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Take time to discover thehidden gems of ireland

Monday, 25th May, 2015 3:04pm

Take time to discover thehidden gems of ireland

Streedagh Beach in Co. Sligo where the sheepdogs are the smartest in Ireland.

The Wild Atlantic Way is right here on our doorstep

As part of our Your Ireland supplement that featured in our newspaper last week dated Saturday 23rd May 2015 (and also featured across our sister publications) we have a number of excellent articles on holidaying in Ireland that we felt we had to share online too.

To read the full digital version of Your Ireland please click here

THE Wild Atlantic Way is a captivating 2,500 km long route along the magnificent West of Ireland coastline, stretching from the Inishowen Peninsula in Co. Donegal to Kinsale in Co. Cork, and is oozing with dramatic scenery, stunning seascapes and heaps of culture, heritage, and adventure. Make summer 2015 the summer that you explore some hidden gems along this fabulously rugged coastline. Take it slow with meandering coastal walks, scenic cycle routes, a spot of kayaking and world heritage sites.

Here are just a few hidden gems – but find lots on www.discoverireland.ie or find Discover Ireland on Facebook # this is LIVING.

Catch your dinner in Donegal

Hooked on fish? There’s nothing more lipsmacking than fresh fish and what could be fresher, and more fun, than catching your own. Head out to the dramatic Sliabh Liag cliffs where, under its green tinged rock face, you can fish for your dinner in the rich seas below. Then sit back and relax as Colin, skipper of An Duanai Mara, does all the hard work – filleting your catch for you and delivering it to Kitty Kelly’s Restaurant nearby, where it will be expertly cooked for your enjoyment. www.duanaimaracharters.com

Round up a sheepdog in Sligo

See some of the world’s smartest sheepdogs in action in Streedagh, north Co. Sligo, with international sheepdog trainer Martin Feeney of Atlantic Sheepdogs. Watch as he demonstrates how canines are used to move sheep around mountains and fields on a typical Irish farm. Learn about the different breeds of sheep reared on the farm here and the techniques Martin uses to get his faithful companions performing with military precision. www.facebook.com/atlanticsheepdogs

Discover a deserted village

Take a fascinating journey back in time on a visit to the deserted and haunting village of Sliabh Mór on Achill Island with the ruins of 80 to 100 stone cottages. This is the largest and most recently abandoned ‘booley’ settlements on Achill where cattle grazed on lower mountain slope. The area itself is rich in archaeological artefacts including striking 5,000-year-old megalithic tombs. This tranquil corner of a remote island is a perfect place for quiet reflection and remembrance. www.discoverireland.ie

Take a wild Atlantic leap!

Adrenalin junkies beware – you can get face to face with the rugged west coast scrambling, abseiling, coasteering, and cliff jumping with Adventure West in Mayo! Working out of Westport town and the greater Clew Bay area, Adventure West also has a custom-built zorbing track offering harnessed and hydro rides – and a 210m zipwire you can whizz across in the grounds of Westport House. If you fancy some underwater action try snorkeling or scuba diving with their expert instructors at Old Head. www.adventurewest.ie

Scale new heights in Fanore

Tackle the jewel of rock climbing and scale steep sea cliffs overlooking the Atlantic and the Aran Islands at Ballyryan on the edge of the Burren. With over 300 breathtaking climbing routes in the area, there’s something to suit all levels. Ben’s Rock Climbing offer lessons for beginners to the more experienced with all equipment provided and fully qualified and insured instructors to guide you. www.benssurfclinic.com

Aloha! Make waves in Clare!

Hey dudes make waves along the spectacular Co. Clare shoreline with Aloha Surf School in Fanore in the heart of the Burren. Remote and away from more crowded centres, this is a real escape. Beautiful Fanore Beach is an ideal location for wannabe and experienced surfers, promising a unique surfing adventure with professional instruction for people of all ages and abilities. No experience is necessary and all equipment is provided. Aloha is a small, dedicated, rootsy surf school that really takes the time to teach people to surf and understand the surfing experience. www.surfschool.tv

Light up in Kilbaha

Imagine waking up with the soothing sound of the waves crashing outside? Book a berth at Loop Head Lighthouse, a major landmark on the northern shore of the Shannon River near Kilbaha, Co. Clare. Built on a cliff top with panoramic views of the sea down to Kerry Head and Dingle, across the Shannon and up the Clare coast to the Cliffs of Moher, there has been a lighthouse at this important navigational location since 1670. Today, the lighthouse serves as idyllic and unique selfcatering accommodation. www.irishlandmark.com 

Take a SUP safari

Be sure to stay up on a Stand Up Paddle Board adventure in beautiful Brandon Bay near Castlegregory on the northern side of the Dingle Peninsula. A premier windsurfing spot, Jamie Knox Watersports will put you through your paces here on a SUP Safari around some of Dingle Bay’s glorious spots, with all kit provided. www.jamieknox.com

Enjoy a drop in Dingle

Get your spirits up on a visit to Dingle Distillery and experience the first purpose built distillery for a new whiskey in Ireland in over 200 years. The best Irish malted barley is used to make whiskey which is put in casks, letting the mild, moist Dingle air do the rest! The special hand-crafted copper stills are a key part of the story and Dingle Original Gin and Dingle Distillery Vodka is also produced here. Of course, making whiskey is all about patience. The first Dingle Whiskey will be released in 2016, which happens to be the centenary of Irish independence. www.dingledistillery.ie

Taste the sea

Did you know that seaweed can actually taste delicious? And is also excellent for your skin? Learn more at an Atlantic Irish Seaweed workshop located on the pristine Wild Atlantic Way in Caherdaniel,Derrynane, Co. Kerry. Run by self-confessed ‘seaweed grazers’ John and Kerryann Fitzgerald, you will be fascinated as they give tips on foraging for seaweed and how to add it to delicious recipes. www.atlanticirishseaweed.com

Chill in Castletownbere

For a complete chill out escape to the secluded Dzogchen Beara Buddhist Meditation Centre high up on a secluded cliff top in Castletownbere, Co. Cork. It has been offering refuge and inspiration to seekers from around the globe for more than 30 years. Experience the calm and healing power of meditation or loving kindness practice for yourself, with a free drop in session, guided by an experienced instructor. www.dzogchenbeara.org

Find your sole in Bantry

Do you love shoes? Are you interested inlearning a new skill in a stunning part of Ireland?Why not find your sole and sign up fora shoemaking workshop with Shoeniversityin the spectacular surroundings of BantryHouse in West Cork. Your course will be ledby international footwear expert and tutor,Julian Berwick, in his workshop in the stablesof the stately home overlooking breath takingBantry Bay. Whether you take a one-dayworkshop or immerse yourself in a longercourse, you’ll take the fruits of your hardwork home with you – and a new pair ofshoes! www.shoeniversity.ie

wild atlantic way

-To read the full Your Ireland supplement that features loads more information on holidaying in Ireland please click here

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