran Islands and Galway Bay.

pounds, which was a lot of money in tho-

se days for any young couple, but fired by enthusiasm and determination and an

ardent desire to live in the Irish Speaking

The store is firmly embedded in the community of Spiddal, Connemara Co. Galway,

Gaeltacht, the young couple saved every penny they earned.

Now run by sistershaving Cliona and played an active role inLaragh community In 1946 Máirtín and May Standún bou-

were then assembled in the store. Today, Standún still provides a selection of great

life for more than 70 years. We take a look

ght the tiny galvanised shop come house Standún, the Standúnbackfamily have owned at the fascinating story of this family on the outskirts of the village of Spiddal.

value Aran sweaters.

business …

were the humble beginnings of Stanand managed this department store for Thus its Irish and International brands, marrying dún, now one of the best known and most In recent years it has become known for

traditional with contemporary to stunning

fashion, gift and craft outlets in A Love Story three generations and have builtBegins a repu- respected the West of Ireland.

effect. It has a huge ladies fashion depart-

ment as well as great ranges of clothing

In the early 40’s Máirtín an Irish speaking tation for the range of quality Irish goods

for men and children. It also has a large home and giftware department.

man from Liverpool, England and May a

15 hour working day....

music delicate teacher from Mullingar fell in love. including hand knits, pottery,

It is one of the few shops in the world

From the very outset their business and

Their first meeting, however was not a traditional tweeds and stunning hand- social lives were uniquely interlinked with normal rendezvous at the local dance but

where fashion and gifts can be bought

through the Irish language (the first lan-

cut crystal.

guage of most of the employees working

occurred while both were interned for su-

in Standún).

pporting the cause of Irish Independen-

Over 2 million customers have visited

prison, Máirtín met the Irish scholar and

ce in the Ireland of the 1930’s. While in

the local community and with the culture

and traditions of the Connemara Gaeltacht. Like all struggling business people of their

Standún was the firstConnemara business to export time, they worked a fifteen hour day builwho had a major influence on

Standún throughout the years to enjoy

their relaxed shopping environment, em-

writer, Máirtín O’Cadhain from Spiddal in

him instilling in him a passionate love for

ding their business from the tiny shop to

the Aran sweater tothe Irish thelanguage US,and culture. supplying an all-purpose store selling everything

brace the Gaelic language, and to treat themselves to some home baking in the

large department stores such as NordsGo Wild Magazine - Summer Edition 2017

- 20 -

trom and Lord & Taylor and it was voted

from groceries, clothes, footwear, furni-

café with its breathtak

ture, bedding and bicycles to cement and other building materials.

Significant Employer...

dún People travelled from all over Connema-

ra and further afield to shop at Standún, some travelling by bus and others many miles on turf lorries.

To this day you could talk with women from Donegal to Kerry and anywhere in between who depended on Standún for the very necessary supplement to their

Standún became the meeting place for

people and their delivery van, which was also the family car, became the hearse for the area.

In the 1960’s at the instigation of Córas

Tráchtála, Standún set up a finishing factory for Aran sweaters which was to beco-

household income derived from hand knitted Irish Aran sweaters. Standún was

In 1972 Donal, May and Máirtín’s son, and

one of the most significant employers in

his wife Raymonde took over the business.

the area. At one stage there were over 700

They decided to focus Standún more on

knitters on their books. Standún became

the tourist market and Standún became

the first store in Ireland to export the Aran

a landmark in Connemara for great value

Sweater to large department stores in the

knitwear and good quality Irish products.

US such as Nordstrom and Lord and Taylor.

Export to the US remained strong and Standún was recommended in many gui-

ran Sweater and Irish gifts me a most important aspect of Standún’s

business, particularly as the tourist industry began to grow and develop in the

debooks such as Frommers and Fodors

The Second Generation...

as well as winning the Wall Street Journal Award for the best place to buy an Aran


Sweater online.

The unfinished Aran sweaters with their varied and individual patterns - cable


stitch representing fishermens ropes, trellis representing stone walls between

Standún is now managed by Máirtín and

fields - were collected from home knitters

ars, Standún is a store steeped in tradition, n sweaters and Irish fashion labels.

May’s grand-daughters Clíona and Laragh

all around the country and brought to the

and it very much reflects all that is best in

factory for finishing.

Irish and International produce

release prison this interest in all Best for IrishOnGifts – from Irish Language region things Irish–continued to grow and when Shop Local Free Parking

Máirtín and May came across a small drapery shop in Spiddal for sale while on a GenesisdesCurrach cycling holiday in Connemara, their Handmade from Bronze €79.99

tiny was sealed. Nicholas Mosse Jug

Avoca Hand-weavers Mohair Throw €110

Handmade Irish Pottery €45.95

Humble Beginnings...

Sterling Silver Claddagh Ring €39.99

Honeycomb Crew Neck, €69.99

Ireland’s Eye Aran Sweater, €69.99

FREE Hot Drink per person when you reference this article

The drapery shop cost six hundred

pounds, which was a lot of money in thoGo Wild Magazine - Summer Edition 2017 king views of the Cli- 21 -


Let the windswept locations of the Wild Atlantic Way capture your heart


o many of us are so caught up in

Downpatrick Head in Co. Mayo

the distractions of everyday living,

work, family, chores and technology that is always on, that we rarely spend quality time with our other halves. Nothing will reconnect you more than heading off on a coastal journey along the rugged, untamed landscape and sandy beaches of the Wild Atlantic Way. It’s not clichéd romance, it’s real and the shared adventure will bring you closer together. It’s here you can get away from all the distractions of everyday living, feel carefree and nourish your partnership. Let the fresh sea air mess your hair,

Jutting out into the ocean and rising

“Watch and become spellbound as the sky is illuminated with thousands of glistening stars, clusters and even the odd shooting star, all visible to the naked eye. ”


and the muddy roads scuff your boots. Roam rugged roads together, take in the clean air on a coastal cliff walk,

almost 40m above the waves, one of these Signature Discovery Points, Downpatrick Head, provides heartstopping,




the Atlantic, including the unique collection of islands known as the Staggs of Broadhaven. This is the perfect place to head off on an invigorating coastal walk. Relish the breathtaking views of the nearby Dún Briste sea stack, with its different coloured layers of rock and nesting sea birds and embrace that feeling that you are the only two people on the edge of this windswept world,

Loop Head Lighthouse Co. Clare’s Loop Head’s remote lighthouse is

or discover untouched scenery off

the powerful waves’ crash against

the beaten track on a walking trail.

wonderfully evocative. The adjoining

the rocks and notice the different

In return you’ll leave feeling fully


weather systems come and go and the

refreshed, invigorated and enjoying

available to rent, is just the place to

swirling gulls overhead. It is here at

a feeling of closeness through shared

channel your inner Alicia Vikander - or

these remote locations that you get a


Michael Fassbender - if you’ve been

really intimate experience of the wild

inspired by the romantic weepie, The

landscape and seascapes of the Wild

Light Between Oceans, which tells the

Atlantic Way.

story of a lighthouse keeper and his

Start by exploring one of the iconic, must-see Signature Discovery points,

By immersing yourself in these natural

Signature Discovery Points scattered

surroundings and switching off fully

across the coastline of the Wild Atlantic

from the daily routine, you develop

Way. These glorious edge-of-the-world

a deeper connection with this region

vistas encompass everything that’s

that helps renew the soul. Don’t

magical about this region.

forget to capture the moment with a spectacular selfie against this amazing

Go Wild Magazine - Summer Edition 2017




Breathe in the salty air, and watch



Fanad in Co. Donegal For another lighthouse experience, head to Fanad in Co. Donegal, where you can escape to your own snug romantic cottage at Fanad lighthouse, which been voted one of the most beautiful lighthouses in the world.

- 22 -

clew_bay, Mayo. Image Fearghus Foyle

Fanad Head Donegal. Image Fearghus Foyle

Cork_Couple. Image Brian Morrison

Dark Sky reserve. Dingle. Image Valerie O’Sullivan

Loop Head Lighthouse, Co. Clare. Image Tourism Ireland

Croagh Patrick Image Tourism Ireland

In the evening, snuggle up with your

idyllic countryside and be captivated by

the odd shooting star, all visible to the

loved one in front of a turf fire and you

the view of the spectacular Nephin Beg

naked eye. The spectacular beauty and

might even see the Aurora Borealis in

mountain range and across Clew Bay to

romance of the star-filled sky will stay

the Northern skies for a truly memorable

Croagh Patrick. Afterwards, enjoy a feast

with both of you long after this trip.


for two at one of the many pubs and restaurants dotted around the area.

Cosy pubs and romantic restaurants

Kerry’s Dark Sky Reserve

There are countless spots along the coast

How about a walk, hand-in-hand, on the

The kaleidoscope of colour that makes

for cosy pubs, open fires and glorious

vast expanse of a Blue Flag beach on

up a Wild Atlantic Way sunset is followed

food to create the ideal environment

Achill Island? This is a beautiful, tranquil

by a breathtaking night sky at Kerry’s

for romance and for switching off from

spot for a walk with its sheltered, rural

Dark Sky Reserve. This unique area in

the busy world. Whatever you and your

beach surrounded by cliffs.

Kerry is almost completely devoid of

loved one choose to do on the Wild

light pollution and allows star-gazers

Atlantic Way, you’re bound to emerge

to admire the wonders of the universe

refreshed, revitalised and, hopefully,

Further afield in Mayo, escape the bustle

and to experience the night sky like our

even more connected.

of urban life on the Great Western

ancient ancestors would have known

Greenway, the longest off-road cycling


Watch and become spellbound as

For more information about romantic

and walking trail in Ireland which is

the sky is illuminated with thousands

adventures and breaks; please visit http://

completely traffic free. Savour the peace

of glistening stars, clusters and even

Keem Strand on Mayo’s Achill Island

Great Western Greenway

and quiet as you travel through the

Ballinahinch Castle To the Manor born By Damien O Mahony

“And the utter mountain mirrored in the lake, Entered us like a wedge knocked sweetly home, Into core timber”. This extract from Seamus Heaney’s

traced back to the 14th century and

Brocquy adorn the walls. What

beautifully evocative poem came

the O’Flaherty Clan into which the

better way to round the evening

to mind as my better half and I

Pirate Queen Grace O’Malley married

off than with a nightcap sitting

travelled up the winding drive to

at the age of 16. The current building

before a cosy log fire - Heaven!

Ballinahinch Castle in Connemara

was built in the 18th century by

recently for our first visit.

the influential Martin family. In

Ballynahinch Castle Hotel is ideal for

the 1920s the Indian maharaja and

an active break or simply relaxing.

The Hotel is located at the foot of

Test cricketer known as “Ranji” was

The Hotel has expert guides on

the Twelve Bens mountain range,

a regular visitor to Ballinahinch.

hand to assist in every activity,

set on 450 acres of wild Connemara

Ranji bought the estate and erected

even if you’re a complete novice.

landscape - woodland, rivers and

fishing piers and huts along the

walks, in the Gaelic speaking

course of the river. The house became

There is much to do in the beautiful

heart of Co. Galway, (don’t worry

a hotel in the Forties and since

unspoilt estate itself and the

- they all speak English!).

then has carved a well-deserved

surrounding countryside. Fishing,

reputation for itself as one of the

hiking, the islands & lobster

finest luxury hotels in Ireland

experience, woodcock shooting, clay

Despite its title it’s not really a castle – more a castellated manor

shooting or cycling. However, my

house - but its location is beautifully

There are a number of beautifully

companion and I deemed all that far

dramatic and its intriguing story

calm sitting rooms for reading

too energetic and instead opted for

even more so. This is a location that

or relaxing, together with the

the far more leisurely stroll along

captivates you from the very outset.

wood panelled bar, known as

the meandering river and around

The Pub, dedicated to fishing and

the lake – plus a number of short

The moment we arrived we felt

decorated with catches that must

hop visits to the beautiful nearby

at home. The reception area had

have generated extravagant levels

towns of Roundstone and Clifden.

a roaring log fire, fireside chairs

of boasting many moons ago!

on a scale designed for dozing

We left the Castle refreshed and

and a receptionist who seemed

However, my favourite room in the

re-energised and with our faith in

genuinely glad to see us - not

hotel has to be the restaurant, with its

Irish hospitality reinforced. A stay

my usual ‘hotel’ experience

beautiful views over the Owenmore

in Ballinahinch ain’t cheap, but if

River. I have stayed in many hotels

you feel the need to indulge yourself,

We were shown to our room with a

but have yet to experience one

this is the place to do it in style.

view over the river and delightfully

which matches Ballinahinch for its

plush decor. The Castle has 48 rooms

extraordinary food offering. The

Ballinahinch Castle Hotel,

in all, ranging from ‘classic’ to

produce is local, seasonal and fresh

Recess, Connemara, County

‘suites’ each with individual names

and the art of those in the kitchen

Galway, Ireland (00 353 95

reflecting the history of the building

- simply sublime. And you get to

31006; ballynahinch-castle.

and its surrounding landscape.

enjoy it surrounded by a gallery of

com). Access possible for

the Ireland’s painting deities – Jack

guests using wheelchairs.

The history of the Castle can be

Yeats, Gerard Dillon and Louis le

Ballynahinch Castle is set on a 450 acre estate in the heart of Connemara with 48 bedrooms & suites, all tastefully & individually decorated. The hotel’s restaurant is renowned for its excellence, which of course, serves

The hotel’s restaurant is renowned for its excellence, which of course, locally-sourced produce and locally-caught fish. It might be the height of serves locally-sourced and locally-caught fish. Itbemight be the summer in Ireland, but a seatproduce by a log fire in the cosy bar will always welcome height of summer Ireland, but a seat bysalmon a log river fire in the cosy bar will after a day’s hiking or in fishing on the hotel’s own and lakes. Other always be welcome afterbiking, a day’s hiking or bird fishing on the hotel’s activities at the castle include hiking, game hunting, walking trails,own cycling, fly-fishing, locally a boatactivities trip from Roundstone to Inishlaken, salmon river andand lakes. Other at the castle include atennis, deserted in Roundstone Bay. In fact, there’s much to doInonfact, the estate, biking, island hiking, pony riding and game birdsohunting. there’s so lots estate, of visitors never leave the never grounds. much to do on the lots of visitors leave the grounds.

Tel + 353 95 31006 Email Ballynahinch Castle Hotel, Recess, Connemara, Co. Galway, Ireland

Dunowen House

Feel like a rock star in Clonakility There comes a point in time when you have to stop enviously watching reruns of Escape to the Country and River Cottage, a time when you realize it’s now or never. That realization came to Kela and

guests from all over the world, looking

Stephen Hodgins in the summer of 2013,

to escape to West Cork for a unique

when on a chance visit to Clonakilty

holiday experience. Word of mouth

they came across Dunowen House.

and return visits from guests have all helped to build its reputation as one

On a stunningly beautiful summer’s

of Ireland’s favourite places to stay.

day, travelling 10 minutes along

For two years in a row, Dunowen has

the Wild Atlantic Way route from

received the McKenna’s Guides “Best

Clonakilty, they spotted Galley

Places to Stay in Ireland” award and is

Head lighthouse on the horizon

currently the highest rated Vacation

and instantly fell in love with the

House has had many colourful

Rental in all of Ireland on Tripadvisor.

area. A visit to Dunowen House

inhabitants over the years. Each

With 6 large bedroom suites and oodles

confirmed they had found “the place”,

generation of owner has left its

of comfortable spacious reception

whereupon they returned to Dublin,

signature on the house and gardens,

rooms, Dunowen House can sleep up

sold their house and within six weeks

to be enjoyed by guests today. The

to 18 guests. The beautifully renovated

were loading three kids, a dog, two

secluded Sands Cove at the end of the

Orchard Cottage, located in the

trucks and heading for their own

short laneway, took its name from the

walled garden on the estate, provides

“escape to the country” adventure.

original Sandes family, dropping the

accommodation for a further 5 guests

Saying goodbye to office-based careers

“e” over time, while the walled garden

if more space is required. There are

in Dublin city was not a difficult

features the original bell tower that

four acres of gardens surrounding

decision but they admit friends and

called the seven gardeners to meals.

the house and an abundance of some

family thought they were crazy.

However, mention Dunowen House

of Ireland’s best beaches within 10

The only crazy thing would not

now to anyone living in the environs

minutes’ drive or walk of the house.

have been taking that leap of faith

of Clonakilty and they immediately

The house is ideal for holidays with

and moving to Dunowen House.

associate it with a more recent resident

extended family or groups of friends,

Over the course of a year, the couple

and local hero. For more than 30 years

reunions, celebrations or small intimate

renovated the house, a series of old

Noel Redding, bass player with the Jimi

weddings. Kela & Stephen have

farm buildings and the overgrown

Hendrix Experience, called Dunowen

furnished the house with everything

one acre walled garden and orchard.

House home, where he entertained

you need for a luxury stay and are

Dunowen House now operates as a

music legends throughout the 70’s, 80’s

on hand to cater for dinner parties or

luxury vacation rental, welcoming

and 90’s. More recently, Dunowen was

provide personalized guided tours of

groups of up to 23 guests at any time

owned by 1980’s popstar Nik Kershaw.

the area and plenty of recommendations

throughout the year. With the added

Kela and Stephen have dedicated a

on things to do and see.

benefit of optional private catering and

large room in the house to various

Whether you are a party of two,

concierge services, offered by Kela and

rock and roll memorabilia linked to

looking for a romantic escape in the

Stephen onsite, guests get the benefits

Noel and Jimi Hendrix, specifically

picture postcard Orchard Cottage,

of a five star hotel experience and

original concert posters, vintage

or a group of 20 looking for a

the exclusivity of having a country

magazines and music. The memorabilia

relaxing multi-generational family

house estate all to themselves.

gives the house a real luxury rock

holiday or special celebration event,

and roll vibe and is always a source of

Dunowen House is the place to

Real Rock & Roll History

enjoyment to guests while they stay.

experience laid back luxury and the

Originally built in the late 1700’s by

A Dunowen House Welcome:

warmest of West Cork welcomes.

Captain George Sandes, Dunowen

Since opening, Dunowen has welcomed

Go Wild Magazine - Summer Edition 2017

- 26 -

Bridging the best of Ireland’s West tel: +353 (0)65 9053124


“Go Wild magazine has been a strong advocate for the Wild Atlantic Way since its inception and without fail features some aspect of the touring route in each publication that really brings the proposition of the Wild Atlantic Way to life” Fiona Monaghan

Fiona Monaghan, Fáilte Ireland She explains: “The response to date to this initiative has been very positive and the areas we started working with in 2016 are

The success of the Wild Atlantic Way in the

boards installed at all 188 Discovery Points

already starting to reap benefits. We have

three years since it was first launched is due in

on the route, both on the mainland and the

extended the number of destinations we

no small part to the huge buy-in and support

accessible off-shore islands, Ms Monaghan

are working with this year with the aim of

of the initiative by local communities from

and her team are moving on to the next stage

giving potential visitors more compelling

Inishowen in Donegal down to West Cork,

of evolution to develop world class visitor

reasons to visit the Wild Atlantic Way in

according to Fiona Monaghan, Head of the

experiences to give visitors, both international

the Spring and Autumn in particular.

