Tag Archives: County Mayo

Western Ireland: Clew Bay and Bartraw Beach

Clew Bay separates Connemara from Mallaranny, and Bartraw Beach is a strand that reaches out to the first of more than 50 islands in the eastern part of the bay. The loop around the strand is more than 4 km, and is full of grassy dunes with unique wildlife including crabs, birds, and beautiful large snails.

Western Ireland: Ashford Castle and Cong

Cong is Gaelic, roughly translated to “narrow land.” It’s nestled between two massive lakes that are the gateway to Connemara, north of Galway. Ashford Castle, built in the 1200s by a Norman Lord, is just south of town, where the Cong River empties into the southern lake. It’s grounds are exquisite, and it is where the 1951 John Wayne movie The Quiet Man was filmed.

Cong has a river and the ruins of an Abbey where Rory O’Connor, the last high king of Ireland before the Norman invasion, went to live out his years.