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Clifden Horse Trekking on the Beach

Posted on January 30, 2013 at 4:45 AM Comments comments (0)

Clifden Horse Trekking on Omey Strand.

 Enjoy some fabulous Beach Horse Trekking on Omey Strand or Cleggan Beach. Cleggan Beach Horse Centre are offering special discounts* to our campers this season. Where else can you experience such a special gallop, than on the famous Omey Strand! 

http://www.clegganridingcentre.com/



 

Deep Sea Charter Fishing Clifden

Posted on January 26, 2013 at 12:05 AM Comments comments (0)

Clifden Deep Sea Charter Fishing - Clifden eco Campsite in conjunction with John Ryan & his Celtic Queen is offering yet again another great camping incentive to it guests. We invite you to fish with us in Clifden on probably the best fishing waters in Europe. The scenery in this area is spectacular on land and at sea with a great variety of seabirds and wildlife, including seals and dolphins. Individuals are welcome, but why not get a group together (up to 12 persons) and have us arrange an unforgettable day - Fishing, an Island trip and a Picnic on board. Get a Special 15% discount when you stay on our eco Park. (subject to availability).

http://celticqueen-seaangling.itgo.com/


Clifden eco-Campsite/Permaculture uk

Posted on December 7, 2012 at 2:25 PM Comments comments (0)

http://www.facebook.com/clifdenecocamping ;)

http://www.permaculture.co.uk/articles/270711894/wildfowers-wildfowers-everywhere-connemara-dreaming-part-2

Wildfowers, Wildfowers Everywhere! Connemara Dreaming Part 2 Maddy Harland | Wednesday, 27th July 2011 In the last 50 years Britain has lost 95% of its wildflower meadows. Maddy and Tim visit a remote place on the western coast of Connemara, Ireland and discover a rare remnant of floral biodiversity, a place where you have to be careful not to trample on the orchids that are so abundant!

See more.....http://www.permaculture.co.uk/articles/270711894/wildfowers-wildfowers-everywhere-connemara-dreaming-part-2

Clifden Camping - The Best Camping Spots In Ireland

Posted on November 27, 2012 at 5:15 AM Comments comments (0)

The Best Camping Spots in Ireland -  By Fawn Farley, The Writers Network Last Updated on December 23rd, 2011 Share This Story 9  0  0

    Searching for the best camping spots in Ireland can be easy or difficult, depending on what you're looking for. Ireland has so much beautiful landscape to offer, but rain can deter the less avid camper. For this reason, many of the commercial campgrounds in Ireland host camping and caravans. Traveling by camper or RV is quite common. If you wish to tent camp, contact the campground prior to arriving to make sure they accommodate tenters.

Kerry

The coastline of Kerry is an amazing landscape for a camping adventure. Craggy hills line the ocean coast as the land juts out in peninsulas and retreats with the incoming bays. Check out Wave Crest or Mannix Point, both located off the Ring of Kerry scenic drive. Wave Crest is a family-run business that offers all the camping amenities your family needs. Launch a canoe or walk over to the nearby beach bar for some delicious sea food. If you choose to camp Mannix Point, Mortimer the owner will greet you, welcoming you to the family. Castle ruins, seal and dolphin sightings, and much more are a short walk away.

Galway

Located on the western shore of Ireland, Galway county is full of craggy landscape and serene lakes. Acton's Beachside Caravan and Camping Eco-Park is an alluring alternative to all the other caravan campgrounds. This spot combines the wildness of nature with the safety of a campground. Campsites are peaceful and private, separated by marram grass, and eco-rings are provided for campfires amidst the sandy dunes. The campsite is located on an organic farm and the area is teeming with biodiversity.

Pitchin' a Tent

Some of the best camping spots you will find are not campgrounds at all. Of course, to pitch a tent on land without owner consent is illegal, so you must obtain consent or be really smart in choosing a spot. Some areas to avoid are Glendalough Valley and Knocksink. For the highly adventurous only. Ask a local, be cautious, and watch for "No Camping" signs!

References:

Irish Caravan and Camping CouncilActon's Beachside Caravan and Camping Park10 Best Irish Camping Sites Photos: Glendalough, Ireland by treenabeena from Fotolia.com See more articles related to ireland camping spots, outdoor ireland vacations Ads by Google



Kylemore Abbey & Victoran Walled Gardens/Clifdenecocamping

Posted on November 20, 2012 at 7:45 AM Comments comments (0)

Kylemore Abbey is the ideal destination for a day out in majestic Connemara. Located about an hour’s drive from Galway City, a visit to Kylemore will rank as an unforgettable memory.