Wild Atlantic Way with Fáilte Ireland.

and Irish, compelling reasons to visit, not just

“In addition to the tourism businesses along

the Wild Atlantic Way, but specific areas and

“We will be supporting this effort with

destinations along the Wild Atlantic Way.

very significant marketing and advertising

the way, the ownership and pride by the

campaigns to put the Wild Atlantic Way

people who live along the Wild Atlantic

Last year, they worked with a group of

in the spotlight and encourage more

Way has been second to none. It has given

tourism businesses, local communities and key

Irish people to take short breaks out

confidence to these communities to open

stakeholders along the Skellig Coast in South

West in the Spring and Autumn.”

new businesses, expand existing businesses

Kerry to collectively identify and present in

The theme and key message of all the

and generally take pride in their local

a fun and engaging way the key reasons to

advertising is to encourage Irish people to

communities to welcome visitors,” she says.

visit this particular part of the Wild Atlantic

Embrace the Wild Atlantic Way of Life by

Ms Monaghan finds it hard to believe that it

Way. “In addition to identifying great story

taking a holiday along the Wild Atlantic

is only three years since the Wild Atlantic

themes to develop visitor experiences, for

Way and escaping from the daily grind of

Way was launched in the Spring of 2014. She remarks: “Three years on, as we head into the 2017 tourist season, the Wild Atlantic Way

Three years on, as we head into the 2017 tourist season, the Wild Atlantic Way continues to lure visitors, both international and domestic, to Ireland’s dramatic west coast.

continues to lure visitors, both international and domestic, to Ireland’s dramatic west coast. Brand

me personally, the big success of this work

work and routine. The campaign aims to

awareness of the Wild Atlantic Way amongst

was nine individual tourism groups coming

show people having fun with family and

Irish holiday-makers continues to rise and the

together to work collectively to put their

friends and embracing the coastline, nature

new tourist initiative has encouraged more Irish

destination on the map. We are continuing

and culture along the Wild Atlantic Way.

people to take holidays out West and to visit areas

this work with more destinations in 2017.”

that may not previously been on their radar.”

The other big work area that is on the agenda

Ms Monaghan says she has many favourite

for 2017, according to Ms Monaghan, is

places along the Wild Atlantic Way herself

By the end of 2016, the Wild Atlantic Way

working with clusters of businesses and

and hopes to return to many of them again

had contributed 3.8 million overseas bed

destinations to develop new initiatives to

this year, but she also wants to explore some

nights to the West of Ireland and accounted

extend the tourist season by a few weeks

areas that she is not as familiar with.

for €1.9 billion in foreign earnings.

either side of the summer to try and attract

“This year, I have the Beara Peninsula

more businesses to these areas and to

and Dursey Island on my “must visit”

Now that the interpretation and branding of the

ultimately deliver an economic benefit

list as well as climbing Mweelrea in

initiative is complete with Photo Points and story

to these businesses and localities.

County Mayo with my family.”

Go Wild Magazine - Summer Edition 2017

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Escape to the unspoilt beauty of West Cork and the Wild Atlantic Way

AT ECCLES HOTEL GLENGARRIFF YOU’LL DISCOVER THE PERFECT BASE Steeped in 250 years of history and heritage, Eccles Hotel sits at the gateway to the Beara Peninsula with panoramic views over Glengarriff Bay out to the wild Atlantic beyond. Enjoy an oasis of calm and a menu that celebrates the finest seafood, and a bounty of fresh local artisan produce. Then explore everything this wonderful part of the world has to offer. Golfing, walking, cycling, horse riding, fishing, sailing and sightseeing... there’s something here for everyone. To book call +353 (0)27 63003 or visit

Heritage Sites Visit one of the many heritage sites scattered along the South West coast of the Wild Atlantic Way in Cork and Kerry. These sites are of significant importance and part of Ireland’s cultural heritage. Charles Fort Charles Fort is a classic example of a late 17th century star-shaped fort. William Robinson, Architect of the Royal Hospital in Kilmainham, Dublin, and Superintendent of Fortifications, is credited with designing the fort. As one of the largest military installations in the country, Charles Fort has been associated with some of the most momentous events in Irish history. The most significant of these are the Williamite War 1689-91 and

an exact date is not available. It is

the boat operators impose a separate

extremely well preserved and several

charge in respect of the boat journey

archaeological artefacts are to be

to and from the island.

found on the grounds of the Oratory. In close proximity is Gallarus Castle

Desmond Castle

which was built by the FitzGeralds

Desmond Castle was built by the Earl

and is probably 15th century in date.

of Desmond c. 1500. A fine example

It is one of the few surviving castles

of an urban tower house, the castle

on the Dingle peninsula. The four-

consists of a three storey keep with

storey tower has a vaulted ceiling

storehouses to the rear. Originally

on the fourth floor, and none of its

built as a Customs house, the castle

battlements remain.

also served as a prison in the 18th

Ilnacullin (Garnish Island)

century (it is known locally as the French Prison) an ordnance store

Located in the sheltered harbour of

during the Battle of Kinsale (1601)

Glengarriff in Bantry Bay, Ilnacullin

and as a workhouse during the

is a small island of 15 hectares (37

Great Famine. By the early decades

designed by Paul Ive in 1602.

acres) known to horticulturists and

of the 20th Century Desmond

lovers of trees and shrubs all around

castle had fallen into decay. It was

Gallarus Castle & Oratory

the world as an island garden of rare

declared a National Monument in

beauty. The gardens of Ilnacullin

1938. Today Desmond Castle hosts

owe their existence to the creative

the International Museum of Wine

partnership, some eighty years ago,

Exhibition, an intriguing story that

of Annan Bryce, then owner of the

documents the unique history of

island and Harold Peto, architect and

Ireland’s wine links with Europe and

garden designer. Access to the Island

the wider world.

the Civil War 1922-23. Charles Fort was declared a National Monument in 1973. Across the estuary is James Fort

One of the most famous landmarks on the Dingle Peninsula and situated close to Gallarus Castle. The Oratory is completely made of stone and in some way it resembles an upturned boat. Various dates have been suggested for its construction but

Go Wild Magazine - Summer Edition 2017

is by small ferry boats and licensed 60 seater water buses. Please note that

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For more see


Journey to the West coast of Ireland and once you meet the ‘Welcome to Mayo’ sign you’ll know that you have arrived at a unique place. Mayo really is wild and wonderful, with broad magnificent landscapes, storm carved coasts, majestic cliffs and hauntingly beautiful mountains all set beneath massive and awe inspiring skies.

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ayo is steeped in history, home to the Ceide Fields and the first farmers. Widely known as the heartbeat of the Wild Atlantic Way, Mayo boasts the longest coastline of any County in Ireland, and Ireland’s largest island, Achill and highest cliffs. Mayo offers something for everyone, from the history seeker to the religious pilgrim, from the culturally curious to the outdoor adventure enthusiast. And what better way to discover Mayo’s charm than by taking to the great outdoors. The Great Western Greenway connecting Westport to Achill Island offers an award-winning family-friendly biking trail with stunning scenery, historic villages, ancient ruined abbeys, and local artisan food and arts and crafts. Right at the heart of Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way, Mayo embraces the Atlantic Ocean with many of the County’s unforgettable landmarks dotted along its coastline – spiritual Croagh Patrick, sumptuous Clew Bay and Achill’s majestic cliffs. Mayo’s Atlantic coastline is a playground for those with an adventurous spirit, offering world class deep sea fishing, kite surfing, wind surfing, coasteering, kayaking and many beautiful Blue Flag beaches. The Blueway

02 Trails at Old Head, Killary and Achill offer the opportunity to experience world class snorkelling and ocean kayaking. For something a little slower paced Mayo is a haven for walkers and anglers alike, offering a myriad of spectacular walks and journeys including Croagh Patrick and Cong. The rivers Moy, Furnace and Owenmore are internationally renowned for salmon and sea trout angling. The hiker can escape the bustle of urban life by climbing one of our many mountain ranges including Mweelrea, the highest peak in Connaught. At Wild Nephin

and the Ballycroy National Park spring is heralded by the elusive call of the corncrake. Get to grips with its vastness by rambling its highlands, on the Bangor Trail, reaching without sign of civilisation as far as the eye can see. And when you’ve had your fill and are ready to rejoin the human race, or just ready to rest your weary head, the necklace of rural towns and seaside villages of Mayo’s wild heartland offers a true and authentic Céad Míle Fáilte as ageless, authentic and genuine as the wilderness itself. Wild Mayo - Escape, Explore, Enjoy!

03 04

05 01. The spectacular Dun Bhriste Sea stack at Downpatrick Head, Ballycastle.

02. The Crossing – Signature Discovery Point

incorporating the Myth Shrouded “Poll an Sean Tine” blow hole at Downpatrick Head.

03. The beguiling Diaspora Inspired Spirit of

Place Installation on the far western island of Inishturk.

04. Mayo hillwalking - for the adventurous explorer. 05. Wild Atlantic Kayaking off the North Mayo Coast. Go Wild Magazine - Summer Edition 2017

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EXPLORE THE WONDER AND MAJESTY OF MAYO By Peter Stears Etched by the rolling waves since the birth of the island of Ireland, Mayo’s coastline has evolved into a paradise, for walkers, swimmers, surfers, and beachgoers alike.

Old Head. Photo by Peter Stears

I’ve swam with Turtles at Honolulu’s Turtle Bay on the North Shore of the island. I’ve enjoyed dinner al fresco beside glistening waters off the tip of Italy’s south coast but nothing compares to the wonder and majesty that Co. Mayo’s coastline offers the world. Situated in the middle of the Wild Atlantic Way, Mayo’s coastline not only offers spectacular scenery but equally warm and friendly towns dotted along the route, where a decent meal and warm fire to sit around is easy to come by.

Louisburg. Photo by Peter Stears

Set your base camp in Westport, a gorgeous town situated just off Clew Bay where amazing seafood is plentiful and a genuine

For those of you with a thirst for excitement make your way

seaside town atmosphere is easily felt. Offering spectacular sunsets

to Carrowniskey beach where you can hear the roaring

from the harbour with the last glints of sunshine reflecting off

sound of waves crashing down before you see the beach.

Croagh Patrick - this is one town you do not want to miss. Carrowniskey with its stony and sandy surface is known by Twenty-five minutes away from Westport is the town of Louisburgh,

surfers far and wide as Mayo’s Mecca for surfing. Even if you are

a quaint place where many of the sights mentioned in this article

a complete beginner at surfing there are local surfing companies

are located, lies Silver Strand Beach. Encapsulated by rolling

where you can rent boards from and try the waves yourself.

mountains, covered in soft golden soft sand, and crystal clear

Beginner or professional it is an experience that can’t be missed.

water, you cannot help but stop and admire its sheer beauty. If you are lucky enough to be at Carrowniskey in the third week With the sun on your back, Silver Strand is a perfect place for a

of August you might happen upon the Carrowniskey beach

relaxing picnic at the beach. The dunes at this beach are scattered and

horse races. They are a guaranteed great day out for all the

offer fantastic spots to set up a tent and go camping for the night.

family and offer the chance to see a unique sport. The tradition

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If you are feeling particularly brave get to the beach at 7am during the Spring and Summer months and bring your surfboard for a morning surf. Refreshing and clean Atlantic water is guaranteed to keep you invigorated for the rest of the day. Sit at the edge of the water and take in the sheer beauty as the sun rises. Equally so Keel beach offers the most spectacular sunsets illuminating the sky in a gorgeous orange glow that warms the sky as much it does the soul.

Carrowniskey beach. Photo by Peter Stears

The Coast of Mayo offers an extremely unique experience which revived in 2010 after being on hiatus since 1982.

that many of us in Ireland are not aware that we have on our doorstep. The exciting mountainous terrain with Croagh

Oldhead beach has a lot to offer and is fantastic all-rounder.

Patrick looming over many spectacular beaches results

With a golden sandy beach perfect for family days out during

in a beauty that is impossible to summate in words.

the summer and brisk walks during the Spring, a pier perfect for pier jumping, and a not so obvious walking trail for the

Lush green hills, jagged mountain edges, golden sandy

explorer within you, this really is a location for all.

beaches and crystal clear waters are the definition of what Mayo’s Wild Atlantic Way have to offer.

Follow the trail from the beach into Oldhead wood and you will come out right at the edge of the coast. There is an unparalleled sense of freedom here where it seems as if time stops and it is just you and the world. There are very few places that can give you this sense on earth, and even fewer that do it as well as Oldhead. While Mayo enjoys a stunning coastline, it is also steeped in history. One of the most notable connections is to the legendary Pirate Queen of Connaught Gráinne Ó Máille of the 16th century. Revered all around the coast of Ireland as a fierce and brave fighter, Gráinne had amassed a sizeable wealth of 1,000 cows and horses through pirating, marriage, and inherited property.

Connemara Mussel Festival

In control of 200 men she was one of the last clan leaders to fight against English soldiers attempting to seize Irish land under Queen Elizabeth the first’s colonisation of Ireland.

From humble beginnings at an impromptu session in Paddy Coyne’s pub that started with a bucket of mussels and a few hungry locals,

Seen today as a figurehead for international feminism, Gráinne

The Connemara Mussel Festival has gone from strength to strength.

lived at Rockfleet Castle after her marriage to Sir Richard

In 2017, the Tullycross, Renvyle, will host the 12th annual festival.

Burke. Upon his death Gráinne remained at the stronghold

While packing the May bank holiday weekend full of craic agus

with her cattle and followers. Situated on an inlet from Clew

ceoil, the Connemara Mussel Festival promotes the uniqueness

Bay, the simplistic beauty of the architecture as well as

of the area, as well as the excellence of Killary Bay mussels.

the calmness of the bay surrounding it is entrancing. 12 years on the festival has become the premier food event of The West coast is without a doubt one of the most

the year in Connemara and celebrates all the region has to offer.

pleasurable driving experiences you will ever have. For

Described as “a feast for the senses”, visitors and locals alike are

the most part you will have mountains to one side of

invited to taste and smell the locally sourced food, see the beauty

you and a huge expanse of sea to the other side.

in the stunning surroundings of one of Ireland’s most famously beautiful settings, hear the laughter and music being played in

No trip to the coast of Mayo can be complete without

pubs throughout the village, and feel an ambiance like no other

visiting the mystical Achill Island, first inhabited 5,000

as you experience the real Connemara lifestyle alongside local

years ago, and which has also experienced the might

residents who are sure to greet you like a long lost friend.

of our very own Pirate Queen Gráinne Ó Máille. This year’s festival will take place from the 28th - 30th of Not only does the island offer spectacularly beautiful views but it

April in Tullycross, for more details, and the full line up of

also rewards us with equally spectacular beaches, one in particular

events taking place, including traditional music sessions,

- Keel beach is a must see. With perfect waves for surfing, Keel

poetry and storytelling evenings and of course, world class

beach is the all-rounder that has something for everybody.

seafood tastings, see

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Breathtaking Moments along the Wild Atlantic Way

There are endless breathtaking moments along the Wild Atlantic Way, but these stunning Signature Discovery Points are some of the most beautiful locations in the country.

Malin Head – Sculpted By The Sea

Fanad Head – Out On The Edge

Rugged Malin Head in Donegal is the country’s most northerly point. Enjoy the region’s wildlife, geology and history as you explore the watchtower at Banba’s Crown, named after a mythical Irish queen. Over millions of years, the wild Atlantic Way has carved dramatic crevices into the rugged headland, such as Hell’s Hole – a long, deep, narrow chasm where the swells below churn and roar.

Fanad Head in Donegal is a wildly exposed headland, home to miles of golden, sandy beach with vigorous waves and a majestic lighthouse to welcome you. Indeed, Ballymastocker Bay was voted the second most beautiful beach in the world by Observer magazine. It’s also the most northerly point of the beautiful Fanad Peninsula. Watch out for grey seals bobbing in the sea, pretty coves and powerful waves crashing across the rocks, maybe even a breaching whale in the distance.

Sliabh Liag (Slieve League) – Towering Vistas

Mullaghmore Head – The Big One

Home to some of the highest accessible sea cliffs in Europe, the Sliabh Liag range on the south west coast of County Donegal is one of the most gorgeous places in Ireland to visit, providing one of the finest views from the Wild Atlantic Way out across the wide expanse of the ocean.

With huge Atlantic rollers of up to 100ft crashing off the coast, the ‘Prowlers’ at Mullaghmore in Sligo attract watersports enthusiasts from all around the world!

Keem Bay – Mystery Island

Downpatrick Head – Local Legend

Keem, a golden stretch of secluded, sandy beach can be found on Ireland’s largest island, Achill, in County Mayo. Nearby you can visit the island’s eerie Deserted Village, abandoned in the early 20th century.

This jagged Mayo headland looms an astonishing 126ft above the crashing Atlantic and is named after the country’s patron saint, Patrick. He founded St. Patrick’s Church here in the fifth century, the ruins of which still stand today.

Killary Harbour – Glacial Beauty

Derrigimlagh – Alluring Landscapes

Killary in Mayo is one of three glacial fjords (an inlet formed by the submergence of formerly glaciated valleys) in Ireland, located in the heart of the country’s famous wild and dramatic Connemara landscape.

The stark and otherworldly blanket bog of Derrigimlagh in Galway has an unusual claim to fame! It was here that pilots Alcock and Brown crashed-landed to safety after completing the world’s first transatlantic flight in 1919.

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Cliffs Of Moher – Magnificent Moher

Loop Head – Steeped In History

Looking out at the wild Atlantic from atop the towering Cliffs of Moher in County Clare is guaranteed to take your breath away. Head to the spectacular O’Brien’s Tower, and gaze out to sea towards the Aran Islands.

Also in Clare, the Loop Head peninsula boasts panoramic cliff views, picturesque seaside villages and a lighthouse that’s served as a beacon for those at sea since 1670. It’s a haunting place, where you can experience huge Atlantic swells smashing into cliffs.

Blasket Islands – Times Gone By

Skelligs – Centuries At Sea

Out on the very edge of Europe, off the Dingle Peninsula in Kerry, lie the mystical Blasket Islands. After many years of hardship and emigration, the last inhabitants left in 1953, and today, you can celebrate their story at the Blasket Centre.

The Skelligs – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – is comprised of two sandstone rocks jutting spectacularly out of the Atlantic Ocean, seven miles off Kerry’s Iveragh Peninsula. These far-flung islands are a sacred 1,300-year-old place of pilgrimage, rich in history.

Dursey Island – Away From It All Dursey Island off the Cork coast is the most westerly of the county’s inhabited islands and home to just three farming families. You can visit via Ireland’s only cable-car service, but bear in mind, sheep and cattle take preference over humans!

Mizen Head – At Ireland’s Teardrop From the craggy clifftop of Mizen Head in Cork (Ireland’s most southwesterly point), you can see imposing Fastnet Lighthouse. It sits on a rock known as ‘Ireland’s Teardrop’, since it was the last sight of Ireland emigrants had as they left during the Great Famine (1845 – 1849).

Old Head Of Kinsale – Feel The Spirit This scenic headland in Cork is home to a picturesque 17thcentury lighthouse and juts more than two miles into the Atlantic. If you fancy a round, visit the world-renowned golf course. A gourmet haven, Kinsale’s vibrant streets and atmosphere are utterly charming.

People of the Wild Atlantic Way Photography Project Shay Hunston is a freelance photographer, who takes black & white portrait photographs of people living in the towns, villages and remote locations of the Wild Atlantic Way. He explores locals against their stunning diverse and ancient landscape set against the vastness of the Atlantic Ocean.

