A Grand Day Out in North Mayo (in the car!)
When I plan a day out in North Mayo, my mind usually pictures a great long hike along its spectacular ocean cliffs.
But it’s sometimes fabulous to simply jump in the car and take in more of this little-visited but wonderful part of the country. So, the other day, that’s just what we did.
Our first stop was to hike the beautiful and more-or-less flat trail at Erris Head, 10km beyond Belmullet, in the very NW of the county. This loop is 5km long, takes 2hr and boasts great cliff scenery at its climax, looking out over Pigeon Rock and Oileán Dhabhaic. Be sure to visit the little World War II Look Out Post (LOP) and its associated EIRE 62 stone marker while you’re there.
Taking a detour off the road towards Ballycastle, we visited the small but beautifully located Dooncarton Stone Circle. There are many more impressive in the country, but few can match the stunning setting of this one, perched above Srahwaddacon Bay.
“The finest sustained coastal walk in western Ireland, with a profusion of precipitous cliffs,
crags, caves, chasms and islands along the remote North Mayo coast”
[Lonely Planet, 1999].
But not today. Instead, we headed southwards from Ballycastle, through extensive blanket bogs towards Lahardane and Castlebar, leaving lovely, wild North Mayo behind. Until next time.
Day Out in North Mayo – what to do and see
To learn more about what to do and see in North Mayo, visit the region’s tourism portal at www.northmayo.ie.