The Breakaway list- Explore your own County- Connaught

This week we are heading West. There is a big place in my heart for the Counties of Connaught and I can’t wait to get back there. On a good day (because lets be honest- it rains) there is no where else in the world more beautiful than Connemara, the North Mayo Coast or a night out in Sligo. So if you are lucky enough to live in any of the 5 Counties of Connaught here is our breakaway list to explore your own County!

Galway

Climbing Diamond Hill

You could drive for miles and not leave this County. The Wild Atlantic Way, The Wilds of Connemara and all the mountain treks that lie in between. Here are our top spots for Galavanting.

  1. Walk the prom: Grab a coffee in the city and walk out gratton road (take a detour out to mutton Island if you like). Follow the path all the way out to the little coves of Salthill beach. Get as far as Blackrock diving tower and don’t forget to kick the wall!
  2. Go beach hopping along the Wild Atlantic Way: You will need to get up early for this to get as many beaches in as possible. Start at Traught beach at the South of the County and work your way up. Silverstrand, Barna, An Spidéil, Coral Strand, Mweenish, Dogs Bay and lots more.
  3. Climb up Diamond Hill: Because the views are amazing! Pack a lunch, drive out to Letterfrack and enjoy this semi hard trek to the top. Check out the blog post here from our previous visit.

Leitrim

Ah lovely Leitrim. This County is bursting with beautiful waterways and walks waiting to be explored. If you are from Leitrim I am jealous. Here are our top picks

  1. Pay a visit to Glencar waterfall: If you need a day to be somewhere peaceful with your thoughts (probably every parent at the moment), steal a visit to Glencar Waterfall. This 7km walk is the perfect Galavant.
  2. Explore Acres Lake: Take a walk on the boardwalk at acres lake and follow this onto the Leitrim Way. There are so many beautiful walks in this part of Leitrim.
  3. Go people watching in Carrick on Shannon: Do you think the people of Carrick on Shannon are missing all the hens and stags? It must be a very different town at the weekends but pay it a visit, grab a coffee and go people watching at the marina.

Mayo

Mayo

Also a County that has a place in my heart. If you live in Mayo you have a vast expanse of County to explore- and oh what an amazing County it is!

  1. Take a trip to Achill Island: Climb Achill head, visit the deserted village, take a long walk on Keel strand and enjoy the quietness of it all. Check out our blog post here on our day in Achill Island.
  2. Get blown away at Downpatrick Head: This is where the Atlantic gets really wild. Park up at the WAW sign and make your way (carefully) onto the headland where St Patrick holds court. The views onto Dún Briste are amazing. Next Stop America.
  3. Climb Croagh Patrick: This climb gets harder and harder every time I do it so if you haven’t climbed it- best to do it now. On a good day the views from the top over Clew Bay are like no other.

Roscommon

The people of Roscommon have lots of choice when it comes to going Galavanting for the weekend. Lots of parks and walks and historical places of interest- and no fear of crowds! For all of the Rossies- here are are top picks

  1. Lough Key Forest Park: Park up the car and explore the many trails and walks around this beautiful park. A wealth of historical and archaeological points of interest can be found throughout the Park including ringforts, a souterrain, Fishing Pavilion, Fairy Bridge, Wishing Chair, Ice House, Stables and Estate Chapel.
  2. Walk the National Famine way: Follow in the footsteps of the 1,490 tenants who were forced to emigrate from Strokestown to Canada in 1847. Walk the Roscommon stretch from Strokestown to Tarmonbarry and view the amazing rural landscape of the area.
  3. Visit Loughnaneane Park: There is a sculture trail here, the remnants of Roscommon castle, an outdoor gym and playground. Perfect for a day out Galavanting

Sligo

The land of Yeats and Normal people. Me and Miriam love going Galavanting to Sligo- there are so many places to visit, good places to eat and lively bars at the weekend. These are our top picks for those of you living in Sligo

  1. Climb Truskmore: The County Highpoint of Sligo is Truskmore Summit. There is a road all the way to the top and the views are exceptional.
  2. Spend an afternoon at Mullaghmore: Walk along the beach, check out the harbour and take a trip out to the viewing point for Classie Bawn Castle. There is a lot of history in this little village.
  3. Walk Steedagh strand: I’m sure everyone and their neighbour in Sligo has visited this beach but we are going to mention it anyway- as you can’t get more socially distanced out here. This will be one of the first places on our galavanting list once restrictions are lifted.

For those of us not from Connaught, we will have to wait to visit for intercounty restrictions to be lifted before we visit. Thats ok though- there are plenty of places in your own County to explore. Next week we will be heading South! Let me know if there are any places you want me to mention or if I have left any out here!

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Until we Galavant (outside our own County) again- stay safe xx

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