ChloĂŠ Lee , Clonakilt

In each town and village Shay is staging exhibitions of the photographs in the shop windows, turning the streets into an open gallery. The following photos are from his Exhibition at Cork Airport.

Clodagh Murray, Kinsale, West Cork

y, West Cor k

est Cork h Hyne, W ane, Loug Neilie Boh

Go Wild Magazine - Summer Edition 2017

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Patrick D ea

sy, Clona kilt

y, West Cor k




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, e v i t c A t e G d l i W Go Clair Collins and Louise Morrissey will inspire you to get active along the Wild Atlantic Way

If dumbbells and edamame beans don’t

cardio and toning, try your hand at

Burren region and sand and shale cliffs

inspire you, then turn exercise into an

kayaking or canoeing.

Whether you’re

of Liscannor Bay. I don’t think you could

exhilarating day out on the Wild Atlantic

new to the paddle or a seasoned expert,

talk about kayaking in Ireland without

Way, which abounds with opportunities

these excursions offer a thrilling chance

mentioning Jim Kennedy of the award

to test your skill, stamina and endurance,

to explore the Wild Atlantic Way. From

winning Atlantic Sea Kayaking in West

whatever your current level of fitness

the Northern Headlands all the way down

Cork. The Kennedy family offer a range of

may be.

to the Haven Coast in the south, there are

training courses and excursions including

so many amazing places that will entice

urban  kayaking, starlight/moonlight kayak

you into the waters blue.

and dawn bird chorus kayak trips just to

Nothing makes exercise more enjoyable than doing it in beautiful surroundings.

name a few. 

Along the length of the magnificent

Kayaking refers to any enclosed boat with

2500km coastline of the Wild Atlantic Way

a double paddle, while canoeing is an open

Climb to new heights

you will find everything from abseiling to

boat with a single paddle. Once you get the

Get your heart pumping and give your

hill walking, mountaineering, coasteering,

knack and rhythm of paddling to whoosh

exercise regime an injection of adrenaline

rock climbing, sea stack climbing, open

yourself along the waters, you can keep

on a rock climbing excursion. More and



an eye out for some of the region’s coastal

more of these activities are opening up,


wildlife ranging from seals, dolphins and

either along natural rocky outcrops or in

basking sharks.

purpose designed activity centres.

games, quasar, windsurfing, kayaking,

The charming fishing village of Doolin

Some great places to scale new heights

motorsports, paragliding, and canoeing –

in Clare is a top spot for kayak based

include Lahinch Adventures, which offers

it’s tiring just listing them all!

excursions. North Clare Sea Kayaking take

Rock Climbing for beginners and Ballyryan

people out on adventure trips to hidden

on the edge of the Burren for experienced

Paddle your own canoe…or kayak

coves and bays, to private islands and

climbers.  Meanwhile Outdoors Ireland

If you want to do an exercise that combines

beaches along the limestone cliffs of the

offers mountain and rock climbing on







caving & pot-holing, sailing, surfing, horse riding and treking, high ropes, laser combat

Go Wild Magazine - Summer Edition 2017

- 40 -

sandstone cliffs in the glaciated Gap of

yourself, you will only be a stone’s throw


Dunloe, just outside Killarney Co. Kerry.

away from an opportunity to embrace

Famous spots to surf include: Achill

your inner fish. Go off grid on Donegal’s

Island Co. Mayo, Mullaghamore Head and

Marathon Man or Woman

remote Silver Strand on the Slieve League

Strandhill Beach Co. Sligo, Bundoran Co.

Participating in a marathon is one of those

peninsula. Hemmed in by surrounding hills

Donegal, Spanish Point, Lahinch Beach and

grand achievements that you might aspire

and cliffs this one is for those seeking out

White Strand Beaches in Co. Clare.

to tick off a bucket list, or if you already

the tranquillity of the region. Or fall in

have the running bug why not plan your

love with the famous Inchydoney beach in

Under Water Adventures

Wild Atlantic trip around an Irish marathon

Cork, which is a favourite spot for locals

For those of you who are somewhat

or half marathon. Once such option is the

and visitors alike.

challenged in the balance department,

Irish Examiner Cork City Marathon which

underwater adventures might be a better

takes place on Sunday 4th of June 2017

Surfs Up

option. Snorkelling and scuba diving along

and with full marathon, half marathon,

Take the plunge and try your hand at

the coast is getting increasingly popular for

relay, inter services and youth challenges

surfing. You can surf almost the entire

novices and experts alike! Scubadive West,

all incorporated there is something for

western seaboard. From the big swells of

based in the heart of Connemara, is a great

everyone and all levels of fitness. See www.

the north, right down to Aileen’s Wave and

spot for getting in on the action. For the . Alternatively if you

the gentle pace of Cork, the west coast of

rookies, the indoor dive centre and expert

want to plan for something further out

Ireland is a surfer’s playground. 

tuition will guide you on your way and

,then Galway will host their 10k/ half and

You too can feel the invigorating spray of

have you itching to get out in the open sea,

full marathon event on 7th October 2017

the Atlantic, the rippling waves and ocean

while the thrill seekers are also catered for

swells, no matter what your level is. Some

with expeditions to world class dive sites

of our biggest waves are without a doubt

like the wreck of the Julia T - making for a

 Take a Dip

best left to daring professionals but there

truly surreal experience.

To soothe those aching muscles after a day’s

are many coastal locations which offer

hike, why not take a dip in the invigorating

surf schools for novice and intermediate

Get on your bike

waters of the Atlantic Ocean? Each county

surfers. Surfing is a real adrenaline sport

Those of you not prepared to get your

along the route is spoiled for choice with

and in terms of exercise it’s great for

flippers on but still looking for some

spots to swim so no matter where you find

strengthening core muscles and improving

excitement in your workout should try

Kilkee pollock hole splash. Image Failte Ireland

Cliffs of Moher. Image Chris Hill

Rosses Point Sligo. Image Alison Crummy

Beara way. Image Chris Hill

Go Wild Magazine - Summer Edition 2017

- 41 -

Cycle the Great Western Greenway with Clew Bay Bike Hire

your hands at some of Ireland’s extensive

missed - a rocky, boggy and remote 100km

bike trails. The dramatic landscapes,

trail offering panoramic views, jagged

patchwork fields, winding trails and

coastlines, barren cliffs and empty beaches.

Discover the beauty of Ireland’s west with

charming villages of the West coast all

Just remember to pack your puncture

Clew Bay Bike Hire on the Great Western

lend themselves to a fantastic two wheeled

repair kit!

Greenway – take in panoramic views of Clew Bay, the rugged Atlantic Coast and

adrenaline adventure that will burn lots of calories.

The Wild Atlantic Way provides endless

The Nephin Mountain range while cycling

opportunities to stay active and won’t

through active farmland.

From a leisurely ride through rolling

ever feel like an obligation. There are

countryside to a more challenging mountain

literally hundreds of possible activities to

This multi award winning adventure

track experience, the Wild Atlantic Way has

suit every interest or ability. So get away


got you covered. There are numerous bike

from the hustle and bustle of daily life, fill

Westport Quay, Newport, Mulranny and

rental facilities and mapped trails along the

your lungs with fresh air and then stop

Achill Sound so they are never far away

way. The stunning scenery will keep you

off in a village pub for the creamiest of

should you need them. The most popular

pedalling just to see what’s around the next

pints (you’ve earned the calories) and the

option for the trail is their outbound

bend and the villages along the route will

liveliest of traditional music.

shuttle bus which departs daily from



in Westport,

provide a respite for those needing to catch

Westport to Achill Sound at 09:30am and

their breaths – and a pint!


Cycling this direction allows

you to have the wind at your back with a downhill gradient.

For an inspiring cycle, head for the Great Western Greenway. This route follows a former railway line from Westport to

If you fancy getting out onto Clew Bay,

Achill and is one of the longest traffic

they also offer guided Sea Kayaking tours to

free off-road cycling trail in Ireland. Other

the public with tours for complete beginners

popular routes include the Ring of Kerry,

to the experienced paddler, all equipment is






Surfing. Cork. Image Brian Morrison

provided and no experience is necessary.

Appalachian Trail is also one not to be

BenEFIts of being active outside •

Improved mood.

You burn more calories, because varied terrains and weather put different demands on your body than working out indoors does.

Helps you stay in shape and improves the health of your heart.

Boosts energy levels.

Helps you sleep better.

Boosts vitamin D, helping to prevent osteoporosis, or thinning of the bones.

Wild Atlantic Way, Swim. Image LukaszWarzecha

Views of the WAW. Image Lukasz Warzecha

Go Wild Magazine - Summer Edition 2017

Allows you to enjoy different scenery

Rosses Point Sligo. Image Alison Crummy

- 42 -

Clew Bay Bike Hire Ltd.

Clew Bay Bike Hire: +353 (0)9824818 Clew Bay Kayaking: +353 (0)9837675 Email:

e h t er ov c Dis n er t s e W Great ! y a w n e e r G

Clew Bay Bike Hire Ltd. Westport, Westport Quay, Newport, Mulranny, and Achill Co Mayo, Ireland

Clew Bay Bike Hire: +353 (0)9824818 Clew Bay Kayaking: +353 (0)9837675 Mobile: +353 (0)857030177 Email:

NEW INLAND Driving Routes here are two exciting new self-drive touring routes branching off the Wild Atlantic Way - The Shannon Estuary Drive and the Burren Drive.

Taking in Limerick City, Kilcornan, Askeaton, Foynes, Tarbert, Killimer, Labasheeda, Killydysert, Clarecastle, Bunratty and returning to Limerick City. A distance of 207km (135 miles), approximately.

Burren Drive This circular route of 257km (160 miles) takes in a large portion of the Clare coastline starting in Limerick City. The north western corner of County Clare, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean and the quieter waters of Galway Bay, is a rock gar-

Burren scape Dolmen. Image Chris Hill

around Black Head watch out for the little lighthouse below the road and the distant hills of Connemara across Galway Bay. A few kilometres westward lies the charming coastal village of Ballyvaughan, a perfect spot to break your journey and to explore the Aillwee Cave. From Aillwee the road south will bring you past the ancient monuments of The Poulnabrone Dolmen and Caherconnell Stone Fort. You could also visit the delightful Burren Perfumery in Carran for an extra sensory experience. To the south of Poulnabrone the ruins of Lemaneh Castle stand by the roadside. Bunratty Castle. Image Failte Ireland

The Burren Beauty (purple drive) takes in Kilfenora, Lisdoonvarna, Fanore, Black Head, Ballyvaughan, Carran and returning to Kilfenora. A distance of 68km (42 miles), approximately.

Route can be travelled in any direction and from any starting point. Map illustrations are intended as a guide only and routes should be travelled in conjunction with reference to a good road map of Ireland.

The Shannon Estuary Drive


den of no ordinary proportions. The Burren extends over more than a hundred square miles and most of it is bare, pale grey limestone.

choice of accommodation and fine dining.

A right turn there would bring you back to Kilfenora completing the circuit. But the left turn sets you on the way to Ennis. Passing the beautiful Lough Inchiquin you come to Corofin where the Clare Heritage Centre offers a genealogical research service. Round off your trip in Ennis where you’ll have your

Here you’ll find delightful towns and villages and world famous shore fishing sites. Relive the pioneering days of transatlantic aviation in the Flying Boat Museum in Foynes, home of the Irish Coffee drink. Further west, just over the Kerry border in Tarbert, you can journey across the Shannon Estuary to County Clare by ferry. While crossing, watch out for the bottlenose dolphins that live in the Shannon Estuary. You disembark in Killimer and head east along the shoreline to the pretty waterside villages of Labasheeda and Kildysart.

Foynes Flying Boat Museum. Image Carsten Krieger

The drive north eastwards will bring you to Clarecastle where you can divert a few kilometres north to the very attractive town of Ennis, the capital town of County Clare.

Your route encircles the Burren, beginning at the ancient cathedral town of Kilfenora with its excellent Burren Interpretive Centre.

Turning south your return journey to Limerick City brings you past Shannon Airport and one of Ireland’s favourite tourist destinations, Bunratty village. Bunratty Folk Park recreates rural and urban life in 19th century Victorian Ireland while 15th century Bunratty Castle reveals the power struggles in Clare’s past. Here too you will find excellent shopping and dining opportunities.

The road westward leads through the spa town of Lisdoonvarna. Signposts for Fanore and Black Head show the way to the coast. Stop anywhere and enjoy the Atlantic air and amazing landscape. When travelling

And finally a short drive south brings you to Cratloe Woods where you can stretch your legs and admire the view before returning to Limerick City. For more see

Go Wild Magazine - Summer Edition 2017

Ennis. Image Brian Morrison

- 44 -

Kylemore Abbey & Victorian Walled Garden


estate boasting ‘all the innovations

all over the world come to Kylemore

of the modern age’. An enlightened

to perform in the beautiful neo-Gothic

landlord and vocal advocate of the

Church. Take a seat at one of these lunch

Irish people, Henry poured his life’s

time performances for a truly magical

energy into creating an estate that

experience. History talks take place three

showcased what could be achieved in

times a day in the Abbey and private

the remote wilds of Connemara. Today

tours and hikes are available to pre-book.

Kylemore Abbey is owned and run by

Don’t forget to make a wish at the Giants

the Benedictine community who have

Wishing stone and have a peak though

been in residence here since 1920. The

the windows of our Chocolate Kitchen!

ylemore Abbey and Victorian

nuns ran a well-loved boarding school at

Browse our Craft and Design Shop for

Walled Garden, just one hour from

Kylemore from 1922 until 2010.

unique gifts including Kylemore Abbey Pottery and award winning chocolates

Galway is one of Ireland’s top tourist attractions. Kylemore Castle was built

Come to Kylemore and experience

handmade by the Benedictine nuns.

in the late 1800s by Mitchell Henry MP,

woodland and lake shore walks,

Discover the beauty, history and romance

a wealthy business man and liberal

magnificent buildings and Ireland’s

of Ireland’s most intriguing estate in the

politician. Inspired by his love for his

largest Walled Garden! Enjoy wholesome

heart of the Connemara countryside.

wife Margaret, and his hopes for his

food and delicious home-baking in our

beloved Ireland, Henry created an

Café or Garden Tea House. Choirs from

Come and see our beautiful 1,000 acre estate • 6 Acre Victorian Walled Garden • Restored Rooms in the Abbey • Gothic Church Phone: 095 52001


A • History Talks and Guided Tours • Woodland & Lakeshore Walks • Café & Tea House: Craft & Design Shop





Clonakilty ¥ Named ‘top town’ in UK and Ireland

coastal town in the heart


winning seaside town with

of West Cork, recently

colourful buildings, famous

won The Great Town award

for its community spirit,

at the 2017 Urbanism Awards

history, blue flag beaches,

Ceremony, ahead of more than

award winning food producers

40 other shortlisted towns in

& restaurants as well as an

Ireland and the UK.

internationally renowned music

lonakility, a beautiful

‘The quality of the town centre and the town’s location close to

Clonakilty is a multi-award


the sea and beautiful beaches

Gorgeous Food:

make it an attractive place

A wander through Clonakilty’s

to live, do business and visit.

buzzing Friday market is

Clonakilty is a good example of

a good starting point to

those three elements coming

understanding the food culture

together in a sustainable

which infuses the town’s many

way that celebrates local

restaurants, hotels, pubs and

distinctiveness – tradition,

food outlets. Local organic

entrepreneurialism and a

farmers, cheesemakers, foragers,

strong sense of local pride.’

fishmongers, bakers and coffee

The town was also credited for

roasters jostle shoulder by

being particularly welcoming

shoulder with procurers of exotic

and embracing new ideas and

treats from Europe and the East.

concept wholeheartedly.

The fact that many Clonakilty

Go Wild Magazine - Summer Edition 2017

- 46 -

restauranteurs can be found running around the market on a Friday hints at things to come, as do the many awards which can be seen outside restaurant doors, from Michelin, Bridgestone, Georgina Campbell, Lucinda O’Sullivan, Bord Bia, BIM, and many others. If you’re inspired to improve your kitchen skills, there are plenty of cookery courses, and you’ll find beautiful ware on which to serve it in one of their many craft and homewares shops. Clonakilty was Ireland’s first Fair Trade town, and is now part of the Cittaslow movement. This is an organisation which promotes taking time to think about and enjoy everything we do, and respecting seasonality and authenticity in our food.

Music & Festivals


is the aptly named Long Strand. A mile and a half of sand

Music is considered the life blood of every Irish person; it informs

Clonakilty also has numerous

bounded by waves of dunes this

our culture, our history, how we

festivals throughout the

is the perfect place to stretch

socialise & even how we speak.

year, including the Clonakilty

your legs and breathe in the

Clonakilty in particular has a

Agricultural Show, the Clonakilty

fresh Atlantic air. The top end is

special affinity for this magical

Bicycle Festival, the Ultra

a haven for surfers but the rest of


Marathon, and the Clonakilty

the beach is unsafe for bathing

International Guitar Festival to

due to a dangerous undertow.

name but a few.

Red Strand: Dotted with rock

Whether it’s traditional sessions in Clon’s many pubs, local and

pools, the Red Strand is only

international acts in its venues,


gigs at world famous DeBarras

Clonakilty has a well-deserved

and offers a wonderful tranquil

Folk Club, Shanley’s Piano Bar

reputation for some of the most

spot for the whole family.

or one of the many festivals

beautiful sandy beaches in

happening throughout the year,

Ireland. For families, walkers,

Owenahincha: This popular

Clonakilty has something for all

surfers and bathers, there is

family beach backing onto sand

music fans.

something for everyone to enjoy.

dunes is located approximately 7

Explore the beautiful & accessible

miles from Clonakilty. Here you

In 1972 a unique event occurred

coastline to find your own secret

can get the best of two beaches

in ‘Clon’ that would cement this

cove our just visit these popular

by taking the short walk over the

relationship forever. Tired and


cliffs to The Warren, Rosscarbery

minutes from the Long Strand

while taking in the incredible

down beat from his ongoing professional disputes with the

Inchydoney: The Blue Flag

sea views. Owenahincha is only

music industry, Noel Redding the

beach at Inchydoney Island, just

minutes away from Castlefreke

original Bass player with ‘The

a few miles from Clonakilty, is

woods and the ‘TidyVillage’ of

Hendrix Experience’ re-located

renowned not only as one of the

Rathbarry with shop, pub, water

to West Cork.

most family friendly beaches

wheel and pot bellied pig!.

in West Cork, but also as one of With Clonakilty as his home for

the most beautiful. With vast

Interesting coves and inlets

the next 27 years of his life, Noel

expanses of sand, dunes and

abound along the West Cork

attracted many other musical

excellent surfing conditions

coastline around Clonakilty, too

legends to this seaside town,

there really is something for

numerous to name, but finding

including David Bowie, Eric Bell


just some of them is all part of the magic of this picturesque

(Thin Lizzy), Paul McCartney, Donovan, Paddy Keenan (the

Long Strand: About 15 minutes

Bothy Band), Roy Harper, Mitch

from Clonakilty and looking out

Mitchell (the Hendrix Experience

over the Galley Head lighthouse

Go Wild Magazine - Summer Edition 2017

- 47 -

coastal location For more see

Warren Beach

Rugged Rosscarbery Just a stones throw from Clonakilty,

Celtic Ross Hotel, aerial

Rosscarbery is a small historic town set in picturesque surroundings overlooking a sandy inlet of the rugged West Cork coastline. The town grew up around a monastery, which was established by St. Fachtna in the latter half of the sixth century. It is now a peaceful place with an attractive Square and nicely decorated buildings with traditional shop fronts. The wide variety of amenities for young and old within walking distance of the town make

bathing and golden sands and are all

For families, a trip to the Lagoon Activity

Rosscarbery an ideal tourist centre.

close by. The more energetic are spoiled

Centre is a must, here you will be able to

for choice with two links style Pitch

rent a kayak, take the kids pedal boating,

For those who just want to relax, the

and Putt courses at the Warren Beach,

try your hand at stand-up paddle boarding

Blue Flag Warren Beach, Owenahincha

or golfers may improve their swing or

(SUP) or for the less adventurous, simply

Beach and the Long Strand offer safe

putting at the local Driving Range.

relax on the over water deck and pier and

We love local produce!

