Out & About …

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

Month: May 2018

  • 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…

  • SĂ©ipĂ©ilĂ­n Ghallarais

    Séipéilín Ghallarais

    Having dabbled in dry stone walling, the masonry work that must have gone into building the Gallarus Oratory impressed me no end. It has been described as resembling an upturned boat, the metre-thick sides and gables curving towards the ridge. Each of the sandstone blocks has been dressed on every side to fit perfectly with…

  • Cathair na FĂ©inne

    Cathair na FĂ©inne

    A wet start to climb Carrauntoohil in the MacGillycuddy’s Reeks mountain range, the highest mountain in Ireland, but the rain soon gave way to swirling clouds and clear summits. This is the twin topped Cathair na FĂ©inne (or just the Anglicised Caher). With a height of 1001m, it would be classed as a Munro if…

  • Clogh Oghaim

    Clogh Oghaim

    One of the sights I wanted to see in Ireland was an Ogham Stone. These are standing stones inscribed with a script of the Ogham alphabet. They are found throughout Ireland but are most numerous in the south-west. Many are found on private land and so are inaccessible to the general public. A large number…

  • Mainistir Achaidh MhĂłir

    Mainistir Achaidh MhĂłir

    The ruins of the 6th-century Ahamore Abbey, overlooking Derrynane Bay in County Kerry and lying on the appropriately named Abbey Island which only lives up to being its status of being an island at the highest spring tide.

  • Mountain Mine, Allihies

    Mountain Mine, Allihies

    There is evidence that copper has been gained from the Malachite bearing rocks on the Beara peninsula since the Bronze Age but it was only in the early 19th-century that the extent of the copper ore was realised and extraction began. At first, it was open cast then drift were dug but soon deeper mining…

  • Ballydonegan


    On the Beara peninsula and a lovely bay called Ballydonegan, just south of the village of Allihies, the Anglicised name for Na hAilichĂ­ which translates as The Cliffs. The village was once the largest copper producing area in Europe and a ruined mine building towers above it beckoning me in the morning. In the distance…

  • Dunlough Bay

    Dunlough Bay

    Even on a calm day, the rolling waves of the Atlantic produce plenty of white water around the sea cliffs north of Mizen Head, the most south-westerly point of Ireland. Truly spectacular. The rocks of the cliffs are sedimentary sandstones and mudstones layered by million years of deposition with synclines and anticlines folding. Link to…