 

The dramatic landscape and iconic image of a gothic castle reflected in a Connemara lake has made Kylemore Abbey world-famous and it is now the largest tourist attraction in the west of Ireland.

 

The Benedictine nuns invite visitors to experience the Victorian atmosphere of the Abbey's restored rooms, miniature gothic church, head gardener’s house and garden boy’s house. Learn of the tales of tragedy and romance, the engineering initiatives, model farms, royal visits and the Abbey's former role as a girls boarding school.

 

Explore the many nature trails,woodland walks and the magical award-winning walled garden where in keeping with its Victorian heritage, only flower and vegetable varieties from that era are grown.

 

Mitchell’s café and the tea house offers home-cooked food made from recipes perfected by the Benedictine nuns and using fresh vegetables and herbs from the walled garden.

 

The craft shop has a wide selection of design-focused Irish giftware including artisan food products, knitwear, pottery, art and handcrafts made by the Benedictine nuns at Kylemore.

 

Choirs travel from around the world to Kylemore Abbey to sing in the Gothic church with its superb acoustics. All are welcome to attend the choral performances and admittance is included in the Kylemore entry fee. Check the Abbey's website for upcoming choral performances.

http://www.discoverireland.ie/Arts-Culture-Heritage/kylemore-abbey-and-gardens/427

 

The Gathering 2013 Clifden Connemara.

Posted on November 19, 2012 at 4:30 PM Comments comments (0)

There will be clan gatherings, festivals, special sporting events, music and concerts taking place all across the country, all year longCommunities throughout Ireland will showcase and share the very best of Irish culture, tradition, business, sport, fighting spirit and the uniquely Irish sense of fun. Over 70 million people worldwide claim Irish ancestry. The Gathering Ireland 2013 provides the perfect excuse to reach out to those who have moved away, their relatives, friends and descendants, and invite them home.

The Gathering is the people’s party. It will kick off in spectacular style at the New Year’s Eve Festival in Dublin and will be celebrated through gatherings of the people and Ireland’s major festivals during 2013. After that it is over to you. It is in your hands. Be part of it. 

http://www.thegatheringireland.com/

 

Clifden eco-Campsite - Ireland's islands beacons of responsible tourism

Posted on September 17, 2012 at 6:40 AM Comments comments (0)

‘IF you could pick one place in Ireland which is a beacon of responsible tourism, where would it be?’ a government official asked me recently.

 

Catherine’s son paddling while waiting for pizza at Cape Clear off the coast of West Cork. (Photos: Catherine Mack)I had to think it over carefully, and eventually said, ‘If I could recommend an Irish region which embraces so many of the issues relating to sustainability in tourism, I would say, go visit our islands. Because not only are they remote and off the beaten track, but tourism is vital for their very survival. 

‘From the minute you step on the ferry, you are putting income into the local economy and helping families find ways in which they can encourage their children to stay put for generations to come. Many islands don’t allow cars, they have plenty of cycle hire facilities, walking routes, as well as a plethora of small locally owned accommodation.

‘Some do struggle in terms of shops, which means that you end up bringing your own food , but there is almost always a pub that you can support. And, in terms of sustaining local culture, you can’t beat most of the islands in terms of traditional culture.’

So, if you have a weekend to spare, just pick an island and head straight there. Even if you just go for a couple of nights, you will feel as if you have been away for a week. A good starting point is Discover Ireland’s website, where they have excellent information on just twenty-six of our main islands (discoverireland.ie/Ireland-s-Islands), from how to get there, where to stay, where to eat and things to do. However, most of us love the fact that there is, in fact, very little to do on these islands, except walking, exploring and generally absorbing the solace and solitude.

And keep an eye out for David Walsh’s book, Oileáin, in which he writes about hundreds of our offshore hideaways, due out in November (pesdapress.com).

There are, however, some stunning festivals and events to keep an eye out for too, a couple of which I list below. So, here is an introduction to island enlightenment, with just a few of my favourite spots, where you can switch off from the mainland and mainstream.

And hope that the weather is wonderful for when you arrive, and terrible for your departure because that’s the danger of some of our islands, you just have to risk getting stuck there if the rain comes in. Always a blessing, in my book.