Method 1.

Cut the Baby Potatoes in half and put

Enjoy this recipe with a fresh,

Recipe from the Celtic Ross Hotel:

them onto a roasting tray and drizzle

crisp glass of white wine.

Pan Fried Lemon Sole with a Seaweed

with some olive oil and add the chopped

Butter and Roasted Baby Potatoes

garlic, season with salt and pepper

Thank you to Alex Petit, Head Chef of

Recipe supplied by Alex Petit, Head

and toss them to coat evenly, cook in a

the Celtic Ross Hotel, for this delicious

preheated oven for about 25 minutes.

recipe. Originally from Brittany, Northern

10 minutes before cooking time

France, he has won the hearts and bellies

for potatoes is up, mix the flour

of loyal customers and tourists alike and


with seasoned salt and pepper in a

has achieved honourable mentions in

8 Lemon Sole Fillets

shallow dish and dredge the lemon

renowned guides including John and Sally

½ cup flour

sole fillets in the flour mixture.

Mc Kenna’s guide and the AA hotel guide.

Seasoning of salt and white pepper

7 tbsp. butter

½ lemon freshly squeezed

2 tbsp. dehydrated seaweed

Chef at the Celtic Ross Hotel (Serves 4)

(Wakame, Wrack)


3. 4. 5.

Heat a large non-stick frying pan with a drizzle of olive oil over high heat.

Inspired by his travels and his French

Sauté the fillets, cooking them on

roots, Alex is constantly developing fresh

each side until just cooked through

concepts, becoming a main influencer in

Add in the remaining butter and

the West Cork culinary market. Alex Petit’s

12 Baby Potatoes

the dehydrated seaweed and cook

cooking ethos: Locally sourced ingredients,

3 Cloves garlic chopped

until golden in colour, add in lemon

supporting small producers, respect of

Olive oil

juice, bring to a rapid simmer.

the product, freshness and consistency.


Serve immediately with the roasted baby potatoes and a side salad.

Go Wild Magazine - Summer Edition 2017

- 48 -

Rosscarbery is a walker’s paradise, with lots of quiet rural lanes running through scenic countryside with breath-taking views of land and sea. Discovering the hidden treasures of this unspoilt West Cork area is an enriching experience. There are many reasons why Ross is not

Roscarberry Town

quite like any other place - it begins enjoy some fresh coffee in the beach hut

great favourites with bird watchers

with the people. All this coupled with

cafe- whilst the children’s playground

as large numbers of duck, waders, sea

first class accommodation, restaurants,

and tennis courts are just nearby. There is

and migratory birds are to be seen,

pubs in congenial surroundings make

also Smugglers Cove Adventure Centre,

the area has a wonderful number of

Rosscarbery a unique Holiday Centre.

with adventure golf and the adventure

different wildlife plants and animals.

maze. Younger adventurers will be

For the archaeologist, the area around

Where to stay: Celtic Ross Hotel

kept busy finding hidden objects and

Rosscarbery in West Cork has numerous

This family-owned hotel is superbly

for the older explorer, there are puzzles

megalithic tombs, stone circles and

located overlooking Rosscarbery Bay and

to solve and finger mazes to work out

standing stones in the area - Drombeg

Galley Head, with the historic Cathedral

as you travel through the maze.

Stone Circle being the most famous. For

town of Rosscarbery on its doorstep. The

the historian, there are many places to

hotel offers a wonderful range of facilities

For the angler, Rosscarbery offers

visit - such a s St. Fachtna’s Cathedral,

combined with a warm welcome and

estuary, rock, deep sea and fresh water

Castlefreke, Coppinger’s Court and

relaxing ambience in a fantastic coastal

fishing - with bait in plentiful supply.

birthplaces of Gen. Michael Collins and


Rosscarbery’s Estuary and Lagoon are

O’Donovan Rossa to name but a few.

Enjoy our breathtaking setting and a warm Irish welcome

the run hh

The Lake Hotel : Lake Shore : Muckross Road : Killarney : Co. Kerry : Ireland : Reservations +353 (0) 64 66 31035 :

Seafoods of the Wild Atlantic Way By Michelle McDonagh Food and travel writer John McKenna talks to Go Wild about the huge potential for the Wild Atlantic Way’s seafood industry to grow into the future.


t’s over 25 years since John and Sally McKenna discovered the first generation

of the brilliantly creative food artisans who underpin Ireland’s food culture. Through their travels around the country, the couple found out that there was a “subterranean food culture blossoming throughout Ireland”, a world where talented folk crafted cheeses, smoked fish, grew crops organically, looked after rare-breed animals, ran great butcher’s shops and little bakeries. “And since then, the health and wealth of Ireland’s regional artisan economy has grown in a way that we could never have predicted. In areas where there used to be no choice — beer, bacon, bread, gin, pubs, chocolate — today we all can experience the paradox of choice. Will I have this bean-to-bar chocolate? or this IPA? or this craft gin? or this loaf of sourdough bread? or this sea salt ice cream?,” John remarks. Going back only ten years ago, it was hard to get a good cup of coffee in Ireland, says John, pointing out that you can go anywhere in the country today and enjoy a world class level of coffee roasting and barista skills. He believes that just like coffee and sour dough bread, the untapped resource of Ireland’s seafood could really take off over the next decade. Gourmet Food and Wine Weekend Connemara Following the success of the inaugural Wild Atlantic Way Culinary Weekend in 2016, Renvyle House Hotel in Connemara are running a Seafoods of the Wild Atlantic Way Gourmet Food and Wine Weekend from March 3 to 5, 2017. The weekend will include cookery demonstrations from John and Sally McKenna and Euro-toques Executive Chef

Go Wild Magazine - Summer Edition 2017

Tim O’Sullivan, as well as demonstrations on filleting and preparing different varieties of fish. Sally McKenna will also host a field trip on sourcing and finding food along the seashore. “The idea is to show people what a rich resource of seafood we have, of unique quality, all along the West coast, and how to cook fish and shellfish and pair it with the right wines and beers to get a world class experience. Many people still lack confidence when it comes to cooking seafood and shellfish.” Find a good fishmonger When it comes to buying fish, John stresses the importance of finding a good fishmonger who can advise you on which fish is at its best at that particular time of the season. Don’t make your mind up until you go into the fish shop, he advises, as your objective should be to get the best fish at its best time. “The difference can be really striking in terms of eating fish at its optimal time in season, it can be revelatory. We all know we should only eat oysters when there is a R in the month as the summer months mark spawning season and they are not so good, but different fish present in a perfect state at different times.

- 50 -

John McKenna Talks to Go Wild Magazine

I bought haddock on Saturday which was

John would like to see different parts of the

sublime, but plaice at the wrong time of the

Wild Atlantic Way promoting their own unique

year is frankly disappointing.”

local fish like Donegal’s gurnard and Galway’s

John points to Stephane Griesbach of Gannets

Sweaty Betty (Greater Forked Beard).

Fishmongers in Galway as an example of a

“The restaurants we write about on the Wild

great fishmonger with expert knowledge of

Atantic Way are very distinctive and I like the

the product he sells. He hopes that as the Wild

fact that the food changes depending on the

Atlantic Way develops, the standard of all fish

county. Kinsale, Galway and Westport are very

shops will improve.

well organised in terms of food, but Dingle is

Cold water produces better fish

really the gold standard. During their annual

“Our seafood is a really precious resource

Food Festival, there are no fewer than 76

that should be protected. When I take

places where you can go for a bite of food or a

Australians out to dinner here, they can’t

drink in a place that’s not much bigger than a

believe the quality of our fish. We are lucky to

village,” he says.

be surrounded by the Atlantic as cold water produces a better quality fish.”

Go Wild Magazine - Summer Edition 2017

- 51 -

’ e l b a s s i m n u ‘ e Th g n i R g i l Skel NEED Some EXCITEMENT!

Derrynane. Kerry. Image Failte Ireland

Voted Top 10 Best in Travel 2017 by Lonely Planet At the southwest tip of the Wild Atlantic Way lies the beautiful Skellig Ring. An extension

This week, it was named of theRing Top 10 on Valentia. Such is the diversity of Valentia of the one famous of Kerry, here you’ll find a magnificent coastal drive, an extraordinary Best Places to travel to in 2017 by Lonely Island, the most point of the UNESCO World Heritage Site and the location for the dramatic final scene of Starwesterly Wars the Planet. So, what’s got everyone talking continent of Europe, which is linked to the Force Awakens. about the “unmissable” Skellig Ring? mainland at Portmagee. The scenic and little-travelled 18km route links the picturesque fishing village of Make sure you also stroll through Portmagee, with the wonderful Valentia picturesque Waterville and travel to Island (accessed by ferry and bridge) and Derrynane House, ancestral home of historic Skellig Islands, Portmagee landscape. the famous seaside Waterville village via statesman Daniel O’Connell. Image Failte Ireland a Gaeltacht (Irish-speaking) area centred on Ballinskelligs. Many undertake it as a The Blue Flag beach in Ballinskelligs, a Michael, the Blasket Islands and Dingle detour from the Ring of Kerry, but it’s a Gaeltacht (Irish-speaking) village, is another Peninsula. wonderful destination in its own right. fantastic place to visit - home to the Caifé Cois Trá, a local meeting place that hosts a Valentia Island is a mustcountry market every Sunday (11am to 4pm) The area is wild and beautiful, with the ragged outline of visit. In 1993 a Swiss geology from June to August. Skellig Michael never far from view, which became infamous student, Iwan Stossel, after its appearance on Star Wars: The Force Awakens. discovered “Tetrapod” Elsewhere on the Skellig Ring you’ll find trackway fossil footprints on rocks on This dramatic island housed a remote historic resorts, colourful houses, walking Valentia Island which were formed 385 monastery between the 6th and 12th trails and a history that takes in ancient million years ago. Tetrapod footprints are the centuries and is now an important site for vertebrates and the transatlantic telegraph. oldest evidence in the world of four-legged puffins, gannets and guillemots. vertebrates walking on land that eventually evolved into man. Visit the Skellig Experience Visitor Centre,

which features exhibitions on the unique wildlife and archaeology of the Skellig Islands. Continue on to the Signature Point Skellig View, at the southern tip of Valentia Island, for an enjoyable two-kilometre stroll and stunning cliff-top views of Skellig

Go Wild Magazine - Summer Edition 2017

On the 13th of July 2007 about 500 yards from the Tetrapod site, the famous American free solo rock climber, Michael Reardon, lost his life after being swept into the sea by a rogue wave after free climbing Fogher Cliffs

- 52 -

The Skellig Islands. Image Caspar Diederik

Relax in the luxury of home at The Killaloe Hotel where your comfort is our pleasure Situated on the edge of Lough Derg in the heart of Kincora Harbour this luxury 32 bedroom 4* boutique hotel boasts style, comfort and ambience. Where memories are made in unforgettable places, we are all about the top quality food prepared using only the finest fresh and local ingredients served to perfection. Enjoy afternoon tea in our luxurious library or relax with a cocktail and take in the stunning views on our rooftop terrace followed by dinner at our Monk’s Table.

The Killaloe Hotel and Spa, Kincora Harbour, Killaloe, Co. Clare. Ireland. +353 (0)61 376000 | |


PAVI NG TH E WAY F OR TH E TOU RISM I N DUSTRY Lough Derg has received national recognition at the 2017 Irish Tourism Industry Awards.


he Lough Derg Marketing Group (LDMG) was named ‘Best Local Authority Tourism Initiative’ at a gala

event in Dublin at which Minister for Tourism Shane Ross TD was in attendance. It was originally set up to develop Lough Derg as a key visitor destination. Its membership includes Clare County Council, Tipperary County Council, Galway County Council, Waterways Ireland, Inland Fisheries Ireland,

Pictured at the 2017 Irish Tourism Awards.

community development organisations,

L - R Paul Kelly (CEO Failte Ireland), Cllr Bill Chambers (Cathaoirleach, Clare

and business and trade representatives.

Co. Council), Joe Mc Grath (Chief Executive, Tipperary Co. Council), Shane Ross

Organised by the Irish Tourist Industry

TD (Minister for Tourism), Cllr Mattie Ryan (Tipperary Co.Council), Phyll Bugler

Confederation (ITIC), the umbrella group

(Tipperary Co.Council), Aine Mc Carthy (Lough Derg Marketing Group and Gerard

for the tourism industry in Ireland, the

Dollard (Director of Services Economic Development, Clare Co. Council).

Irish Tourism Industry Awards are run in conjunction with Failte Ireland and Tourism

Economic Development, Clare County

will further strengthen the tourism

Ireland. Designed with the intention of

Council, commented, “The LDMG was

product on offer around Lough Derg.”

rewarding innovation and excellence

established to bring a coherent marketing

In late 2016, the LDMG was allocated

in tourism, 14 winners were ultimately

focus to the Lough Derg Catchment

€200,000 by the Department Of Arts,

selected from approximately 250 entries.

area and to establish the Lough Derg

Heritage, Regional, Rural & Gaeltacht

Speaking following the awards ceremony,

brand nationally and internationally.”

Affairs under the Rural Economic

Councillor Bill Chambers, Cathaoirleach

He continued, “Supported by tourism

Development Zones (REDZ) initiative for

of Clare County Council, said, “The Lough

stakeholders in the region, the Group

the marketing, development and promotion

Derg area, which incorporates parts of

has for a number of years delivered its

of The Lough Derg Blueway, which includes

Galway, Clare and Tipperary, is regarded

own Action Plan to develop Lough Derg

the soon to be completed Lough Derg

as one of the country’s most valuable

as a key destination for superb water-

Canoe Trail. The project aims to build

tourism assets. The Lough Derg Marketing

based activities combined with a range

on the existing tourism and recreational

Group, working in collaboration with Failte

of very high quality cycling, walking,

infrastructure as well as improve economic

Ireland and Government, is playing a key

heritage, and culture and food experiences

activity surrounding the Blueway on Lough

role in enhancing visitor access to and

aimed at enticing the domestic and

Derg by working with communities in

awareness of all that the area has to offer.”

international visitor to stay longer. The

the towns and villages in its hinterland.

Gerard Dollard, Director of Services,

development of the Lough Derg Blueway

Go Wild Magazine - Summer Edition 2017

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Ma gazine

 Aillwee Cave and Birds of Prey Centre From a hole in the ground to soaring with Eagles, time spent at Aillwee Cave & Bird of Prey Centre is always enjoyed by all. For three generations Aillwee Cave and Bird of Prey Centre has welcomed visitors to The Burren in County Clare. The family behind the company gives your family a chance to explore its weirdly shaped underworld, enjoy unexpected freedom with majestic Birds of Prey and hone essential survival skills surrounded by hazel and ash trees for shelter. Hear and feel the beat of a falcon’s wing as it swoops. Smell the earthy dampness of a long dried up river bed decorated with twinkling crystalline formations. Challenge yourself by testing your aim or learning how to make fire. Indulge in the tasty rewards of smoky cheese or sweet fudge. Book online for the best value and experience what one customer said was ‘a fantastic forever-remembered day’. Open daily from 10am. For more see

Cliffs of Moher The Cliffs of Moher are one of Ireland’s most popular tourist attractions. Standing 214m at their highest point, they stretch for 8km along the Atlantic coast of County Clare. From the Cliffs on a clear day, one can see the Aran Islands and Galway Bay, as well as the Twelve Pins and the Maum Turk mountains in Connmara, Loop Head to the South and the Dingle Peninsula and Blasket Islands in Kerry. O’Brien’s Tower stands near the highest point and has served as a viewing point for visitors for hundreds of years. Timing

Go Wild Magazine - Summer Edition 2017

s t h g i l h g i H Wild is everything for the real cliffs experience. The Cliffs of Moher welcomed over 1.4 million visitors in 2016, the most ever in a single year. However, success does not come without its challenges and there have been a number of days when they had to turn away visitors when the site reached capacity. They are actively working to manage capacity issues and ensure all our visitors have a pleasant experience. We recommend visiting earlier or later in the day after 4pm when it is less crowded.

Cork City Gaol Cork City Gaol, which is now a major and unique visitor attraction, once housed prisoners in the 19th and early 20th Centuries. Wandering through the wings of the Gaol, accompanied by the shuffling feet of inmates, visitors learn about an important part of Corks Social History. You will get a fascinating insight into day to day prison life at a time when the high walls ensured no escape and denied law abiding citizens the opportunity to see one of the finest examples of Ireland’s architectural heritage. Located 2 km from the centre of Cork City, this magnificent castle-like building is well worth a visit. Doolin Caves Visit the award winning Doolin Cave and visitor centre located outside the village of Doolin in the heart of the Burren in County Clare. Follow in the footsteps of the caves great explorers and re-live their 1952 adventure. The award winning Doolin Cave and visitor centre is home to the

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Great Stalactite. At 7.3 metres (23feet) it is the longest freehanging stalactite in the Northern Hemisphere. The Great Stalactite, suspended from the ceiling like a chandelier, is truly astounding. Visitors can hardly believe that it was formed from a single drop of water over thousands of years. Extend the adventure from underground to over ground following a charming Farmland Nature Trail that takes a looped walk around the cave setting. The nature trail is home to indigenous species of flora along with rare and miniature breeds of animals. Visitors can enjoy delicious home-cooked foods and home-baked cakes in the comfortable surroundings of Doolin Cave Cafe. Doolin Cave pottery, handmade using glacial clay found deep within Doolin Cave, is available in the gift-shop. Open March to December 10am to 6pm, tours on the hour.

Galway City Museum Centrally located behind the famous Spanish Arch, Galway City Museum has three floors of exciting exhibitions showcasing the rich archaeology, history, science and arts of Galway city and hinterland. Complimented by The Kitchen Café which looks out on to some of the finest remains of the city’s medieval wall, Galway City Museum is perfectly located on the banks of the river Corrib. Witness the spectacular views of the Claddagh and Galway Bay

The Coach House Hotel is a Boutique style Hotel is ideally located in the heart of Oranmore village and is renowned for its excellent accommodation and fine dining experiences. The Hotel opened in July 2007, and consists of sixteen modern en-suite bedrooms, a Multi Award winning Italian restaurant “Basilico” and a newly refurbished hotel bar. This Galway Hotel’s location is ideal for the tourist providing easy access to Galway City, Connemara, The Burren, Cliffs of Moher, Aran Islands and Salthill. AA Rosette Awarded Basilico Restaurant SPECIAL OFFERS: Senior citizens are more than welcome all year around. The Coach House Hotel offers special deals for citizens over 55’. Please visit for details. 10% discount applies to accommodation rates other than special deals.

