Ireland
County Mayo

Here you’ll find travel reports about County Mayo. Discover travel destinations in Ireland of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

44 travelers at this place:

  • Day5

    Unexpected encounters

    September 18 in Ireland

    Today has been more rainy than sunny, but we carried on, doing our Quiet Man movie tour in the rain, but enjoying sunshine while we waited on our bike tour guide, only to be told after an hour that he could not make it. So, we went back to the Lodge and grabbed a couple of their bikes and took off in a period of lovely sunshine to explore the grounds. Hoping to bike on a trail behind Ashford Castle, we were met with a closed gate and another couple on bikes like ours who were studying a map. Thinking they were Lodge guests also, we asked where they were headed, and they said they were trying to find Ashford's "walled gardens" and we explained that they were off limits, only to guests of the castle, to which they replied they were (she was part of the insurance company that had rented out the castle for the top earners and he was a doctor; they were from Nebraska) and after hearing that we were not allowed in, they invited us to tag along on their search with them. Not a rule breaker, I hesitated, but decided to give it a try. The first test was passing the guard at the gate, which he greeted the four of us and we road on. So, we got to see Ashford Castle after all, as after finding the walled garden, they invited us inside for a glimpse, so I got to ooh and awe at the downstairs of the castle, also going upstairs with them on a mini tour of the library and billiard room. (Interesting side note, his name was John and her name was Maureen, just like from the Quiet Man, and they were staying in the same suite that John Wayne stayed in!) They cycled out with us and we said our goodbyes. How cool was that, from disappointment to getting to see something we thought was not going to happen! I love serendipity!
    We are missing our traveling buddies, so the opportunity for conversation and amiable companionship today was a pleasant surprise.
    Dinner was at the Lodge, as it turned very cool and windy with threatening rain.
    Not many pictures today, so I'm including a few of our suite "upgrade." (The one of us by the arbor is from Ashford's walled garden)
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  • Day4

    Greetings from County Mayo! We awoke to a soft rain, enjoyed a lovely full Irish breakfast, and after the tyre (that's how they spell it here) finally got replaced by someone they sent to our parked car (again, thankful for full coverage insurance), we sadly left our luxurious castle suite (was informed by our bellman, Tom, that ours was one of their bridal suites), and went in search of that church where one of my favorite Irishmen, Pierce Brosnan, got married, Ballintuber Abbey, with ended up being a very unique church, dating back to 1216A.D. The grounds were very well kept and had a very unique and moving story of Jesus' journey to the cross.
    From there, it was 30 mins to our home for the next two days, Ashford Castle, which is also where Pierce had his wedding reception. Ashford Hotel is a very exclusive (expensive) hotel with rooms starting @ $600/night. But, for us little guys, there is The Lodge on the Ashford grounds, which is supposed to allow you access to view the castle, but alas it is closed during our stay for a private event. When we arrived, I heard some of my favorite words..."we've upgraded you." We were shown to a 2-story suite with a little patio. So much space for two people! However, for those who know me, the decor is sooo not my style, and we had a good laugh but are still happy with our upgrade. Even though the skies were still spitting at us, we took off for the 20-min walk to the tiny village of Cong, famous for the film setting of John Wayne's "The Quiet Man." Bruce is a big John Wayne fan, and has always loved the movie as well. We took an hour walk through the forest outside of town (found an old stone tower, which we of course climbed), and had dinner at one of the the tiny town's restaurants where Bruce enjoyed a big pot of mussels. He was a happy guy. Walked back through the soft rain. Looking forward to our Quiet Man tour walk and 3-hr bike ride tomorrow, hoping the rain I'm hearing outside our window will clear out in the morning.
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  • Day42

    Sorted out our crappy accommodation by not staying a second night, had a refund and all was well. Lady still m‘learning’!!! Headed on a ‘tiki tour’ to Westport via the coast Road south. Took us to Lakes, Mountains and ocean and anything in between!!! Picnic lunch on the beach, amazing countryside, lots of very windy narrow roads but it was great. Stopped for coffee a couple of times we needed a ‘pit stop’. Arrived Westport and rang our bnb to find they had made an error and we were a ‘day early!!! They were very quick to rectify the situation and after a pint at the local pub we were settled in our accomm. Quite a contrast to last night. Walked to an Italian restaurant and now home feeling quite full. A great day with lots of laughs. Navigator good today, lots of miles and now very tired.😴😴😴 photo of our accommodation tonight with our wagon in front.Read more

  • Day8

    Keem bay, Achill Island

    September 17, 2017 in Ireland

    A brother at meeting told us about this place it was about a hour from our hotel. The drive was nice and there was a big rugby match between county Mayo which we were in and Dublin so there was no traffic or crowds and I got to do a little of rock climbing.

  • Day7

    Killarney to Achill Island, Ireland

    August 26, 2017 in Ireland

    Yesterday we drove from Killarney up through Limerick, Galway, Westport and on to Achill Island to stay with Marian and Paul in their holiday home at Achill Sound. After arriving Paul and Marian drove us to Keems Bay for a walk along the beach where some crazy people were swimming.

