Be Our Guest 2018

hether you’re visiting from abroad or native to these shores, a trip out West is guaranteed to offer you fun and treasured memories. The variation of landscape alone will give you a sense of the magic this area possesses. Whether it’s Clare, Donegal, Galway, Leitrim, Limerick, Mayo, Roscommon or Sligo that you’re travelling to, a trip of adventure, excitement and beautiful scenery awaits. From rugged coastline to the vast rock formations of the Burren National Park, each county will offer something unique. If your visit is part of a trip along the Wild Atlantic Way, which stretches from Malin Head in Co Donegal to Kinsale in Co Cork, you will be left breathless by your views of the Atlantic and you will soon realise that these views are just the beginning of what the West has to offer. As well as the well known Burren National Park, there are tremendous green spaces such as Glenveagh National Park in Donegal, Connemara National Park in Galway and Ballycroy in Mayo where wildlife, spectacular natural scenery and historical landmarks will all be in abundance. If you like the idea of exploring beyond the mainland, there are plenty of options for worthwhile boat-trips; Aran Islands off Galway, Inisturk Island or Clare Island near Mayo are just some of your options. The coastal counties along the Wild Atlantic Way often get the most attention from travellers but the non-coastal counties of Roscommon & Leitrim are equally magnificent in their own right and truly worthy of a visit. Lakes, woodlands and wildflower meadows make Roscommon the perfect place to escape into the wild. Walk through the Lough Key Forest Park in Boyle and explore its unique nineteenth-century historical features, roaming wildlife or key family spots such as the featured Fairy Bridge. Roscommon is also home to one of Ireland’s more unique and notable tourist attractions. The Arigna Mining Experience will allow you to explore Ireland’s first and last coal mine. The tour takes you 400 metres underground where you will experience the tough working life of a miner. Leitrim’s Glencar Waterfall has been the place for many proposals due to its romantic enclosed setting. Take a trip along the River Shannon and test out the fishing or simply relax as you make your way along Ireland’s longest river. Fancy a flutter? Galway has become synonymous with summer horse racing. The Galway Summer Racing Festival (June 30th) is arguably the biggest event in Irish horse-racing with up to 150,000 visitors to the city for the racing, the partying and of course the famed Ladies Day. Limerick is a city that is nationally acknowledged for having excellent sporting infrastructure – giddy up for a family fun day at the Limerick Racecourse on Sunday July 8th or rugby fans can book a tour through Thomond Park Stadium. Why not test your fitness levels and climb Croagh Patrick in Co Mayo. Croagh Patrick is considered the holiest mountain in Ireland and is home to St Patrick ’ s oratory and chapel on the summit. Meanwhile, Drumcliffe in Co Sligo is set against a striking backdrop of the Benbulben Mountains and is best known as the final resting place of Yeats. It is also worthwhile to pay a visit to Ireland’s largest cemetery of megalithic tombs, Carrowmore Megalithic Cemetery, which is also based in Sligo. The West is a treasure trove of beautiful beaches, cliffs, ancient forts and historical sites. Whether you choose to surf some waves, climb a mountain or join some traditional musicians, a visit to the West coast will not be forgotten. 39 Be Our Guest