Author Archives: lougw

“Western” (?) Ireland: Cashel

We were supposed to go to Cork today, but it was so darn crowded we jumped on the M and went up to Cashel instead. The Rock of Cashel is beautiful and as expected, but the ruins of the Hore Abbey, a former Benedictine Abbey that is both well preserved and available to run through, was the highlight. So what if it was Central Ireland.

The Rock of Cashel.
Hore Abbey.
Cashel Rock through an opening at Hore Abbey.

Western Ireland: Ballydehob

A nice little town not in any of the tourist books. We only found it because the town we were staying in had so few dining options. It had a nice harbor on the top of Roaringwater Bay north of Baltimore. The highlight was a Roman arched train bridge built in the 1880s, a smaller traditional Irish road bridge, and a park with a tribute to the fox and the hare.

Western Ireland: Mizen’s Three Castles Head

As the Normans conquered Ireland 1,000 years ago, the O’Mahony Clan retreated to the furthest tip of the Mizen and built a Norman-style castle to defend themselves. They were no dummies, building at a spot where sea cliffs were on one side and Dunlough Lake on the other. It was never conquered. Today it makes for a great, spooky place in the middle of nowhere. A great payoff for just 4 km over the hills.


Western Ireland: Beara Peninsula

Beara is empty and deserted and wonderful. We could see the tour buses across the Kenmare Bay on the Ring of Kerry. The roads are tiny, and somewhat crazy, but the scenery is beautiful. At the tip is the only cable car in all of Ireland, a quick 10 minute trip over the Atlantic Ocean (!) from Lambs Head to Dursey Island.