  • Day8

    Achill Island, Ireland

    August 27, 2017 in Ireland

    Marian, Mim and I went for a walk through the ruins of an old village that existed at the time of the Potato Famine. You could still see the potato mounds and imagine how life would have been, a very hard life and desperate times. The sheep now wander amongst the ruins and graze on the heather which grows in abundance on the bog fields. After the walk Paul met us for coffee then took us for a drive around the Atlantic Way on the Island. We had a wonderful time catching up with Paul and Marian and enjoyed every moment of their hospitality, we were spoilt.Read more

  • Day97

    Connemara, Cong bus tour

    December 9, 2016 in Ireland

    I booked another night in the hostel today so I could take this bus trip. It was a trip through a national park, friar ruins, abbeys and a fjord along the Atlantic Ocean. Again I lucked out with the weather. First stop was to Ross Errily Abbey ruins, lived in by Fransiscan monks until 1742. It was attacked three times. Next stop was Cong where the 1951 movie Quiet man was filmed starring John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara. I stopped here to grab a bowl of hit soup because lunch was going to be at two and I've had this lingering cold for three days now.Read more

  • Day36

    Ireland's largest island

    August 28, 2017 in Ireland

    I didn't book a taxi, didn't know what time we would be ready. So eventually we walked to the corner and hailed a cab - no problems. A happy driver - but he didn't know where the airport hire car pickup was - I don't blame him, its confusing. He dropped us at the wrong place so we had to walk. It was so busy - I have never seen such a slow process to collect a hire car. Neither of us were happy - I don't like Hyundais and Mary wanted air conditioning. Anyway, off we went.

    We were travelling on the Motorway and so needed money for Tolls. Stopped at a place called Killcock in a tea room called The Timeless Cafe. What a delight. Modern food with brilliant flavours.Its mainly a sandwich place. Mary had ciabatta roll with salmon and crunchy noodles while I had a white pudding, bacon and potato hash - it came in a large bowl and was brlliant.

    Driving on the motorway was easy and in no time we were heading for the west coast. The road became tighter, but it was still fun driving. We stopped at a ruined church and an old cemetery - Mary loves these. The countryside reminded us of the west coast of Scotland.

    Achill Island is not clearly and island, there is just a ribbon of water running north-south that cuts it off from the mainland. A small, Emu River like bridge takes us to the island.

    The B&B I booked is just on the Island and so was easy to find. It has a secret garden and the room is down by the water, in fact all the floors are tiled and furniture is up on blocks because it sometimes floods. They have the Atlantic Ocean on three sides and water running down the hill from behind and so there is no escaping the water on occasions. A lovely big room with a huge library - all books written in Dutch unfortunately.

    Off for a pub meal tonight, tomorrow we explore Achill Island.

    Cheers
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  • Day37

    The wonderful Achill Island

    August 29, 2017 in Ireland

    Our full day exploring Achill Island started in the mist. Our B&B owner said that the day would clear - he was right. We decided to circumnavigate the island in a clockwise direction. Our first stop was the castle of Grace O'Malley - the pirate queen of Ireland. I found this story amusing -

    "In 1593, when her sons and her half-brother, were taken captive by the English, Grace sailed to England to petition Elizabeth I for their release. Elizabeth I famously sent Grace a list of questions, which she answered and returned to Elizabeth. Grace met with Elizabeth at Greenwich Palace, wearing a fine gown, the two of them surrounded by guards and the members of Elizabeth's royal Court.

    She refused to bow before Elizabeth because she did not recognise her as the Queen of Ireland. Apparently Grace sneezed and was given a lace-edged handkerchief from a noblewoman.

    She apparently blew her nose into the handkerchief and then threw the piece of cloth into a nearby fireplace, much to the shock of the court. Grace informed Elizabeth and her court that, in Ireland, a used handkerchief was considered dirty and was destroyed. Their discussion was carried out in Latin, as Grace spoke no English and Elizabeth spoke no Irish."

    Achill Island is popular for cycling and road running events, there were drinks stops placed all along the roads. The scenery is incredible - huge hills, perfectly neat Irish Country homes, rugged sea cliffs and challenging country roads, oh and sheep ... sheep everywhere - but they are good with cars, they just ignore you.

    There a handful of villages - just what you would expect in Ireland - but a little more focused on holiday makers - and water sports - even surfing. We went the the furtherest place west - Keen Bay where they used to net Basking Sharks for their oil, the basking shark are the largest fish in the North Atlantic, and they once swam off Achill in abundance - almost 10,000 were caught between the 1950s and 1980s. The sharks had a liver that was 25% of their body weight - so they could get 400kg of oil from each shark - they used the oil for street lamps - makes you think ?

    We went to the Deserted Village at Slievemore which consists of some 80 – 100 stone cottages located along a mile long stretch of road on the southern slopes of Slievemore mountain. While some of these dwellings were occupied as summer ‘booley’ homes within living memory, the area itself is rich in archaeological artefacts including megalithic tombs dating from the Neolithic period some 5,000 years ago. Its hard to find out why the village was abandoned, it seems to have happened before the famine, who knows why?

    A fun day on Achill Island was completed by me having a fish platter - eight different types of shell and scale fish - all cold - a real treat.

    Tomorrow we head back to Dublin to get ready for our flight to Venice.

    Cheers,
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Maigh Eo, County Mayo

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