1. The West Cork Fit Up Festival must be one of the most exciting reasons to visit one of our nearby islands, if you need an excuse that is. Running from now until August 19th, you still have time to book one of many superb performances from some of our leading theatre companies and performers, who are touring in traditional fit-up style to Bere Island, Heir Island, Sherkin Island. It is one of the most inspired festivals in a long time, with concessions available for some of the ferries and early bird meals being served in local hostelries. Get in quick though at westcorkfit-upfestival.com

2. Omey island is off the coast of Connemara and you could almost miss it on a drive down the coast as you pass its nearest mainland stop off in Claddaghduff Village. You can walk out to Omey using the well signposted tidal route when the water is out, and spend a day walking on its white sands or camp on it as you watch the water creep in and separate you from land. One Omey expert is artist Sean Corcoran, who has created a beautiful map of it (seancorcoranart.com), or you could camp at Acton’s eco campsite (actonsbeachsidecamping.com) with its exquisite location overlooking Omey, so you have a pub nearby (Sweeney’s in Claddaghduff) when the tide comes in. For a longer stint discovering Connemara’s islands, check out Connemara Walking Safaris (walkingconnemara. com) which takes you on island-hopping holidays.

3. Clare Island, County Mayo (not county Clare as many believe) was one of the first islands I visited and I still love it even if the boat journey has made me sick on several occasions.

There are many places to stay here, including Clare Island Yoga Retreat, an exemplary green getaway (yogaretreats.ie). However, if, like me, you aren't into counting chakras, just grab a room in one of their cottages when there are no courses on. They will provide the most fantastic, vegetarian, organic food for you, yoga or no yoga.  While you are there, make sure you visit Beth Moran’s Ballytoughey Loom (clareislandmayo.com/Loom) for wonderful weaving. Or if you want an excuse to stay longer, take part in one of her weaving, spinning and natural dyeing weekend and week-long workshops (March to October).

4. Inis Meain claims to be one of the least-visited Aran Islands, although with its eco gem  Inis Meain Restaurant and Suites (inismeain.com) making international headlines over the last year, I am not sure this is still the case. Run by green and gorgeous couple Ruairí and Marie-Thérèse de Blacam, this sensitively designed hotel, or restaurant with rooms really, is so beautiful it moved me to tears when I stayed there. It’s not cheap, and nor should it be, with home grown produce, fine seasonal cuisine, eco chic design, and the sort of hospitality which, although you say this will be just a once in a lifetime treat, will have you saving up for your return visit as soon as possible. There are only four rooms and one self-catering apartment, so book in advance for that special sumptuous, sustainable occasion.

5. If you haven’t been there already, then the yurts which sit on the edge of a cliff on Cape Clear, are a must. There are only a handful of yurt camps in Ireland, but Chleire Haven's (yurt-holidays-ireland.com) owners Sally and Dave, really picked the right site for this one. Choose between a fully equipped yurt, with cooker, proper beds, copious bedding, and wood burning stove, or tipis which are more basic, with camping mattresses, blankets, and no stove, so bring your own sleeping bag and cooking equipment. There is also a great shop, An Siopa Beag , on the island to cater for all your needs, with a restaurant attached, so you can eat their delicious homemade pizzas overlooking the pier, raise a glass and decide to miss yet another boat home.

6. Rathlin Island off the North Antrim Coast is most famous for its superb bird sanctuary (rspb.org.uk) and often their calls are all that is to be heard here, merging with the natural music of the Atlantic waves. However, the first thing you see when you get your land legs is The Manor House (rathlinmanorhouse.co.uk), a charming eco-friendly guest house which has played a huge role in the history of the island and, in more recent times, fell into the hands of National Trust.  Islander Damien McFaul and his wife Ksenia manage it, using a plethora of their own produce to supply their restaurant, where the menu is a smorgasbord of local fish and seafood.

7. Kevin Currid of Lough Allen Adventure Centre (loughallenadventure.com) in Leitrim, has devised a Wilderness Therapy weekend on a secret island location on the Lough because, as he says, ‘I just want people to find out what wilderness really means.

 There isn’t much of it left in Ireland and after participating in this weekend, people can go off and discover a bit of wilderness close to home, even if it’s at the bottom of their garden.’  Created originally for school groups, it became so popular that adults started to enquire about it. They make rafts by tying canoes together with barrels, shelters out of ponchos, build fires and forage, cook outdoors, sleep in hammocks, and laugh a lot.