The Coach House Hotel Main Street, Oranmore, Galway, Ireland Tel: 091 788367 / 091 788368 Email: Website:

Highlights where city meets sea form our top floor. Explore prehistoric and medieval Galway through artefacts and interactives on the ground floor. Re-live some of Galway’s greatest sporting moments in GAA: The Three-in-a-Row 1964-66 and soak up its maritime history in The Galway Hooker exhibition. Reflect on wartime Galway through our commemorative exhibitions Revolution in Galway, 19131923, and Galway & the Great War. Coming soon to their science gallery is Sea Science – the Wild Atlantic, due to open in May 2017. This is a must-see for visitors of all ages offering learning through fun and informative displays. Originally developed and commissioned by the Marine Institute Galway for SeaFest 2016 this new interactive exhibition brings you fascinating facts about marine life. Cobh Heritage Centre No trip to Cork would be complete without a visit to Cobh Heritage Centre. Whether you are interested in tracing

your ancestors, learning more about the ill-fated Titanic and the Lusitania, or immersing yourself in Ireland’s naval and military history, Cobh Heritage Centre has it all and lots more. Located in Cobh’s beautifully restored Victorian railway station, there’s lots to do for tourists, families and maritime history enthusiasts. The Exhibition is a must and audio guides are available in different languages. Make sure you also sample the delicious delights in their restaurant. For more see www.cobhheritagecentre. com There’s lots more to see and do in Cobh town, so it’s the perfect day out. See for more. Take a Killaloe River Cruise of the River Shannon and Lough Derg Step on board a Killaloe River Cruise on the idyllic shores of Lough Derg, Ireland’s pleasure lake, for a fantastic tour of Ireland’s finest waterway, The River Shannon. Enjoy stunning sightseeing with breath-taking views of Counties Clare and Tipperary. Killaloe River Cruise passenger

boats are modern, clean, safe and comfortable. To book, contact James Whelan on 0868140559. Aran Islands Knitwear Aran Islands Knitwear has only just opened. Specializing in the highest quality Aran knitwear, gifts, t-shirts, and branded hoodies, the store will also stock exclusive knitwear which has been hand-knitted by locals from the Islands. The store is situated on Inis Mor in Kilronan, the largest of the three Islands. You cannot miss it off the boat – just look out for the thatched roof.

Model Railway Village in Clonakilty

New Chef at Harrys Rosses Point

Athlone Castle Visitor Centre

Take a trip to the West Cork Model Railway

Chef Eva Hourihan will be reopening

Athlone Castle Visitor Centre is a family friendly

Village for a fun and memorable day out on

Harrys in Rosses Point this easter for

attraction at the heart of Ireland along the route

your visit to Clonakilty and West Cork.

hopefully another succesful season. Eva

of Ireland’s Ancient East and on the banks of

Walking into the Model Village you step back

has just returned from North America

the River Shannon. There is something for all

in time and see life as it was in the 1940’s.

where she worked for michelin Star

ages and interests in the modern centre with

See the old West Cork railway line portrayed

chef Steffan Hartmann. Herself and the

interactive displays, a rich display of artefacts,

in delightful miniature serving the towns.

harrys team would like to welcome bobby

games, weapons, dress-up areas and much more.

The models and figurines are handmade

and all readers of Go Wild magazine to

A: Castle Street, Athlone, Westmeath N37

at the Model Village to a scale of 1:24.

the point to sample her new menu.

A6D7 P: 09064 42130 E:

Depicting busy market days, this is a joyful discovery for young and old alike. Relax in their unique tea room set on one of their authentic train carriages with a view of Clonakilty bay or take a tour of Clonakilty town aboard the Choo Choo Road Train.

Go Wild Magazine - Summer Edition 2017

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Rebecca O’Connor is ‘Simply the Best’ World renowned Irish singer Rebecca O Connor brings ‘Simply the Best’ Tina Turner show back to Ireland “Rebecca is so good, it’s scary!” – Tina Turner

Those lucky enough to get tickets should

Are you a Tina Turner fan? If so, get ready

be prepared to stand up in their seats as

to rock, as Rebecca O’Connor is returning to

Rebecca delivers her flawless rendition of

Ireland this summer on her Simply the Best

Tina’s greatest hits, including Nutbush

tour as TINA, following her phenomenally

City Limits, Proud Mary, River Deep,

successful 2016 Irish performances, and she’s

Private Dancer, When the Heartache

stopping along the Wild Atlantic Way!

Is Over, Better Be Good To Me, and of

The powerhouse singer from Cork is the only

course her anthem, Simply the Best.

act in the world who is personally endorsed

If you’re keen to relive the magic of Tina

Tour Dates

by Tina Turner herself, who said ‘Rebecca

Turner you can see Rebecca with her big

Sat May 6th: Cork Opera House

is so good, it’s scary’. Mick Fleetwood of

voice, wild hair, sparkling mini dresses,

Friday May 12th: Town

the legendary Fleetwood Mac, “Rebecca is

red lipstick and stiletto heels do the

an amazing singer and performer, I was

undisputed Queen of Rock n Roll justice

Sat May 13th:Belfast Empire Theatre

mesmerised… a night you’ll never forget.”

on stage, make sure you book early.

Sat May 20th: University

O’Connor has spent the last year on an

Early bird tickets for the tribute shows

incredible worldwide tour including most

are available from the venues’ official

recently headlining the Emirates Dubai Rugby

websites, starting from 20 EUR. Or see

Waterford Sat May 27th.. National

7s in front of 45,000 people per night, which

Facebook @rebeccaoconnorastinaturner

Opera House Wexford

went live to over 200 million TV viewers.

Hall Theatre Galway

Concert Hall Limerick •

Friday May 26th: Theatre Royal

Friday June 2nd: Commodore Hotel, Cobh

ATHLONE CASTLE Discover the history of Athlone, its castle and people through a series of interactive and audio visual exhibitions.

LUAN GALLERY Experience contemporary and traditional visual art in stunning surroundings LUAN GALLERY

Those shoes were made for walking By Michelle McDonagh

The Wild Atlantic Way is home to some of the best coastal hiking trails in the world. The magnificent coastline boasts golden beaches, thrusting headlands and soaring sea cliffs, with walking routes to inspire and challenge, whatever your ability. To truly embrace the feeling of the fresh Atlantic breeze blowing through your hair or the sound of the ocean crashing against the shoreline, you need to leave the car (our tour bus) behind, and get your walking shoes on. It’s all waiting for you, from outstanding scenic treks with views of epic cliffs and thundering surf on deserted beaches, to looped hikes on isolated islands that offer unrivalled ocean vistas - the choice is yours. Much of the best scenery lies off the beaten track and can only be truly appreciated by those who explore on foot, according to Helen Fairbairn, author of Ireland’s Atlantic Way — A Walking Guide. The renowned walking guide author, who explores the best walking routes of the region in her book, points out that as the crow flies, Ireland measures just 450km from north to south. However the west coast is not straight, she notes, but is the most convoluted and indented part of the Irish seaboard. “As with many beautiful landscapes, much of the best scenery lies off the beaten track, and can only be truly appreciated by those who explore on foot. There is simply no other way to reach the top of the country’s highest cliffs or marvel at its most remote beaches except to walk there.

Go Wild Magazine - Summer Edition 2017

Ards Peninsula

I have tried to gather a collection of routes that reflects the wide variety of scenery along the west coast, with the emphasis on wild and beautiful landscapes,” says Ms Fairbairn. Her guide includes island walks, such as Dursey Island in Cork; routes, Tory Island like Slieve League in Donegal, that pass along the top of steep cliffs; and Brandon Mountain in Kerry, one of six routes she considers ‘proper hillwalks’. and North West Adventure Tours. She adds: “Most routes along the Wild Atlantic Way are signposted and in theory, if you joined the Wild Atlantic Way at one end of the country and followed it in its entirety, the signs would take you past every walk in this book.” If you don’t fancy going it alone, there are plenty of companies providing guided walking and hiking tours of the Wild Atlantic Way, taking in the cultural treasures of the region along the way, from ancient sites and sacred peaks to stunning lighthouses and lively villages. They include Hidden Ireland Tours, Footfalls Walking Holidays, Wild Atlantic Way Adventures, Hill Walk Tours

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Here are five of Fáilte Ireland’s recommended hiking routes along the Wild Atlantic Way: APPALACHIAN TRAIL Appalachian Trail is a linear trail in the most north western corner of Ireland covering over 100km. Rocky, boggy and remote, you can enjoy 360 degree panoramas of lush green landscapes, jagged coastlines, barren cliffs and empty beaches. On this wild, rugged and remote trail, you will be surrounded by imposing mountains, coastal scenery and tranquil lakes. With space to breathe, you can really get away from it all.


Slieve League.

Located in the spectacular surroundings of Connemara National Park, you can choose from the Upper or Lower Diamond Hill trail. Both of these way-marked trails wind through heather, bog and grasslands. Let the trails lead you to amazing views of distant harbours, hidden bays, secret inlets, and clusters of desolate islands dotted across the Atlantic Ocean. Easily navigable, the trails offer a tranquil few hours amongst birdlife, coastal scenery and some of the best seascapes of Connemara. DOOLIN CLIFF WALK Doolin Cliff Walk is a 20km coastal cliff path that leads you over the magnificent Cliffs of Moher. Rising to 214m, relish the breathtaking views of the idyllic Aran Islands and scenic Galway Bay. Listen to the crashing waves and rolling surf below, but keep your eye on the track because this challenging and seaward trail is demanding and not for the faint-hearted!. The sea-cliff walk will lead you to the intimate village of Doolin, world-famous for its traditional Irish music, craic and lively atmosphere. Truly one of Europe’s best treks. BEARA WAY Beara Way is a 196km circuit of the south western Beara Peninsula. Brimming with archaeological and historical sites, the peninsula is shrouded in mystical legends. Stop off at stone circles and ring forts, then pause to embrace the sight of spectacular

Go Wild Magazine - Summer Edition 2017

offshore islands. Along the route, pass empty beaches and traditional fishing harbours, and after all that activity, wind your way down narrow roads that lead you right to the door of some of the country’s finest eateries.

walks dotted along the expansive length of the Wild Atlantic Way. Easy to navigate, these walks highlight areas of local interest and beauty and are found in every region. Look out for signposted walks where you can walk amongst breathtaking landscapes, SHEEPS HEAD before returning back to where you Sheep’s Head is tucked right into the started to mingle with locals and south western corner of Ireland and is savour the relaxed pace of the west. one of the most remote hiking spots on Bring a rain jacket and wear good the Wild Atlantic Way, at a total circuit walking shoes, and don’t forget to of 88km. This isolated ridge juts out pack a couple of snacks, water and 21km into the fierce Atlantic coast and a charged mobile phone. There are showcases short and long loops offerlooped walks of the Northern Heading wild scenery, picturesque loughs lands, Surf Coast, Bay Coast, Cliff and trails that pass through deserted Coast, Southern Peninsula and Haven famine settlements, lush farmland and Coast. The Wild Atlantic Way also heathered fields. For more informaoffers gentle walks and coastal walks tion, go to that you might also be interested in. Looped Walks of the Wild Atlantic Way From long hikes to simple strolls, there is an abundance of scenic looped

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To put together your own itinerary, Fáilte Ireland offer a handy online trip planner tool at where you can customise your experience around exciting events and must-see destinations.

Incredible places to Instagram With its abundance of heathered

If you’ve ever questioned the power

hills, pebbled boreens and salt-

of the elements, here’s a headland

washed shores unfurling as far as

that wears the battle scars. A

the eye can see, the temptation to

geological treasure perched

capture each captivating moment

40m above the thrashing ocean,

along the Wild Atlantic Way is

prepare for views that stop you

practically impossible to resist.

in your tracks and invigorating

Achill Is land Pho

to Failte


breezes that will certainly make Just about every corner and coastal

for some windswept hair styles and

crevice reveals something truly beautiful,

atmospheric Instagram posts.

breath-taking or unusual to behold. And with so much inspiration waiting just


around each bend, the Wild Atlantic Way

Home to five idyllic Blue Flag beaches,

Instagram account has become the place

it’s no wonder that Achill Island is

online to visit in order to get a glimpse of

a photographer’s dream. Historic

the wonders, surprises, and little slices

deserted villages, breathtaking

of coastal life that make the route one

cliff-side drives and scenery that

of the most photogenic in the world.

showcases nature’s stunning colour palette, how could you resist?

Cliffs of Moher. Photo by James


Follow along for an exclusive look in at just some of the sensational spots and


scenes around the region that have

A true testament to nature’s raw beauty,

Baltimore and its iconic Baltimore

made avid Instagrammers truly snap-

the Cliffs of Moher and their expansive

Beacon, built after the 1798 Rebellion,

happy, and be sure to check out our

panoramas are simply magnificent.

is a must-visit for those enveloping

selection of some of the best below.

Some 214m above sea level at their

views and warm coastal welcomes.

highest point, on a clear day embrace SLIABH LIAG CLIFFS,

views of the Aran Islands, Dingle


Peninsula, Loop Head and more, not to

Noted for its impressive distinction

mention an array of fascinating birdlife.

For more see

as some of the highest marine cliffs in Europe, at Sliabh Liag


prepare yourself for a panorama

Otherworldly and wonderfully

that never fails to astound.

mysterious owing to their stunning


sea-surrounded location, a glance

Wild and wonderful, these shores are

at any of the Skellig Islands can’t

bona fide adrenaline-pumpers. As

help but make one marvel at the

well as endless vistas of mammoth

strength and determination of the

swells, you can also while away

sixth century monks who settled on

the day watching thrill-seeking

this harsh but heavenly outcrop.

Skellig Is land- Ph oto by C storytra aspar Die vellers derik


surfers and coasteering enthusiasts wrestling with the Atlantic’s might.

BALTIMORE, COUNTY CORK A delightful harbour village that sees


Go Wild Magazine - Summer Edition 2017

weather as serene as it is windswept,

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Collins Bar, Limerick: The ideal location to break your journey Located just off the motorway on the Dooradoyle Road in Limerick, Collins Bar is run by husband and wife team, James and Eileen Collins. The family-friendly bar and restaurant offers an amazing food menu from light bites, tapas and tasting plates, to the full a la carte treatment. The venue caters for all types of events including christenings, charity events and birthday parties, offering an extensive party food menu. James and Eileen opened Collins Bar just before Christmas in December 2004, and the business took off from there. The couple both come from hospitality backgrounds with James’s family involved in the hotel business and Eileen’s family in the pub trade – both born and bred into hard work and both the youngest in their families. They each pursued other careers before finally coming back to Limerick to open their own business in 2004. The food served at Collins Bar is “restaurant quality food in a casual setting” with food choices to suit all appetites. Head Chef Wayne Anderson says: “Our food is modern Irish cuisine, made with locally sourced, fresh ingredients. Everything on the menu is made in our kitchen. We use all local farmers and local fisheries, local fresh grown herbs, signature rubs for steaks and meat, home-cured gravalax and homemade desserts, pastries, scones and bread.” It was the excellent quality of their modern cuisine offered at a reasonable price that helped the Bar scoop the Restaurants Association of Ireland’s Gastro Pub of the Year Award, 2016. With a young and vibrant head chef at the helm who loves to keep up-to-date

Go Wild Magazine - Summer Edition 2017

with the latest trends and is constantly refreshing the menu, the food at Collins Bar is truly unique with a modern Irish slant reflected throughout the menu. When asked how it is working as a husband and wife team, Eileen says: “We are busy people leading a busy life with a young family so there is lots for everyone to do. We complement each other and work well together as a team. We both work hard to ensure we offer the highest of standards to our customers.” The team at Collins Bar blends youth with experience, and most of the senior staff have been working there for some time.

business all the way to the customer who leaves happy,” James remarks. As a councillor with Limerick City and County Council, as well as a business owner, James is enthusiastic about the benefits of the Wild Atlantic Way brand for the local tourism industry. “We are located at N20, Junction 2, which is the main hub for visitors travelling to Clare or Kerry, so we are an ideal destination for Wild Atlantic Way visitors. Easy access on and off the motorway and ample parking makes us the ideal location to break your journey,” he adds.

“We are very customer focused and we pride ourselves in being friendly and attentive.This is reflected in our loyal customer base and repeat business. Front-of-house work as a team with the kitchen and everything works well. When your staff are happy, this reflects throughout the

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INTERNATIONAL INTERACTIVE RUGBY EXPERIENCE TO OPEN IN LIMERICK A digital interactive visitor centre set to open in Limerick in 2019 to celebrate the sport of rugby throughout the world aims to become an international tourist attraction. It is hoped that global strategic partnerships will be developed to promote the rugby experience as an international go-to destination for tourists, sports fans and families alike. The high-tech 30,000 square foot exhibition space located at 40-42 O’Connell Street and No 1 Cecil Street, Limerick, will feature dramatic 4D interactive galleries and exhibits celebrating iconic moments from the world of rugby. The centre will represent an initial investment of €10 million by well known local business man and race horse owner, JP McManus. The international rugby experience will have an advisory board headed by former Munster, Ireland and Lions Captain Paul O’Connell and will include leading figures from the world of sport, business and tourism. The objective of the development is to recognise and celebrate the sport of rugby throughout the world with futuristic and interactive presentations in a state-of-theart setting. Immersive and sensory galleries designed for Irish and international rugby fans will be a top attraction. The planning process is set to commence in the coming months with works anticipated

Go Wild Magazine - Summer Edition 2017

to advance on site in early 2018, and the project could generate up to 100 city centre jobs locally during the construction phase with permanent positions created after completion. JP McManus had suggested the possibility of a rugby museum to Paul O’Connell a few years ago, but the rugby player was not in a position to focus on it at the time as he was still playing. After his retirement from the game, they discussed the idea further and it has since involved from a museum to a full interactive digital experience. Paul O’Connell notes that Limerick has a strong and historic rugby tradition which is internationally recognised. “The objective of the visitor centre is to operate as a fitting tribute to the sport of rugby across the world and in so doing, recognise every country in which it is played through the highest quality interactive digital experience. I’m very proud to be part of this ground breaking project and look forward to working with the team on its development,” he comments. JP McManus says he is very excited about this initiative for Limerick which will be the first of its kind in Ireland. He adds: “Hopefully, it will encourage more private investment to the city centre renewal programme and will further enhance exchequer returns as well as creating spinoff jobs as a result. We are also delighted that

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the location of the centre is in the heart of Georgian Limerick which has many historic values. The sport of rugby is at the core of Limerick, its people and visitors, and we are absolutely delighted it will be celebrated and treasured here.” Mayor of Limerick Cllr Kieran O’Hanlon has welcomed the announcement, saying Limerick was ‘the capital of rugby’ and this new €10 million euro digital interactive visitor centre would cement Limerick’s position as a mecca for all rugby fans. “From Munster returning to the glory days on the pitch to this new exciting venture in the heart of Limerick city, it will bolster Limerick’s attractiveness as a sports tourism destination. Limerick City and County Council has an exciting urban renewal programme underway, with the Limerick Twenty Thirty developments and the O’Connell Street Revitalisation Scheme,” Cllr O’Hanlon says. Head of Communications with Limerick City and County Council, Laura Ryan said the local authority was extremely excited about this new international rugby experience which would be a fantastic addition to their growing list of tourist attractions and a ‘must-see’ for all tourists to Limerick. “We look forward to promoting it as part of our overall Limerick experience to both domestic and international visitors reinforcing Limerick’s reputation as a sporting city and Ireland’s rugby capital,” she added.

