Of the 60-odd Irish round towers remaining, in various states of repair, 5 are to be found in County Mayo. Round towers are believed to have been built around the 8th to 12th Centuries and were most probably bell towers associated with the church that would have stood alongside. Famously, they have a doorway set several metres above ground level and a few window slits inserted into the stone walls higher up. Window slits tend to be dispersed one per floor, with four at the top floor, in under the conical roof. The top floor windows tend to be larger than the others on the way up, presumably to let the sound of the bell be better heard and are generally (more or less) set in the cardinal directions.
Sixteen km north of Castlebar stands the modest but pleasant hill of Farbreiga. Though only reaching 395m high, a hike up this oddly-named hill offers wonderful views in all directions, especially eastwards over Loughs Conn and Cullin – two of our great western lakes.
Join our small group hiking the Maumturk and Twelve Bens mountains of Connemara this May bank holiday weekend.
The Inagh Valley in Connemara is a wonderful spot for hiking, with the Maumturk mountains to one side and the Twelve Bens to the other. Beautiful Lough Inagh dominates the valley between these quartzite ranges. The Western Way traces its way along the valley floor on its way to Killary fjord and Leenane village to the north.
Walking the spectacular North Mayo cliffs is an exhilarating but tough 2-day hike. From the tiny village of Belderg, heading west, this is an area you will have all to yourself. Apart, that is, from the entertaining Ravens and Choughs.
I must admit that I’ve no problem with winter. In fact, I’m a fan. I kind of think it suits a place like the West of Ireland.
Rather than grumble about the summer showers (of which, by the way, there were precious few during 2014), the rain of wintertime just feels right. It belongs. It fits.
I’m delighted to announce my Poland wildlife tour for May 2015 to the truly magnificent National Parks of Biebrza and Bialowieza, in eastern Poland.
Dates : May 11 – 17, 2015.
Price : Euro 800 pps (excluding flights)
Interested ? Email info[at]tourismpurewalking.com or call 086-8318748
While we all love to view the spectacular sights and experience the wonderful places, often it’s the simple pleasures that we enjoy the most.
Like sitting on a rock, in silence, and watching the seals go about their daily routines. Or sharing a forest track with a hare for a surprisingly long time. Or coming across a fox in the middle off the road after dark, sitting on his hind legs as a dog would. Indeed, when he eventually noticed my approach, that fox jumped up, left the road and took up the same sitting position on a narrow garden wall.