8. Trinity Island Lodge in Cavan (trinityisland.com) is a wonderful eco lodge on its own forested island, with a small causeway linking it to land. With free use of canoes and rowing boats, this is one of the most superb locations from which to explore Lough Oughter just a stone’s throw away, literally, but also some of the other hundreds of lakes that Cavan is famous for. Owner Tom O’Dowd knows the lakes like the back of his hand, showing me the quick way into Killeshandra by boat to get a bit of shopping and being infectiously enthusiastic about his beloved, beautiful and totally underrated county.

• Follow Catherine’s travels and writing on www.ethicaltraveller.net , Ethical Traveller on Facebook and @catherinemack on Twitter. You can also buy her app Ireland Green

Clifden eco-Campsite - Connemara National Park

Posted on July 27, 2012 at 1:45 PM Comments comments (0)

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Walk of the week: Diamond Hill, Connemara, Co Galway 

Diamond Hill is, first and last, a proper mountain. It is easy to think of it as a tame lump, scarcely worth the attention of a proper walker.

I've got to admit that's exactly what I pictured when I heard about its neatly waymarked trails, its convenient proximity to the Connemara National Park Visitor Centre and its suitability for all ages and stages (suitably fit and equipped).

Lord forgive me for my snobbery.

Now I've climbed Diamond Hill, I respect it as a real Connemara mountain. It might not be one of the true apostles, the Twelve Bens themselves, but at 1,460 feet (445m) of climb from sea level it's a really good challenge for non-mountaineers -- a true people's mountain, Everyman's Peak.

What you see from the Visitor Centre is a shapely cone, high against the eastern sky, diamond shaped. On this bright morning it glittered like a diamond, too, as the west Galway sunshine reflected off the polished quartzite that forms the mountain.

I grabbed a leaflet showing the panorama on view from the peak, and made off up the trail through birch scrub and boggy grassland trickling with yesterday's rain.

The path steepened through a wide bogland, full of milky pale marsh orchids and pink fairy bonnets of lousewort, to reach a monolithic stone at the halfway point.

Here was the place to halt and take in the really stupendous view back over Barnaderg Bay and Ballynakill Harbour, the sea-beast profiles of Inishbofin and Inishark out beyond the jaws of the inlet.

Tully Mountain loomed dome-shaped over the harbour, and to the north Kylemore Lough stretched away towards the blunt wall of the Maumturk Mountains.

From here the blue trail fell away towards the valley, and the red Upper Diamond trail, very well-engineered and drained, forged on upwards alone.

Now the cone shape of the mountain changed to a long, knobbly spine upheld against the clouds. Streamlets chinked and trickled unseen.

A scattered chain of climbers ascended the path -- French, German, American, Japanese, Danish and, yes, Irish too.

A tiny tot in pink trainers went staggering up behind her big sister, all of six years old and very keen to scamper straight to the top. Mum puffed hard in the rear and called unavailingly for a little breather.

Some silver scramblers overtook me, striding along. It was good to be climbing the mountain in such varied company, everyone armed with a greeting or a wry comment.

The path steepened further, zig-zagging up through the rough quartzite. Feral goats surveyed the rabble with utter indifference from precarious perches on the edge of the mountain.

Up at the top, jolly parties gathered round the big cairn to add a pebble and pat each other on the back.

Now we could see east into the heart of the Twelve Bens, a dun and olive semi-circle of peaks and ridges, like a wire bent into sharp undulations under an army blanket.

The downward path led back to the halfway stone, then on down through sphagnum bog and a valley of flowering gorse and rowan trees.

When I looked up, I saw that the mountain had shifted shape once more, the monster spine reverting to the handsome gleaming cone I'd admired at the start of the day.

The 'Gazetteer' that accompanies Tim Robinson's definitive 'Folding Landscape' map of Connemara has an elliptical entry on Diamond Hill. "It was said," remarks Robinson in his dry way, "that the poet Mac Suibhne would have climbed it had there been a tavern on top." By all accounts Mícháel Mac Suibhne was fond of the odd glass, and of pretty girls too.

It's a shame he never made it to the top of Diamond Hill. He could well have found one, if not the other, up there, and the view from the summit would inspire a log of wood to verse, let alone a poet like Mac Suibhne.

What a treasure he might have bequeathed us.

Christopher Somerville

[email protected]

WAY TO GO

MAP: OS of Ireland 1:50,000 Discovery 37; ‘Folding Landscapes’ map and ‘Gazetteer’ Connemara’ (foldinglandsca pes.com); downloadable map/instructions at discover ireland.ie/walking.

