Out & About …

… on the North York Moors, or wherever I happen to be.

Category: Ireland

  • Carrauntoohil from Cnoc na Toinne

    Carrauntoohil from Cnoc na Toinne

    Have we really been in lockdown for 35 days? That’s 5 weeks! Now, where can I go today? Haven’t been to Ireland for a while. At 3,407 ft. high, Carrauntoohil is the highest mountain in Ireland and the centrepiece of that wonderfully named mountain range, the MacGillycuddy’s Reeks. The name, Carrauntoohil,  is an Anglicisation of…

  • Back of Benbulbin

    Back of Benbulbin

    The plan was to climb Benbulbin, a 525m high distinctive tabletop mountain overlooking Sligo but it proved difficult to find out any info on the best way which seems to be a hidden secret. Web forums talk of an approach from the north but also mention recent access issues with an irate farmer. To avoid…

  • Mallaranny Saltmarshes

    Mallaranny Saltmarshes

    This is the season of thrift, the sea pink. There is so much of it about. The saltmarshes and machair at Mallaranny in County Mayo have a carpet of it happily grazed by the sheep. They must have a unique flavour.

  • Croaghaun


    The highest mountain on Achill Island, with real mountain look and feel of metamorphic psammites and schists. Well actually this is the 664m high south-west peak of Croaghaun, I am standing on the 688m actual summit which is mapped as Tonacroaghaun. To the right, the cliffs drop steeply to the Atlantic covered by low lying…

  • Keem Strand

    Keem Strand

    Achill Island and the end of the road. In Ireland, it is a Bank Holiday Sunday and it was heaving, no doubt influenced by an Irish newspaper article extolling it as one of the best beaches for “wild” swimming. Today there are no residents. The road, built in the 1960s is almost exclusively the domain…

  • The black waters of Doolough

    The black waters of Doolough

    A silence undisturbed by those who perished here, a poignant reminder of times gone by. For beside the black waters of Doolough many met their fate. 1849, the height of An Gorta Mor -the great hunger, the potato has gone leaving famine and dysentery. And beside the inky waters of Doolough many met their fate.…

  • Connemara


    Sea pinks and lichen on the rocky coast of Connemara. Oscar Wilde called it a savage beauty. Fading light and high tide amongst the ‘Inlets of the sea’. Inland more rock and bog, a place to explore.

  • The Burren

    The Burren

    In Irish, Boireann, meaning rocky country. And the rock is, of course, limestone or aolchloch. A dramatic, barren landscape, much loved by Tolkien (he marked English papers at Galway University). So perhaps an inspiration for parts of Middle Earth. There are clints and grikes of course except in the Burren they are called clinteanna and…

  • Duggerna Rocks, Kilkee

    Duggerna Rocks, Kilkee

    Why is watching huge Atlantic rollers crashing on the rocks so mesmerising? And watching a porpoise feeding in the shelter of the pier. And watching the sun go down.

  • Cuchullin’s Leap

    Cuchullin’s Leap

    Crossed the Shannon into County Clare. Cuchullin’s Leap at Loop Head is an impressive cleft in the headland, in theory, creating an island but I didn’t look over to see if there was actually water entirely along the bottom. The story goes that Mal, a local witch, fell in love with Cuchullin who was not…