Stay at the 4* George Hotel Limerick from only €79.00 Discover your route to the Wild Atlantic Way


Unmissable experiences on the Wild Atlantic Way

Heritage on Horseback in the Atlantic: This ride takes about four hours with a lunch stop in the old O ’Connor’s homestead on Connors Island to the North of Streedagh Beach in North Co. Sligo. Begin at Island View Riding Stables near Grange and walk along the shore to Milkhaven Harbour. You will then cross a magnificent tidal lagoon at low tide, going on to the back of Streedagh dunes. See archaeology along the way, have a nice packed lunch out of your saddle bag and hear all about the Spanish Armada ships that wrecked here after a horrendous gale on September 21st 1588. Continuing then to Dernish Island, enjoy this remote seascape - with ruined cottages standing quiet, lost in time at the back of the island. Heading home then, you can refresh your horse’s legs in seawater and relax, sit back and take it all in!

Get up close to cliffs that are amongst the highest in Europe: Paddy is the skipper of the Nuala Star. He’ll pick you up from Teelin Harbour on the north side of Donegal Bay, to sail below the sheer granite walls of Sliabh Liag (Slieve League) – at 600 m (1970ft). They are amongst the highest accessible sea cliffs in Europe and the huge panoramas presented to you from these cliffs can look different from every angle. Bright azure skies appear next to blue grey shafts of rain which bolt sea and sky together. Still further across this ever changing canvas, beams of light, diffused by wisps of thin cloud, gild the wild sea, warming the cool grey water into pools of liquid gold. Sometimes the Nuala Star is joined by dolphins, seals and whales. And in June you may see basking sharks, feeding on the plankton. There’s the option to go swimming in the little coves: wetsuits are provided, says Paddy, “if you think the water’s cold”. Once back on dry land, the climb up the Pilgrim’s Path is optional. On a fine day, the views from the top – across seven counties – are glorious.

Probe the peat at Céide Fields: An award-winning architect-designed pyramid built into the clifftop, high above the Atlantic, houses the Visitor Centre for A chaidh Chéide (Céide Fields). This is the largest Stone Age monument in the world, set in a vast prehistoric landscape of bog, dramatic cliffs and coastline. Preserved beneath the wild blanket bog are 5000-yearold stone-walled fields, dwellings and megalithic tombs. Take the guided tour and use the archaeologist’s probe, sliding down through the peat till you feel it striking stone, placed there 5000 years ago. This is the largest of thousands of archaeological sites along the Wild Atlantic Way – hundreds in this part of North Mayo alone, including standing stones, ring forts, stone circles and court tombs.

Forage for wild food along the Killala shoreline: Spend an afternoon with Denis Quinn of Wild Atlantic Cultural Tours – foraging for food out along the shoreline under the huge skies of north Mayo. As the wild Atlantic booms and seabirds swirl and swoop, Denis will guide you expertly across Killala Bay, crossing mudflats, scrambling over rocks, gathering edible seaweeds, rooting around in rockpools and spooning cockles, mussels, clams and winkles from the vast expanse of soft sand uncovered at low tide.

Cruise on Ireland’s only fjord: With luck, a pod of dolphins will accompany you for some of your cruise on Killary Harbour, said by some to be Ireland’s only true fjord. Dotted with mussel rafts, with mountains to the north and south, the fjord reaches due east from the Atlantic for 16km (10 miles), ending at the Aasleagh Falls. Killary Cruises start from a mile or so outside the village of Leenane on the road to Clifden at ‘Nancy’s Point’. Leenane is known as the ‘Gateway to Connemara – you may recognise some of the locations from the movie version of John B Keane’s poignant play ‘The Field’, filmed here in 1989.









Journey to the Great Stalactite

Visitor Centre café & farmland nature trail Irish Responsible Tourism Awards

EcoTourism Ireland


G o l d

email or call +353 65 707 5761

D O O L I N C AV E | D O O L I N | C O . C L A R E | I R E L A N D





Unmissable experiences on the Wild Atlantic Way Go for cultural immersion in a restored 17th century hillvillage: In their unique centre dedicated to traditional Irish culture, Dearbhaill Standún and Charlie Troy of Cnoc Suain (meaning ‘restful hill’) offer an introduction to Gaelic language, music, history, nature and landscape for groups. They’ve restored the group of cottages, which lay deserted for more than half a century, in a tranquil setting on the southern foothills of the Connemara Mountains, overlooking Galway Bay, the Burren, the Cliffs of Moher and the Aran Islands.

Watch the sun set over the Aran Islands: The viewing platform at O ’Brien’s Tower is said to be the best place to see the sunset from the iconic Cliffs of Moher. The Tower was built at the highest point on the cliff edge in 1835, as an observation point for tourists, by far-sighted landowner Cornelius O ’Brien. Before arriving at the Tower, you could try a guided walk along the cliff-edge paths with a Cliffs of Moher Ranger. The walks take just over an hour and, depending on the time of year, you’ll see puffins, guillemots, kittiwakes, chough, peregrine falcon, fulmar and shags, among other birds.

Enjoy traditional music in West Clare: West Clare is famous for its music – and the Long Dock (or ‘Dock’ as the locals call it) in the fishing village of Carrigaholt at the mouth of the Shannon is just one of the many pubs in these parts that offers traditional music nights, as well as Carrigaholt oysters, mussels, lobster and of course their own chowder. Go for one of the Dock’s special Irish Nights, when you can sing, dance and play pub games with locals.

Remember Ireland’s greatest born storytellers:

Go Wild Magazine - Summer Edition 2017

Out on the very edge of Europe, as far west as you can go in Ireland, lies a deserted village on an archipelago. These are the mystical Blasket Islands – famous in Ireland for their Gaelic storytellers, and deeply symbolic of the Irish story of emigration. Halfway round the Slea Head Drive – a scenic route circling the edge of the Dingle Peninsula – is the Blasket Centre. Its director, Irish-speaking Mícheál de Mordha, provides moving insights into the islanders’ hard lives, the sorrows of emigration, and the literary heritage of the Blaskets. A long glass-fronted gallery overlooks the Atlantic and Great Blasket itself: a constant reminder of that poignant place.

Take a boat trip round historic Kinsale’s natural harbour: This will bring you past the famous headland Old Head, and out to where the transatlantic Lusitania was sunk by a German u-boat in 1915 … a seismic event that brought the US into WW 1. Onboard the Spirit of Kinsale, there’s freshly brewed coffee, blankets to keep you warm, and – best of all – stories that will stay with you from skipper and historian Jerome Lordan.

Discover the history of hard lives lived on the Atlantic’s edge: By visiting the Copper Mining Museum and following the waymarked walking trail around the tiny village of Allihies, right on the edge of the Beara Peninsula. It’s hard to believe that 1500 people lived in this remote and tranquil spot in the mid 19th century, when copper mining was at its peak. The Museum – housed in a chapel built by Cornish miners in 1845 – has a café with delicious home bakes, and stunning views along the rugged coast.

Sunset obriens tower. Image Niall Cosgrove

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Explore the Wild Atlantic Way

Located in the heart of Salthill Village overlooking the Hills of Clare, we offer breathtaking views of Galway Bay. Base yourself in the comfort of Salthill Hotel and take in all that the West coast of Ireland has to offer. Relax and unwind in Ocean Fitness Health Club or enjoy a sumptuous evening meal in the award winning PROM Restaurant.

Exclusive Packages from €139pps Call: 091 522711 Email: Visit: Salthill Hotel, Promenade, Galway.

WE SHIP WORLDWIDE . . . from Doolin on Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way

IRISH CRAFTS Doolin, Co. Clare, Ireland.

Tel: +353 (0)65 7075 836

Unmissable experiences on the Wild Atlantic Way Go for cultural immersion in a restored 17th century hillvillage: In their unique centre dedicated to traditional Irish culture, Dearbhaill Standún and Charlie Troy of Cnoc Suain (meaning ‘restful hill’) offer an introduction to Gaelic language, music, history, nature and landscape for

Ceide fields. Image Peter McCabe

groups. They’ve restored the group of cottages, which lay

Get festive at Cork International Choral Festival Immerse yourself in the sounds of music at the sounds

deserted for more than half a century, in a tranquil setting on the southern foothills of the Connemara Mountains, overlooking Galway Bay, the Burren, the Cliffs of Moher and the Aran Islands.

of music at the Cork International Choral Festival, which takes place from 26-30 April 2017. Cork will welcome choirs from across the world for a programme of Gala concerts, Schools Concerts, National and International Competitions, and world-class performances, as thousands of participants bring the city to life for a celebration of choral music in all its many forms. One of Europe’s premier international choral festivals, Cork is noted for its high standards, eclectic and wide-ranging programme, and the friendliness of its welcome. See for more.

Visit the home of Patrick Pearse at Pearse’s Cottage

Dunmore Head and The Blasket Islands. Image Chris Hill

Ionad Cultúrtha an Phiarsaigh is located in Ros Muc, in the heart of the Connemara Gaeltacht. It was here that Patrick Pearse, writer, educator and leader of the 1916 Rising built, a cottage for himself on the shores of Loch Oiriúlach in 1909. The Visitor Centre houses a fascinating interactive exhibition dealing with Pearse’s legacy, exploring the things that drew Pearse to Connemara: the area’s unique landscape and history, and the ancient Gaelic culture and language which is still alive in the area today. The Centre also celebrate 21st century Connemara, which maintains the traditions of the past, while looking to the future. Visitors can then take the short stroll across the bog to visit Pearse’s cottage itself, left just as it was when he departed the cottage for the final time in 1915. Email for more. Teelin, CO.Donegal. Image Tourism Ireland

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Free admission Open Tue-Sat: 10am-5pm & Open Tues – Sat, 10am – 5pm Sundays Easter - Sept. 12pm-5pm Sundays 12pm – 5pm Easter Sunday to end of September Openfrom Tue-Sat: 10am-5pm & Sundays Easter - Sept. 12pm-5pm


AsSpanish you tour Ireland’s WildGalway. Atlantic Way be Parade, inspired by Galway’s archaeology, history, Email: and science arts at Galway City Museum! Spanish Parade, Galway. Tel: 091 532460 Email: Web: Tel: 091 532460 Web:


Westport is the ideal base to explore the stunning Mayo coastline.



One of the finest places to stay on the Wild Atlantic Way.


Great offers on Call us on 098 28600 Get in touch

Westport, Co Mayo

Sunset obriens tower. Image Niall Cosgrove

A Local’s Guide to

Limerick By Louise Morrissey


here is a challenge to condense all there is to love about Limerick into one article. As one of Ireland’s oldest settlements, Limerick has plenty to see and do for history buffs and culture vultures. Alongside its ancient past, the Treaty City’s future also shines bright. More and more over the last few years, Limerick has proven that it can hold its own beside Ireland’s other larger cities and has become a vibrant and diverse mecca for artists and musicians. In 2016, the city made an impressive bid to be named European Capital of Culture 2020. While the title ultimately went elsewhere, locals and visitors alike have reaped the rewards of the vigorous regeneration initiative with art, music, theatre and street festivals abound. So for those of you seeking out old, new, and everything in between, here are some of my personal recommendations, as a local, to keep in mind during your visit to Limerick: Medieval Limerick: King John’s Castle King John’s Castle on ‘King’s Island’ in the heart of medieval Limerick City, has a stunning new award-winning exhibition that brings over 800 years of dramatic local history to life. Archaeologist excavations have uncovered evidence from the infamous siege of Limerick as well as pre-norman settlements on the site. The award-winning visitor’s centre brings to life the history of the time and offers some of the most stunning panoramic views of the city over the river Shannon. While you’re there, seek out

Go Wild Magazine - Summer Edition 2017

Muesum. Thomond Park. Image Eamon Ward

one of the remaining sections of Walls of Limerick - potentially more recognisable to us locals as the dance we’ve all done at weddings without actually knowing the steps. The Norman built walls peppered throughout sections of the city have undergone conservation repairs over the last decade. Afterwards, cross the river to see the Treaty Stone. Called after the Treaty of Limerick signed on the 3rd of October 1691 after the war between William III of Hanover of England and his Father in Law King James II, tradition says that the treaty was signed on the stone in full view of both armies. King John’s Castle recently won the Best Leisure Tourism Innovation award at the Irish Travel Industry Awards.

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The Louvre of Limerick: The Hunt Museum Ask any child in the region and they will tell you they have been on school tour to the Hunt Museum more times than they can count - and with good reason. The museum is an absolute gem in the city featuring artefacts from Greece, Rome, Egypt and the Olmec civilisation. Fascinating Irish archaeological finds from the Bronze Age, Neolithic and early Christian periods are all showcased in the collections, as well as works by Pablo Picasso, Pierre Auguste Renoir, Roderic O’Conor, Jack B. Yeats, Robert Fagan and Henry Moore. It’s basically the Louvre of Limerick. Contemporary Irish works are always on display with a particular emphasis on local artists. You can

Limerick Fire Breather. Image Failte Ireland

Lough Gur. Image Failte Ireland

Fireworks King John’s Castle. Image Failte Ireland

explore the collections at your leisure or take a guided tour at no extra charge. Stylist restaurants: Stylish restaurants are abound in Limerick with the likes of Chocolat Bistro and The Hamptons, but I couldn’t claim that this was a local’s guide without pointing you in the direction of a few Limerick institutions that are slightly more offthe beaten track. First and foremost - Donkey Fords. Most cities have similar fabled establishments: Dublin has Burdock’s, Cork has Lennox’s, and Limerick has Donkey’s. There are no accurate words to describe Limerick folks’ love for this place. Standing in the same spot for over 70 years, the items on the menu could be counted on one hand - but we’re going for quality not quantity here. Staples like fish and chips and battered sausages are the order of the day in this hole in the wall, no frills chip shop. Legend has it that one bite can inspire sonnets, love songs and choirs of angels. There is a reason it has been voted Ireland’s best chip shop.

Go Wild Magazine - Summer Edition 2017

For something lighter, but no less waistline destroying, visit Bean an Tí on Little Catherine street. The bakery and café has been in business since 1966 and is what dreams are made of! It is the perfect spot to sit, watch the comings and goings, and get a real slice of Limerick (no pun intended). Friendly chats and wry wit between locals will make you feel like part of the furniture. My personal recommendation of sweet treats would be the gingerbread men which my Grandmother fed me an alarming amount of as a child.

Munster rugby. The city is rightfully proud of this spectacular stadium, as well as their strong rugby tradition. The museum and stadium tours give guests access to players only areas such as the dressing room and tunnel and the interactive game zone will test your rugby prowess like no other. If you have the chance, catch a game in the fabled grounds and experience the unnerving silence during penalty kicks that Thomond is famous for. Craic & Ceoil: Dolans As the unofficial cultural hub of the city, some huge names have played this hallowed venue, from the Hozier and Kasabian to Christy Moore and Damien Dempsey. There is music 7 nights a week with trad sessions in the bar alongside live bands. The atmosphere is as fantastic as the food and you dare not consider your visit to Limerick complete without throwing some questionable shapes on the dance floor here.

Festivals Galore: Riverfest (April 28May 1) Riverfest, an annual celebration since Country air: Lough Gur 2004, showcases and celebrates all that’s If you feel like getting some fresh country great about Limerick City – highlighting air in your lungs, stunning Lough Gur is a and revelling in our art, culture, music, short drive from the city centre. As one of sport and food. Riverfest is a city wide Ireland’s most important archaeological series of events including: the Riverfest sites, there is plenty to discover with BBQ Competition, a riverside Continental megalithic tombs, Crannógs and Ring forts Food Market, The lake, Lough Gur, is not only one of my personal favourite spots Fireworks, Free Open in Limerick, but in all of Ireland - everyone needs their ‘happy Air Concerts, Fashion place’ and luckily mine is located conveniently close to home! Events, Festival Racing and lots more. The atmosphere in the city during this abound. The beautiful hills surrounding weekend is always second to none. the lake make for an excellent hike. Spring

The home of Munster Rugby: Thomond Park A visit to Limerick would not be incomplete without a visit to Thomond, the home of

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is an especially lovely time to visit with flowers in bloom and the various wildlife making a welcome reappearance after winter.

Connemara PUB Tours on the Wild Atlantic Way

There’s nothing quite like an Irish pub – it’s a place full of stories, traditions, and friendly locals with the ‘gift of the gab’. If you want to visit some of the best pubs in the Connemara region, without worrying about driving, then you should definitely consider Connemara Pub Tours. They offer visitors pub and gastro tours throughout Galway, Mayo and the Aran islands. Not only will you visit some of Ireland’s most famous pubs where you will taste local beverages and food from producers in the region, but you’ll also enjoy some fantastic scenery along the way and it’s a great chance to meet new friends. .

Tour Connemara from Galway, Clifden or Westport After broadcasting live from Buncrana, Ryan The most popular tour leaves Galway city in the late morning or early afternoon and travels through North Connemara with its first stop in the fishing village of Oughterard. Power’s Thatch Bar in the centre of the village serves excellent quality food and a range of locally produced craft beers. Moving on through the mountains of Connemara, the group will make it’s way to Keane’s of Maam Valley, a pub that is over 200 years old with an interesting history attached to it. From here you will head south to the Gaeltacht villages of Béal an Daingean, gateway to The Islands and finally the family run Tigh Chualáin in Inverin with its Atlantic themed Beer Garden.

Go Wild Magazine - Summer Edition 2017

Tour Connemara from Westport A new addition is the Connemara Pub Tour from Westport, a favourite destination for Hens & Stags. Following pick up from your accommodation, the group will travel south on one of the most scenic routes in the West of Ireland towards Leenane, a village made famous 25 years ago by Richard Harris and John Hurt in John B Keane’s The Field. Also home to Ireland’s only Fjord, the first stop will be Gaynor’s Field Bar in the village which is full of Memorabilia from the making of the film. Continuing on through the Maam Turk Mountains, you will head for Connemara’s most famous pub, Keane’s of Maam Valley. Already a favourite amongst Connemara Pub Tours from Galway, the pub is over 200 years old and was originally home to the Scottish

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Engineer Sir Alexander Nimmo. Renowned for its creamy pints of Guinness and Irish Coffees, a turf fire is always a guarantee in Keane’s. Heading deeper into Connemara, the next stop will be in Finney which is one of the remotest outposts in the area, with spectacular scenery overlooking Lough Fooey. The Pub in Finney most definitely embraces everything a country pub should be. The final stop on the tour is Máire Lukes in Tourmakeady which is situated on an elevated site above Ireland’s 3rd largest lake, Lough Mask. You will not get a better view of the lake than that from Máire Luke’s beer garden. The pub which is in the Mayo Gaeltacht has an array of entertainment should the day not be suitable for the beer garden!

Connemara & Aran Islands Tour from Galway, Clifden or Westport Another recent addition is the Connemara & Aran Islands combination pub tour. Operating in the same away as the Connemara Pub Tour this also includes a visit to Inis Oirr, the smallest but friendliest of the Aran Islands included. The tour will pick you up from your Galway city or Connemara based accommodation

Go Wild Magazine - Summer Edition 2017

stopping off at one Connemara pub on route to the Airport in Inverin, before embarking on a scenic 8 minute flight across Galway bay to Inis Oirr Airport. Landing above the sandy beach and crystal clear waters of the harbour, your trip will include a visit to all 3 pubs on the island where Food & Beverage vouchers can be exchanged for the Island’s fresh seafood or any beverage of your choice. Spending 3 hours on the island will give you a feel for island life, you can meet locals and fellow visitors, but above all, you will sample

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Inis Oirr’s warm and friendly hospitality. Following the return flight to Connemara, you will have one more stop in a Connemara Pub on return to your accommodation.

