IRELAND - ACHILL ISLAND - 25/03/07
This latest update on the website features photos from further away than usual after a weeks holiday in the west of Ireland. All of the photos on this page are from Achill Island on the west coast of County Mayo. To get to Achill Island from Britain the easiest method is probably by flights to Knock Airport which is only about an hour and a half away from Achill or there are ferries including those from Holyhead to Dublin, although there is a few hours travel ahead from Dublin to reach Achill.
|With spectacular scenery including mountains rising from a coastline lashed by the Atlantic Ocean and a rich history Achill offers plenty for the visitor to see and do. As well as many walks on the Island the Atlantic Drive by bike or car provides breathtaking views of the coastal scenery, the 40km route is ideal for seeing the beauty of the area including the stunning white sandy beaches to be found on the Island.|
|Located in the south-eastern corner of Achill Island is Kildavnet Tower, a 15th century Irish tower house once home to the notorious Pirate Queen Granuaille (Grace O'Malley) who patrolled the seas off the west coast of Ireland. There are also photographs of some of the sea cliffs on Achill which are among the highest to be found in Ireland.|
|The sandy beach at Keem Bay is one of five blue flag beaches on Achill along with many other remote and unspoiled beaches. Trawmore Beach also shown above is another of the blue flag beaches and has spectacular views towards some of the Ireland's Mountains which include Croaghaun near Keem which rises from the sea to a height of 664 metres and Slievemore Mountain, at 671 metres high. The deserted village at the foot of Slievemore is an area rich in history with megalithic tombs and 100 deserted cottages that were once used in the summer months when booleying, (when people moved to live in different areas during the winter or summer) still took place at Achill.|
|Most of the countryside on Achill is in common ownership so it offers great open access for walkers; a guidebook containing details about fourteen popular walks is available from the Achill Tourism Office at Cashel. Achill is also a popular place for water sports, fishing, golf and the arts - providing inspiration to many artists and writers including the famous Irish artist Paul Henry who spent nearly a decade on the Island and painted 'Launching the Currach' in 1910 at Keem Bay, the painting is now on display in Ireland's National Gallery. There is some accommodation on the Island including B&Bs, hotels and self-catering. There are also a number of tea rooms and pubs with entertainment and festivals throughout the year including a walking festival held in March and the sailing Yawl festival.|