Bed and Breakfasts in West Ireland
The West of Ireland is rugged country, with a coast that’s battered by the Atlantic Ocean,awesome sea-cliffs, exposed islands and spectacular bays. Inland, rambling hills and mountains protrude from stunning countryside scenes which are a welcome sight to any visitor.
For the most part of its perimeter, Clare is surrounded by water – Galway Bay, Atlantic Ocean, Shannon Estuary and the River Shannon and Lough Derg. In between are some of the most stunning landscapes imaginable, such as the spectacular and majestic Cliffs of Moher and The Burren which is renowned worldwide for its exotic flora.
Donegal is rugged territory that can be pretty wild too, but it is spectacularly beautiful and the natural attractions just seem endless. It’s the second biggest county and everything is on a massive scale - its 400-mile coastline is the longest in Ireland and its sea-cliffs are the highest in Europe.
Galway is divided by Ireland’s second biggest lake, Lough Corrib, and is renowned for its festivals, with everything from music to horses and bogs to drama. It is also known for Connemara with its rugged scenery, boglands, mountains and sandy beaches and Irish-speaking Gaeltacht region, while the Aran Islands provide some of Europe’s more interesting pre-Christian sites.
Limerick is a place of rural charm and beauty, with a gently undulating landscape that varies from the mountains of Ballyhoura to the Shannon estuary. It can also boast of attractive towns like Castleconnell, Kilmallock and Ireland’s prettiest village Adare. Limerick city, by contrast, is a vibrant hub of the educational, economic, social and recreational activities in the mid-western region.
Leitrim is characterised by mountains, large lakes and deep glacial valleys that form a spectacularly scenic landscape in the north while in the south, drumlins and small lakes abound. The Shannon Erne Waterway, Europe’s longest inland navigable waterway, stretches through the county and as use of the Shannon by boat owners and hire craft increases, so have the facilities along the river such as marinas and mooring pontoons.
Mayo boasts a stunningly beautiful unspoilt environment, with a landscape of high cliffs, mountains and bogs interspersed with some fertile farmland. Unique attractions include Croagh Patrick, Ireland’s holy mountain, Knock Shrine, scene of a miraculous apparition in 1879, and Achill, Ireland’s largest offshore island.
Roscommon has no coastline but its eastern border is dominated by the shores of Lough Ree and the River Shannon so it has become a popular stop-over for boat-owners and those using the waters. The Georgian town of Boyle is home to Lough Key Forest Park, one of Ireland’s leading lakeside attractions.
Sligo is one of Ireland’s smallest counties but it has a large slice of history, folklore, culture, arts and has been immortalised by Nobel Prize-winning poet W.B.Yeats and his painter brother Jack. Its ancient monuments are among the oldest in north-west Europe and it boasts magnificent scenery, with stunning mountains, lakes and rivers.
There is a lake in Cavan for every day of the year and water is its outstanding feature, making it a mecca for coarse anglers who come from all over Europe. It is also rich in archeological sites and artificial islands called crannogs on which people lived.
Absolute Must See
- Lough Derg - Ireland’s Pleasure Lake.
- The Cliffs of Moher in County Clare – quite breathtaking.
- The Burren – for outstanding flora and fauna.
- Slieve League, Europe’s highest sea-cliffs in Donegal.
- green gBix, Ireland’s first eco-tourism centre, in Leitrim.
- Ceide Fields in Mayo, 20sq.mls of neolithic bog remains.
- National Museum of County Life in Castlebar.
- Lough Key Forest Park near Boyle, County Roscommon.
- Drumcliffe Church and the W.B.Yeats Visitor Centre in Sligo.
Did You Know?
- About 30,000 people climb Ireland’s holy mountain Croagh Patrick each year, many of them bare-footed in a show of penance.
- Ireland’s first President, Douglas Hyde, from Frenchpark, Roscommon, was a founding member of the Gaelic league in 1893.
- Rugby’s high up-and-under kick called a ‘Garryowen’ is named after a district of Limerick and a local club of the same name as the tactic was developed there.
- The TV comedy series “Father Ted” was filmed near Ennistymon in County Clare.
- Alcock and Brown’s epic first transatlantic flight ended near Clifden in County Galway where a memorial marks the spot.
- The film “The Quiet Man” starring John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara was filmed in Cong, Co.Mayo, in 1951 and there is even a ‘heritage centre’ there now to commemorate the fact.
- Internationally renowned entertainers Enya and Daniel O’Donnell come from small villages in West Donegal.
- Donegal has a 400 mile coastline.