The tours usually take 5-6 hours and departure times are flexible. Prices start from €50, including vouchers to spend on food and drink at the pubs along the way. Departures can be arranged from Galway, Clifden or Westport. Check out or Facebook / Tripadvisor Connemara Pub Tours. More information on 087 2238764.

What does it take to cycle 2100km in 7 days with over 24000 metres of climbing, along Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way? It takes character!

Why would someone choose to endure a physical and mentally gruelling challenge? Is it to escape, to live in the moment, to test your limits and beyond, or to explore the unknown and be at one with nature up close and personal? Is it simply a sporty holiday where you can test your endurance levels and meet lots of inspirational characters? For Rachel Nolan, it was all of the above – and more – as she signed up for a 2100km cycle of the Wild Atlantic Way that had to be completed in 7 days. Now she’s sharing her love of the Wild Atlantic Way with others through her business Rachel’s Irish Adventures. She’ll bring you on a fun-packed journey of discovery through the hidden gems and unspoiled countryside of Mayo and Sligo and beyond, whether you’re seeking a weekend of adrenaline-fueled outdoor activity, or a revitalising escape in the sumptuous surroundings of a luxurious boutique hotel. The tours are on foot, by bike or from the comfort of Rachel’s luxury 8 seater bus. From sky to seabed, you can scale the great heights of famous Croagh Patrick, surf the wild Easkey waves or go hiking along the Ballycastle cliff-lined coastline or even go baking in the kitchen with Rachel’s Mam, Marjorie and finish it off with a whiskey tasting. There are no limits … Rachel can, using her local knowledge, craft

Go Wild Magazine - Summer Edition 2017

a package to meet your needs, ranging from

warm, personalised experience like no other.

a one-day trip to a three-week holiday, all of

What are you waiting for?

which can be done through English, French or Spanish. You’ll learn about the heritage

To build your tailor-made tour with

and culture of the region, see spectacular

Rachel’s Irish Adventures

scenery, feast on fine food and have the


craic* with fun-loving, like-minded people.

phone +353 851108969. For more see

And most of all, you’ll get a down-to-earth,

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Situated in the heart of Limerick’s Medieval Quarter




s IRISH DANCING h 7 NIGHTS A WEEK H 3 Georges Quay, Limerick T: +353 (0) 61 413 733 | W: E:


Treacy’s West County Conference & Leisure Hotel, located just a short stroll from Ennis town We offer the perfect location for exploring Co. Clare and the Wild Atlantic Way. The Hotel boasts a mix of tastefully refurbished family and double bedrooms with leisure centre, Boru's bar and Skillet Pot restaurant.

Web: Phone: 065 6869600 Email:

Glorious Galway an Adventurer’s Playground By Shauna Coen Galway is a city with great character,

Connemara National Park. Image Chris Hill

renowned for its rich history, festivals and traditional pubs. However, if you manage to tear yourself away from the charm of the city, the countryside boasts a beautiful unspoilt environment with striking natural beauty. For those with an adventurous spirit, Galway is the playground you’ve dreamed of!

Biking Derroura Mountain Bike Trail is one of Coillte’s four custom built trails, lying at the gateway to Connemara. The 16km trail will offer you amazing views north into the Maam valley and westwards to the Twelve Pins. Derroura has great climbs and thrilling descents that are sure to keep both the novice mountain biker and the experienced rider on their toes. Tired legs will soon be forgotten once you’ve reached the halfway point of the trail and are overlooking the entire of Lough Corrib. The thrill continues as you begin your descent back to the entrance, with hundreds of metres of north shore on the cycle down. Mountain bikes are available to hire from Derroura Mountain Bike Hire, located a mile away from the trail’s car park. www.derrouramountainbi-

Connemara National Park. Image Faitle Ireland

Riding You can also enjoy the rugged beauty of

and requirements, ensuring all ages and

assured, you’ll have a smile on your face for

the Connemara countryside by horseback!

abilities are catered for. They also offer

the day and you’ll sleep well after all the

The ‘Wild West’ offers some of the best

beach rides on the white sands of Rushing

fresh air!

equestrian treks you could wish for! The

Bay. Situated two kilometres from Salthill,

Moycullen Riding Centre, Co. Galway offers

a unique experience is in store, where you

one and two hours treks along bog roads and

can experience an exhilarating gallop along


across mountains, with beautiful and varied

the shore of the Atlantic Ocean. Or, if you

Kayaking in Galway allows you to leave your

Connemara scenery. The centre aims to

prefer something more relaxed, a leisurely

worries on the mainland and discover the

match the horse with the rider’s experience

hack across the fabulous sandy beach. Rest

enchanting waterways of the River Corrib

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Connemara National Park. Image Failte Ireland

and the stunning coast around Galway. The crystal clear waters of the West, both sea and inland, offer an abundance of choices for ideal paddling locations, awaiting discovery. Kayaking is the perfect way to explore Lough Corrib, the second largest lake in Ireland with more than 1,000 islands and islets. Kayakmór, a Kayak Tours company based in the city, offer Corrib lake tours that are a mix of open water paddling, island hopping, navigating rocky and reedy channels, observing nature

Kylemore Abbey, image Brian Morrisson

and enjoying beautiful vistas. Half day and full day kayak trips are available, suitable for all levels of ability, from beginners to experts. It’s a safe and enjoyable platform for experiencing the beautiful nature of Galway!

WindsurFIng… The county is one of the best places in Ireland for Windsurfing. The most popular area, Rusheen Bay, is located just 5km away

Corrib Cruise. Image Simon Crowe

kayaking in Killery Harbour Galway. Image Kelvin Gillmor

from Galway city. The bay is a sheltered, nottoo-deep inlet with calm shallow waters, an

Corrib and onto Lough Corrib, providing

Diamond Hill trail in Connemara National

ideal place for beginners. The flat water is

those onboard with unrivalled views and

Park in Letterfrack is definitely worthy of

perfect for progressing and some of Ireland’s

natural resources that make this the most

your attention. There are great facilities

best slalom sailors and freestylers choose

picturesque waterway in Ireland. The Corrib

nearby, a visitor centre, playground and

Rusheen Bay as their home spot for training.

Princess is easily accessible for visitors to

coffee shop. The paths are well sign posted

Rusheen Bay Windsurfing’s instructors are

Galway as it is just a few minutes’ walk

and the boarded walkways over the boggy

qualified, experienced and are confident to

from the city-centre. Sit back and relax and

areas are convenient for beginners. The

get everyone windsurfing in less than 60

enjoy not only the natural beauty but also

final quarter of the hike is when you’ll find

minutes. Every time!

the history of Lough Corrib as you pass by

yourself panting for breath! The full route is

castles and various sites of both historical and

a 7km hike, just enough for a work out but

cultural interest. It’ll be a day to remember!

not too strenuous. Although the hill’s peak is

just over 400 meters, the views from the top

Cruising… Want to explore the waters of Galway but don’t want to get your feet wet? A trip on

are amazing. www.connemaranationalpark. ie

the Corrib Princess is the ideal activity!


Come rain or shine, with the luxurious all-

There are plenty of wonderful hiking trails

Stick on a jacket and a good pair of shoes

weather boat, you will be sure to have a

to choose from in Galway. With various

and head off to enjoy the many great

relaxing and comfortable cruise. The journey

lengths and levels of difficulty, there’s a

outdoor activities on offer in Galway. You’ll

takes passengers along the majestic River

trail to suit every enthusiastic hiker. The

be glad you did!

Escape to Carrygerry Carrygerry Country HouseVenue? Looking for a PRIVATE, EXCLUSIVE Escape to Country House Clares Best Kept Secret for aa Relaxing Relaxing Getaway Getaway with with Someone Special for Someone Special

Weddings at

Carrygerry House, Carrygerry Country Country House,

Carrygerry Country Country House, House, near near Newmarket-on-Fergus Newmarket-on-Fergus and and just just Our Conservatory Conservatory Restaurant Restaurant is is open open for for Dinner Dinner from from Tuesday Tuesday to to Carrygerry Our minutes away away from from Shannon, Shannon, is is aa 200 200 year year old old Manor Manor tastefully tastefully Saturday from from 6.30pm 6.30pm to to 9.30pm. 9.30pm. Our Our ÁÁ La La Carte Carte Menu Menu offers offers minutes Saturday restored to to its its former former glory, glory, set set in in aa idyllic idyllic mature mature country country setting. setting. fresh, locally locally sourced sourced produce produce and and aa complete complete well well balanced balanced menu. menu. restored fresh, Carrygerry Country House was built was originally partfrom of the Shannon, Dromoland On arrival, arrival, you willNewmarket-on-Fergus experience relaxed and unique unique countryaround house On you will experience aa relaxed and country house Near and 1793 justand minutes away Near Newmarket-on-Fergus and just minutes away from Shannon, Estate, near Shannon, in the scenic County Clare in the West of Ireland. Due to the nature and atmosphere with with open open fires fires and and antique antique furniture. furniture. There There are are 11 11 Set Dinner Dinner Menu Menu for for €29 €29 (3 (3 courses courses plus Tea/Coffee) Tea/Coffee) atmosphere Set plus is all a 200 200 year old Manor tastefully restored tofrom its6.30pm former glory, set location of our property overlooking the Shannon restored Estuary, are unique to any other hotelset in bedrooms, individually styled in keeping keeping with the the house. is we served from 6.30pm to 9.30pm 9.30pm Tuesday to the Saturday. is aall year old Manor tastefully to its former glory, bedrooms, individually styled in with house. is served to Tuesday to Saturday.

area, as we can offer you the House completely private to you for your special day. We only cater for in awedding idylliconmature mature country setting. Onservice arrival, you will willattention experience in idyllic country setting. On arrival, you experience aa onea any particular day, to ensure personal and individual is at it best We cater cater for for Birthdays, Birthdays, Anniversaries, Weddings, Christenings, etc. We Anniversaries, Weddings, Christenings, throughout youratmosphere special day. relaxed and unique country house with open fires firesetc. and relaxed and unique country house atmosphere with open and For enquiries call 061 360500 or email: | For enquiries call 061 360500 or email: | antique furniture. furniture. There There are are 11 11 bedrooms, bedrooms, all all individually individually styled styled in in antique Escape Carrygerry keepingtowith the house. Country House

for a Relaxing Getaway with Someone Special

We at Carrygerry pride ourselves on sourcing only the finest local and organic produce to produce a wonderful dining experience. Our fine reputation for quality food with service guarantees that both you and your guests have a memorable day. We have won a number of awards over the years from Country House of the Year to Blas na hEireann National Food Awards where we won Gold, Silver and Bronze and also Great Taste Gold Star for our food range.

Carrygerry Country House offers you a Wonderful Our Conservatory Restaurant is open for Dinner from Tuesday to Saturday from Setting forCarte your Special Wedding 6.30pm to 9.30pm. Our Á La Menu offers fresh, locallyDay. sourced produce and a Carrygerry Country House, near Newmarket-on-Fergus and just Our Conservatory Restaurant is open for Dinner from Tuesday to well balanced menu. minutes away from Shannon, is a 200 year oldcomplete Manor tastefully Saturday from 6.30pm to 9.30pm. Our Á La Carte Menu offers • Private Wedding Venue • Award Winning Restaurant

• Licensed Civil Ceremonies & • fresh, Courtyard with open fire and area restored to its former glory, set to in ahold idyllic mature country setting. locally sourced produce and seating a complete well balanced menu. Blessingsa relaxed and unique country house • There are 11 bedrooms, all en-suite but On arrival, you will experience Set Dinner Menu for €29 (3 courseseach plus Tea/Coffee) is served • Fully inclusive wedding packages from is atmosphere with open fires and antique furniture. There are 11 Setindividually Dinner Menustyled, for €29all (3 decorated courses plus Tea/Coffee) €49.00 per guest in keeping with the house. from 6.30pm to 9.30pm Tuesday to Saturday. bedrooms, all individually styled in keeping with the house. is served from 6.30pm to 9.30pm Tuesday to Saturday.

We cater for Birthdays, Anniversaries, Weddings, Christenings, etc. For enquiries call 061 360500 or email: |


Hidden Ireland

Discover Ireland’s Most Beautiful Houses Hidden Ireland, Discover Ireland’s Most Beautiful Houses is a lavish new publication documenting some of Ireland’s most beautiful and fascinating houses, gorgeously illustrated with lush photography by James Fennell, and perceptively written text by antiques dealer and stylist Josephine Ryan. It’s a fascinating insight into historic private houses around the country, which are often family run by descendants of those who built the houses originally. Hidden Ireland properties range from some of the country’s

grandest and most important Georgian buildings to charming rural rectories, quirky small-town townhouses to big city mansions, and to stay in one is a chance to be part of a genuine family history, sharing the owner’s historic home

where guests become a welcome member of that family. It is the families who run these jewels that set them apart from any other kind of getaway. Each has their own charm – and occasional eccentricities – but all em-


The Quay House The Quay House was originally

fireplaces, and all but two overlook

built as a residence for the Harbour

the harbour. The bathrooms are large,

Master, but it subsequently became a

with bath tubs as well as showers,

Franciscan monastery, then a convent

and there are two rooms on the

and finally a Country House Bed &

ground floor for wheelchair users.

Breakfast owned by the Pye family,

As this is a town house Paddy and

so it has had a long and chequered

Julia do not serve dinner but they are

career. Today it is run as a Town House

both deeply interested in food, their

by the Foyle family, whose forebears

breakfasts are legendary and they

have been entertaining guests in

are always on hand for advice on the

Connemara for nearly a century.

best local restaurants. Nearby are

The owners, Paddy and Julia and

wonderful beaches, coastal walks, sea

their family, operate a luxurious town

and trout fishing, horse riding, cycling,

house in what is still very much their

several golf courses and links, and a

own family home. The decoration of

vast choice of hill and mountain walks.

the main reception rooms displays their eclectic collection of pictures and objects, which reflects their wide-ranging interests and tastes, and their close attention to detail. The bedrooms are also individually decorated and furnished. Some have good antiques and original paintings, several have working

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phasise comfort, and proper food, in surroundings full of character and personality. The houses are united by their owners’ authentic old-school Irish hospitality, and dining is an opportunity to explore a genuine field to fork ethos and a commitment to heritage recipes and forgotten skills. Fine traditional food – frequently using home-grown ingredients – is the star of the show, and the murmur of conversation around the dining

table, perhaps set with old silver and cut glass and flowers from the garden, is often watched over by family portraits. You could turn up barefoot or in a ball gown! The stunning Hidden Ireland coffee table book offers privileged access to these houses and their owners – from a stately home in landscaped parkland in County Monaghan that has remained in the same family’s ownership since it was built in 1734 to a Georgian

mansion in County Cork that has diversified into glamping and onsite gin distilling. Irish country houses were built to welcome and entertain guests, and Hidden Ireland, Discover Ireland’s Most Beautiful Houses is an invitation to cross the threshold and stay a while, to experience a true sense of place, hospitality and history in a deeply stylish and uniquely Irish way. Book your stay at .


Temple House Temple House, Templehouse Demesne, Ballymote, Co. Sligo Temple House is one of the finest

the size of his home, leaving his

archaeological sites, riding schools,

estates in the west of Ireland. The

descendants with something of a

trout lakes and three championship

great house, which was remodeled in

white elephant on their hands.

golf courses, while traditional

1864, nestles in a wooded demesne,

The present owners and their two

music and dancing sessions

looking out over the Templars’ castle

young children took over from

to Templehouse Lake. Despite its vast

parents Sandy and Deb several

size this is a comfortable, welcoming

years ago. They are continuing the

family home with many original

family tradition of accommodation

contents. The owners are Roderick

in a historic private house. Guests

and Helena Perceval, whose family

all eat at one large table and

has lived here since 1665. Temple

meals are thoughtfully prepared

House is surrounded by an area of

using fresh local ingredients.

outstanding natural beauty, with

Temple House still retains its

beaches, mountains and numerous

authentic decoration and furniture

sites of archaeological interest. It is

from that period and delicate

a haven for the outdoor enthusiast,

Chinese porcelain is intermingled

with pike fishing on a private lake

with solid County Sligo squires and

and miles of lovely woodland walks.

their ladies. The main reception

Temple House is a vast classical

rooms are large, bright and

house in the Georgian style, set in

comfortable, while the bedrooms

the centre of a beautiful 1000 acre

– several have canopied beds – are

west of Ireland estate. It overlooks

particularly pleasant, with superb

Temple House Lake and the 13th

views. One is so large that it has

century castle of the Knights Templar,

long been known as ‘the half-acre’.

who owned this land in mediaeval

Guests can relax in the terraced

times. The Perceval family have

gardens or stroll down to the lake,

lived here since 1665 though the

while the more energetic can

present house was built in 1864 by

explore many miles of woodland

the owner’s forebear, who returned

walks, take a boat around the lake,

from China with a rich wife and an

or fish for pike. Within easy reach

enormous fortune, and trebled

are beautiful beaches, numerous

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Loves Me, Loves me not

Charles Lucas, an apothecary, pamphleteer,

more affectionately referred to as ‘Fertile

politician, campaigner, and a County Clare

Rock’ as a result of the 600 different

man wrote of The Burren* in 1736,

flowering plants that are recorded there.

“The part of Ireland called Burren is a small

The Burren is a magnet for nature and

barony in the northwest part of the county

flower enthusiasts. In fact half of the total

of Clare and bounded on the north side

Irish flora is represented in the region, it

by the bay of Galway. It is from one end

is a veritable one-stop-shop destination

to the other a continuation of very high,

to appreciate the exquisite and natural

rocky, lime-stone hills, there being little or

beauty Ireland has to offer.

no plain land throughout the whole. It is

By Deirdre Hynds

Early Purple Orchid

The Early Purple Orchid (Orchis mascula), is a species of flowering plant in the orchid family, Orchidaceae. It is a perennial herbaceous plant with stems up to 50–60 centimeters high, green at the base and purple on the apex. The flower size is about 2.5 centimeters and the color varies from pink to violet and blooms from April

that part of which it is reported that Oliver

There are twenty-seven orchid species

Cromwell said (when he came to storm

indigenous to Ireland, twenty-five of

a few castles in it) that he could neither

them are found in the Burren. Some of the

see water enough to drown a man, wood

more unusual species of orchids found in

enough to hang a man or earth enough to

the Burren National Park include; dense-

bury a man in; notwithstanding it is most

flowered orchid, early-purple orchid,

Sea Thrift

fertile and produces immense quantities

common-spotted orchid, fragrant orchid,

of juniper and some yew, besides great

fly-orchid, bee-orchid, frog orchid, lesser

as sea pink, is a species of flowering

variety of the capillary herbs, virga aurea,

butterfly orchid and autumn lady’s tresses.

verbena and some other common plants. I have found the teucrium alpinum, mango

The best way to experience the raw and

flore of Casper Bauhin and a large shrubby

wild beauty of The Burren is on-foot, and


the onset of summer makes it the perfect time to pack a picnic, don walking books

The delight and pride that Lucas felt when

and hit the pre-Christian green roads and

writing this letter to Sir Hans Sloane in the

walking trails to ensure perfect vantage

late 18th century is palpable, and it is one

point for rare beauties hiding under cracks

that still exists in the area today.

and crevices of the craggy rock.