TRAVEL: Bus (buseireann.ie) to Letterfrack: 419 Galway- Clifden, 421 Galway-Westport. Road: Connemara National Park Centre is signposted off N59 Clifden- Leenane road in Letterfrack.

WALK DIRECTIONS: 4 trails, in order of difficulty: Ellis Wood (½ mile, green waymarks); Sruffaunboy (1 mile, yellow waymarks); Lower Diamond Hill (2 miles, blue waymarks); Upper Diamond Hill (2¼ miles). The walk described follows Upper Diamond Hill from Visitor Centre to the summit and back to the Big Stone. Left here on the Bog Trail, back to Visitor Centre. LENGTH: 4½ miles — allow 2-3 hours.

GRADE: Hard.

CONDITIONS: Good path, duckboards or steps underfoot; many stone drainage gullies. Upper Diamond Hill a steep, rough ascent, but active children can make it to the top. Take raingear, a snack and drink. Avoid upper section in bad weather.

DON’T MISS: Connemara National Park Visitor Centre; wild goats; fabulous 360° views from summit.

REFRESHMENTS: Visitor Centre.

ACCOMMODATION: Abbey Glen Hotel, Clifden. Tel: 095 21201; abbeyglen.ie. GUIDE LEAFLET: ‘Diamond Hill Panorama’ leaflet from Visitor Centre.

INFORMATION: Local walking guides: Connemara Geographic. Tel: 087 222 8538; connemarawalking.com. Visitor Centre: Letterfrack. Tel: 095 41054/41006; connemaranationalpark.ie.

- Christopher Somerville

 


Connemara National Park

Situated in the West of Ireland in County Galway, Connemara National Park covers some 2,957 hectares of scenic mountains, expanses of bogs, heaths, grasslands and woodlands. Some of the Park's mountains, namely Benbaun, Bencullagh, Benbrack and Muckanaght, are part of the famous Twelve Bens or Beanna Beola range. Connemara National Park was established and opened to the public in 1980.

Much of the present Park lands formed part of the Kylemore Abbey Estate and the Letterfrack Industrial School, the remainder having been owned by private individuals. The southern part of the Park was at one time owned by Richard (Humanity Dick) Martin who helped to form the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals during the early 19th century. The Park lands are now wholly owned by the State and managed solely for National Park purposes.

 

Connemara eco Campsite The Best Camping Spots in Ireland

Posted on July 26, 2012 at 7:25 AM Comments comments (0)

The Best Camping Spots in Ireland By Fawn Farley, The Writers Network Last Updated on December 23rd, 2011 Share This Story 7  0  0    Searching for the best camping spots in Ireland can be easy or difficult, depending on what you're looking for. Ireland has so much beautiful landscape to offer, but rain can deter the less avid camper. For this reason, many of the commercial campgrounds in Ireland host camping and caravans. Traveling by camper or RV is quite common. If you wish to tent camp, contact the campground prior to arriving to make sure they accommodate tenters.

Kerry

The coastline of Kerry is an amazing landscape for a camping adventure. Craggy hills line the ocean coast as the land juts out in peninsulas and retreats with the incoming bays. Check out Wave Crest or Mannix Point, both located off the Ring of Kerry scenic drive. Wave Crest is a family-run business that offers all the camping amenities your family needs. Launch a canoe or walk over to the nearby beach bar for some delicious sea food. If you choose to camp Mannix Point, Mortimer the owner will greet you, welcoming you to the family. Castle ruins, seal and dolphin sightings, and much more are a short walk away.

Galway

Located on the western shore of Ireland, Galway county is full of craggy landscape and serene lakes. Acton's Beachside Caravan and Camping Eco-Park is an alluring alternative to all the other caravan campgrounds. This spot combines the wildness of nature with the safety of a campground. Campsites are peaceful and private, separated by marram grass, and eco-rings are provided for campfires amidst the sandy dunes. The campsite is located on an organic farm and the area is teeming with biodiversity.

Pitchin' a Tent

Some of the best camping spots you will find are not campgrounds at all. Of course, to pitch a tent on land without owner consent is illegal, so you must obtain consent or be really smart in choosing a spot. Some areas to avoid are Glendalough Valley and Knocksink. For the highly adventurous only. Ask a local, be cautious, and watch for "No Camping" signs!

References:

Irish Caravan and Camping CouncilActon's Beachside Caravan and Camping Park10 Best Irish Camping Site

Clifden Caravan and Camping

Posted on July 26, 2012 at 6:40 AM Comments comments (0)

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