In part two of our four-part series on Ireland we showcase seven lesser-known beauty spots - from clifftop marvels, glassy lakes and mystical landscapes.
It's not surprising scenes for hit TV shows and movies like Game of Thrones and Star Wars were filmed there. There's an ancient, other-worldliness about the country and one of the best ways to embace this side of Ireland is by exploring on foot. And these beautiful walks will do the trick.
Glencar Lake, County Leitrim Situated between counties Leitrim and Sligo, the first thing you’ll notice when approaching Glencar Lake is the dramatic cliffs. You will also hear magnificent waterfalls cascading from the heights. These falls made such an impression on the great WB Yeats, he immortalised them in his mystical poem, The Stolen Child.
Slieve League, County Donegal Standing at almost 600m, the sloping cliffs at County Donegal’s Slieve League are one of the highest sea cliffs in Europe. And as you’re standing on this seemingly edge of the world, you’ll no doubt enjoy the salty sea air and be mesmerized by the Atlantic Ocean waves crashing on the rocks below.
Derryvegal Lough, County Cork One of the most whimsical places on the island of Ireland, Derryvegal Lough is set in the deep wilds of West Cork. A haven of wildlife where misty mountain peaks meet glistening waters, the only thing missing from this fairy-tale setting is fairies.
Clough Oughter Castle, County Cavan A perfect spot for any nature and history-loving adventurer, Clough Oughter Castle is 12th century fortress that sits on a small island in the middle of Lough Oughter in County Cavan. If only the ancient stones could talk, you’d hear of tales and secrets of warring families, fearless battles, and weathered history.
Glenariff Glen, County Antrim Glenariff is one of the nine Glens of Antrim forged by giant glaciers during the Ice Age, each with a unique beauty and character. Sometimes called the “Queen of the Glens”, its name means “valley of the ploughman”. One thing is for sure – its beauty is simply majestic!
Hill of Uisneach, County Westmeath One of the most sacred and historic sanctuaries in the world, the Hill of Uisneach in Ireland’s Ancient East is a treasure trove of discovery said to be the ancient centre of Ireland. Marked by the famous Aill na Míreann (the Stone of Divisions), it is also claimed to be the resting place of the sun god, Lugh.
Flagstaff viewpoint, County Armagh Flagstaff Viewpoint, nearby Newry city, offers spectacular views of Carlingford Lough, the Mournes and the Cooley Mountains. Carlingford Lough is an area of natural beauty famous for myths and legends of Celtic warriors. History buffs will also enjoy the abundance of historical heritage sites in the area.