The Burren has presented botanists with

What to look out for on your trip.

to June.

Sea Thrift (Armeria maritime), also known plant in the family Plumbaginaceae. It is a compact perennial and grows in low clumps and sends up long stems that support globes of bright pink flowers. In some cases purple, white or red flowers also occur.

* Quote provided with thanks from Clare County Library, and imagery provided by Burren Yoga Centre.

a long-standing geographical conundrum - how can a landscape, measuring some 250 square kilometers, and comprised mainly of a harsh karst rocky terrain produce such a plethora of unusual flora species? The name ‘The Burren’ originates from the Irish word ‘Boireann’, which unsurprisingly translates as ‘Great Rock’, but the seemingly barren stretch of land is often

Go Wild Magazine - Summer Edition 2017

Spring Gentian

The Spring Gentian (Gentiana verna) is a species of the genus Gentiana and one of its smallest members, normally only growing to a height of a few centimeters. The vibrant and vivid blue flowers are 1–2 cm in diameter, with a deeply five-lobed corolla, and bloom in late spring to early summer.

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Responsible whale and dolphin watching from Baltimore, West Cork with zoologist Nic Slocum aboard Voyager or Liscannor Star T: +353 (0) 86 120 0027 E: W:

n i d n o m a i D A h g u o the R Deirdre Hynds visits Burren Yoga and Meditation Centre

The weary traveler does not need to rely on sat-navs prone to bouts of existential doubt to recognise they are nearing The Burren. The grey glint of the karst terrain shines like a beacon in the cold evening sun, and has provided geographical markers through the ages. Increasingly




peaceful isolation ahead and set the tone perfectly for the detox yoga weekend retreat hosted by Burren Yoga and Meditation Centre, located in Cappaghmore, an unplottable rural idyll a ten-minute drive from Kinvara. The Centre squats comfortably in the belly of The Burren. The exterior is modestly appropriated, the searching eye might pick up on a playful shade of lilac, or a portal dolmen style garden ornament as a mark of he is happy to guide you along your journey

something that sets the small complex apart from sparse and distant neighbours. The

Dave’s piercing blue eyes and Californian tan

two small buildings of the centre are framed

might conjure up the stereotype of ‘hippy


audibly by the evening birdsong punctuating

yogi’ but his demeanor is serious, calm and

The facilities of the Centre are charming,

the stillness. Trees lean in and listen. Signs of

brisk. The somewhat superficial effervescence

clean and comfortable; carved wooden beds

calm bode well for visitors who are harried of

often associated with yoga, meditation and

are straight out of Tolkien’s hobbit-inhabited

mind and body.

mindfulness, has the same limited appeal of a

Shire, bathrooms and showers are communal,

scoop of sherbet that fizzles into a nothingness

but there are plenty to go round, and a

Host and Burren Yoga founder, Dave

and leaves a cloying aftertaste – Dave stands

generosity of spirit termed ‘Karmic Yoga’



in stark contrast to this, he is energetic but

pervades the Centre, which mitigates any

individually, and takes them on a personalised

calm, friendly but not over-bearing. His

early morning gridlock.

tour of the buildings. Dave is a Dubliner,

background in engineering and psychology

whose life has followed the daily pattern of

rings true to his careful and methodical

The ‘detox’ element of the retreat finds form

the sun, rising in the east, and settling in the

nature, you get the distinct impression that

in a gentle discouragement of digital devices,

west. Brocklebank travelled westwards in

you are in safe hands with Dave, and with

newspapers, and basically any unwelcome

1999 in search of the perfect setting to create

a professional career that echoes the twists

reminders of the outside world, the Centre

a comfortable yoga centre, and Burren Yoga

and turns of the Connemara roads – you

seeks to assume the mantle of protector,

first opened its doors in 2000.

understand that Dave is a journeyman, and

not only safe-guarding the inhabitants from





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that’s not to suggest it is less challenging,

will particularly enjoy organised walking

it can be much more difficult to confront

trips in the locale, designed to accommodate

personal anxieties and insecurities on the

varying levels of fitness.

mat than a stiff neck or knee, and reflective

the relentless sharp jabs delivered by 24 hour news feeds and social media sites over the course of the weekend, but also more importantly to sharpen awareness of the long terms corrosive affects that living in this constant state of ‘connectedness’ can have on us. The yoga room is the focal point of the weekend, it feels safe and calm. There are no clocks or mirrors to distract, and yogis can estimate the time of day in the bright sundial space by familiarising themselves with the daily journey of the west coast sun as it shifts from corner to corner. The yoga classes of the weekend are from the Satyanada tradition described as a traditional form of Yoga, which includes Asanas, Pranayama, Tantric practices, Cleansing practices, Mind focusing practices, Pratyahara and Meditation. The novice yogi need not be deterred by such unfamiliar phrases, they are explained with patience and care by Dave and the team. Satyanada Yoga is ostensibly a more gentle physical form of yoga than sibling styles Asthanga and Iyengar yoga,

Go Wild Magazine - Summer Edition 2017

meditation provides the backbone of all of

The Detox Retreat costs €320 per person

the postures and sequences. Dave’s mantra

sharing, and if you are travelling as a couple

is to help people be the best that they can

and want your own room it is an additional

possibly be, and with the Satyanada practice,

€90. At first glance this may seem a little

he is working on the very foundation of your

expensive, but the weekend offers value for

being, it is a very deep transformational yoga,

money. Dave is very focused with equipping

that works on many levels.

the guests with the tools and information to continue the healthy habits and lifestyle

Hard work on the mat is rewarded by hearty

after their time spent at the Burren Centre,

food in the kitchen, and if the yoga room

so consider it a long-term investment in your

functions as the womb of the Centre, the

health and wellbeing.

kitchen, run by former Hare Krishna chef Gearoid,

is the heart. Geroid’s warming

Two nights feels a little short, and I think

and filling dishes certainly didn’t feel like

if aspiring yogis are really looking to

a ‘detox’ diet, and there were no half filled

make positive changes, it might be worth

bellies after liberal feasting on soul food

considering the week long retreats which

that included; Kahitari a flavorsome Indian

work out at approximately €730 for a shared

stew made with mung beans rice veg and

room, or €820 for a double room. Guests are

spices, ‘Shepardless Pie’, comprised of puy

offered the opportunity to purchase Burren

lentils topped with a sweet potato and

Yoga CDs, these are invaluable if you want

coconut layer, which were served alongside

to continue your practice, but do push up the

kaleidoscopic side dishes like fennel, orange

price of the weekend by another €15.

salad with toasted almonds, beet and apple salad with toasted sesame seeds, and vegan

The German Philosopher Nietzsche once

Coleslaw with a sunflower base.

said, “Haste is universal because everyone is in flight from himself”, the Burren Yoga

Each day of the weekend retreat starts at

operates as a personal red light, a reminder

7.30am under a morning moon, and the

to press pause and take time for yourself, and

itinerary, which spans from Friday evening

in an increasingly frenetically paced lifestyle,

to Sunday afternoon is well designed to

is an invaluable prompt to emotionally and

allow for personal down time between yoga

psychologically stop and smell the roses.

and meditation sessions, much needed after unfamiliar bouts of deep introspection.

Travellers from outside of The Burren region

Tel: +353 (0)91 637680

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Best places to stay on the Wild Atlantic Way

Best hotel in the world

The Lodge at Ashford Castle, Co. Mayo The Lodge at Ashford Castle has been named as one of the top 10 best hotels in the world by Condé Nast. Sitting within the magnificent 350 acre estate of Ashford Castle, The Lodge overlooks magical Lough Corrib. Originally built in 1865, it’s now part of the award winning Red Carnation Hotel Collection offering mellow country house hospitality, exuding classic refinement with modern appeal. Enjoy fine dining in Wilde’s Restaurant, a rejuvenating beauty treatment, an exceptional range of estate activities and warm smiles at every turn. A host of thoughtful touches will ensure your stay is one to remember. See

Best for escape

Eccles Hotel Glengarriff, Co. Cork Steeped in over 250 years of history and heritage, ECCLES Hotel in Glengarriff is an idyllic taste of West Cork. Located directly on the Wild Atlantic Way, one look at the sparkling sea views that stretch out across Glengarriff Bay and Garnish Island to the Atlantic beyond and you’ll know why it was an inspiring retreat for literary greats like George Bernard Shaw and William Butler Yeats. Relax in a charming setting that’s beyond compare. Explore all the amazing things to do in the surrounding area. Taste a menu that celebrates the finest local artisan producers and enjoy the warmest of West Cork welcomes with live entertainment every week. For best rates and great Spring Summer Break Offers visit

Best Spa Break

Inchydoney Island Lodge and Spa The stunning setting of Inchydoney Island Lodge & Spa overlooking the wild waves of the Atlantic Ocean and beautiful beach of Inchydoney makes the perfect backdrop for a getaway filled with pampering and relaxation. Spend the afternoon in the hotel’s spectacular seawater spa and experience an Elemis Taster Facial tailored to your skin or an Elemis Back Massage. Enjoy full access to the heated Seawater Therapy Pool, Sauna, Hammam and Relaxation Areas and when you are pampered from head to toe, before making your way to the Lounge for a sumptuous Afternoon Tea.

Best views

The Lake Hotel Killarney, Co. Kerry The four star, family owned and run Lake Hotel enjoys a unique location on the lake shore, just 2km from Killarney town and adjacent to Killarney National Park. With 131 bedrooms, the elegant Castlelough Restaurant, Lakeside Bistro, Devil’s Punch Bowl Bar and numerous lounges offering magnificent lake views, The Lake Hotel has much to offer. A Huggard family hotel since 1940, a long tradition of Irish warmth and hospitality awaits you at The Lake Hotel, Killarney.

Best for the Mid-West

Savoy Hotel, Limerick The Savoy Hotel is a luxurious boutique property ideally located in the heart of Limerick City. With its central location, the 5 star hotel is gateway to The Wild Atlantic Way and has some wonderful attractions on its doorstep, such as the Cliffs of Moher, King John’s Castle, Thomond Park, home of Munster rugby, and many more. Everything that you might want out of your city visit, from shopping to site-seeing, cocktails to luxury massages, is right on your doorstep. The Savoy Restaurant on the first floor provides wonderful dining option for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner.


Best for families

Treacys West County, Co. Clare Contemporary and relaxed, Treacys West County Hotel in County Clare is one of the best hotels in Ennis, making it an ideal base to explore all the gems of County Clare including Bunratty Castle, the Aillwee Caves and the world famous Cliffs of Moher. Treacys West County Ennis boasts 152 recently refurbished bedrooms, each elegantly appointed with en-suite bathroom, a welcome tray and satellite TV and complimentary Wi-fi. The Leisure Club features three pools, sauna, steam room, and gym. Avail of their in-house Kid’s Club which runs during school holidays, which is sure to keep your little ones entertained.

Best for mini-moons

Ice-House, Co. Mayo Located on the Wild Atlantic Way, overlooking the River Moy and the woodlands beyond, the Ice House, Co. Mayo is a truly one-of-a-kind place for a romantic mini-moon. The hotel’s dedicated ‘Romance Curators’ pride themselves on helping to create authentic experiences. The bespoke mini-moon experience includes an overnight stay in one of the Ice House’s luxurious guest rooms, a rose petal turndown with a delicious sweet treat plate, a bottle of bubbles on ice and a romantic in-room bubble bath. Toast to future happiness with a glass of bubbles in the outdoor hot tub as you watch the sun set over the River Moy and enjoy a romantic dinner in the atmospheric Pier restaurant. The team can also arrange flowers in the room before arrival.

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Best for exploration

Salthill Hotel, Co. Galway Located on the midway point of the Wild Atlantic Way, the Salthill Hotel is one of the most luxurious hotels in Galway and it’s the perfect base to explore the amazing hidden gems that this county has to offer. Enjoy a leisurely stroll along Galway’s famous Promenade, right on the hotel’s doorstep or have a swim in the beautiful Atlantic Ocean from Blackrock. Exclusive packages start from as little as €139pps & include 2 nights’ bed and breakfast and a sumptuous gourmet dinner on 1 night in the award winning Prom Restaurant. Day tours of the Burren and Cliffs of Moher or Connemara and Kylemore Abbey are available from the hotel during your stay.

Best for Weddings

Dunmore House Hotel, Clonakilty Wedding Venue of the Year at the 2017 Irish Wedding Awards Marrying location with passion, Dunmore House Hotel is a private oasis, perched above the Atlantic Ocean in the serene Clonakilty Bay, West Cork. Dunmore House Hotel’s private beach, five-star food and service, stylish and sophisticated reception suite and team of creative and willing staff compose just some of the elements that create a ‘dream come true’ experience for brides and groomsto-be. It is this unique combination that resulted in them taking home the coveted title of Irish Wedding Venue of the Year at the inaugural Irish Wedding Awards 2017.    For more information on the award-winning Dunmore House Hotel, Clonakilty visit  www.dunmorehousehotel. ie or to enquire about booking a wedding in this magical venue, please call Dunmore House Hotel Wedding Planner, Anne Marie Harte on 023 8833352. For wedding inspiration or to share in the memories of previous happy newlyweds, check out their Facebook page @Dunmorehouse.

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To the Waters and the Wild Val Robus, a middle aged adventurer, shares her exciting journey of becoming Sligo’s favourite scenic photographer and blogger

“A couple of years ago, if you had told me I would be jumping off cliffs into the sea and attempting to surf, I’d have thought you were crazy. Little did I know when I started my Wild Atlantic Way journey that I would come face to face with my fear of the sea - and my fear of trying to squeeze into a wetsuit – and absolutely love it”, enthuses Val Robus. “I was invited to have a photography exhibition about the Wild Atlantic Way by the Hawk’s Well Theatre. I didn’t want it to be just about the exhibition though. I wanted each image to have a story behind it. I also wanted to challenge myself and so my adventure began”.

Carne Golf Links, Mayo

On a rainy day in May, Val found herself in Erris, County Mayo with WaveSweeper. They suggested coasteering. Nothing too wild, just diving from a cliff into the freezing cold sea, the usual. Before she, quite literally, took the plunge, she was a nervous wreck, but went by the motto ‘feel the fear and do it anyway’. “And I’m glad I did, because it was one of the most thrilling experiences of my life. I have such fond memories of sitting on the edge of a cliff being fed wine gums. I also couldn’t stop laughing – even under the water!” This sparked something in Val that she knew existed – a sense of adventure and a desire to get out there and live. Her huge passion for photography certainly helped. Opportunities were plentiful with her new busy lifestyle. “I remember reading through tourism

Go Wild Magazine - Summer Edition 2017

Afternoon Tea

guides and all of the pictures showed fit, wetsuit-clad young people with bodies like Pamela Anderson. I thought to myself, ‘If they can do it, why can’t I?’” One thing led to another and before Val knew it, she was snorkelling in Mullaghmore, Sligo with WaveSweeper. “It was amazing swimming amongst all the sea creatures. I felt like Ariel – the Little Mermaid – not the washing powder!” “I had such fun in Enniscrone trying my hand at Stand Up Paddling Har-

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bour Sup ‘n’ Sail. I spent more time in the Atlantic than on it. I went kayaking down the River Moy in Ballina with Paddle and Pedal. There was horse riding under the shadow of majestic Benbulben with Island View Riding Stables. You name it, I’d have probably already done it or was going to do it!” As with all new experiences, it didn’t all go swimmingly for Val. Getting into a wetsuit felt like quite the challenge to begin with, especially as she hit herself in the face on her first attempt. She expected to be a pro surfer dude after one

lesson, but alas, she spent more time being flung off the surfboard and into the waves than attempting to actually surf! Zipwiring with ZipIt Adventures in Lough Key Forest Park, Co. Roscommon was another big hurdle. “Tarzan I am not, as I discovered when I was soaring through the air at a considerable height with nothing but a harness and a thin net to separate me and the ground.” Next Val went glamping at Belmullet Coast Guard Station. “I was just feet away from the Wild Atlantic Way in a little wooden pod. It was heavenly.” It wasn’t all high adrenaline. There were guided walks in Leitrim, foraging in Mayo, seaweed baths in Sligo and “as for the food – it was just something else – but that’s for another time”. Val had fallen in love with being out and about on land, sea or in the air, and she wanted to show everyone else how exciting life can be if you just let it. “I proved to myself, and others, that women of a certain age can do anything if they put their minds to it. If you are looking for the adventure of a lifetime look no further than the Wild Atlantic Way.”

Denis from Wild Atlantic Cultural Tours

Galloping along Enniscrone Beach, Sligo

Zoe Dunne - Leitrim Surf Company

That’s Val Robus – a true inspiration to all!

Carrowteigue, Mayo

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Broadhaven Lighthouse

Bibi Baskin Irish TV presenter, journalist and hotelier, Bibi Baskin, shares her love of Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way.


ibi was the first woman in Ireland to have a chat-show of her own, on Ireland’s national TV station, RTE. She has also worked on both radio and TV in the UK, performing various presenting jobs with the BBC and ITV. After a career in the media, she moved to India where she bought a dilapidated landmark building in a coastal town in Kerala, south India which she refurbished and converted into a successful business, a recognised Heritage Hotel of India. Having moved back to Ireland, she currently guest presents on TV and radio and gives Motivational talks around the country. She also manages Social Media accounts for SMEs and blogs regularly at bibibaskin. What is it about the Wild Atlantic Way that you love? I love the very thing the title encapsulates – the wildness. Nature at it’s most natural self and not too much man/machine influence. I find that emerging myself in this even now and again is good for wellness, for mind, body and spirit. It’s about the sense of freedom it gives you, the sense of the eternity of nature when not tampered with too much by us. It brings us back to a feeling of belonging in the world and that produces relaxation which is an aspect of Irish life and western civilization that seems to be very much lacking.

Best Hotel? For me it’s the former Cartlon Hotel, now MacDonald’s. The location is exemplary set in 90 acres of woodland with views of Oysterhaven Bay and an elegant interior design. Their pillows are hard though! Best Activity? Indian thought has influenced me hugely and part of that way of life is very unlike our western style. India taught me that life should not be all about running around and busy-ness, so for an activity I like to sit in a mindful way, focusing on these beautiful and peaceful surrounding and contemplating how great life is over all. Next? The Wild Atlantic Way again and again.

Your Must Visit Spot? Kinsale.

Go Wild Magazine - Summer Edition 2017

What’s so special about this place? For me Kinsale is one of only a handful of Irish towns that has created and nurtures a sense of internationalism, an acceptance of different cultures and different ways of life. Where else in Ireland would you get such bright and undeniably cheerful colours painted on to quirky buildings? A walk around this charming little town transports you to Continental Europe and suddenly you are lost in your own reverie. Then it’s a gourmet desination and I have a huge interest in food - growing it, cooking it and eating it. There is a plethora of good restaurants in the town from fine dining to wholesome rustic food to casual cafes.

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key s i h W Whiskey En s g n i t s a T EST. 2015





Ideally located in the heart of Limerick City Your gateway to The Wild Atlantic Way

Go Wild Magazine - issue 8 - Summer Edition  
Go Wild Magazine - issue 8 - Summer Edition