A day out in Derradda
Lettermaghera loop walk, Derradda
Trail surface Bog roads, quiet country roads
Degree of difficulty Moderate
Bring Comfortable walking shoes, rain gear (just in case), camera, water and a snack
Après walk A few good pubs in Newport, or Nevin’s in Tiernaur.
Dogs On a leash please, this is sheep country
Four communities on the north shore of Clew Bay came together five years ago to establish the ‘Burrishoole loop walks’. Newport, Derradda, Tiernaur and Mulranny now have a number of looped walking trails to cater for people of varying fitness levels. These trails bring the walker onto quiet bog roads and to some of the best views that west Mayo has to offer.
Derradda is 2.5 miles from Newport, just off the Mulranny road. The old primary school, which now serves as a community centre, is the start point for the three Derradda loops, one of which is the 7k Lettermaghera loop (marked in green on the map). This loop is a moderate-level walk – there are two short hills to climb, but they are worth it for the views.
Starting at the community centre follow the green arrows that guide you along the way, after 1k you will meet the new greenway that runs from Newport to Mulranny. Cross over the Greenway and continue along the road past the old railway cottage. After this you walk through an area known as the wire hills, here you will pass by a number of small lakes and the ‘salmon leap’, which separates the two great lakes in the area, Feeagh and Furnace.
Turn left at the bridge and continue uphill through the village of Lettermaghera. Here, you will begin to gain height, and great views over Clew Bay will appear. The locals talk about the freshness of sea air that drifts in off the bay, and you can appreciate it as you head west along the high bog road.
The trail travels along the bog road for another kilometre before turning left and heading downhill towards Lough Fadda. Just past the picnic bench you turn left and make your way back to the community centre.
You can also try the other two loops: Follow the red arrows for a longer version of the Lettermaghera loop, or follow the blue arrows for a circuit of lough Furnace.
Sights close by
- Rockfleet Castle, aka Carrickahowley Castle, home of Grainuaille, built in the mid-16th century.
- Burrishoole Abbey founded in 1469.
- The salmon research centre at Lough Furnace.
How to get there
Start from Newport. Follow the N59 in the direction of Mulranny for approximately 4km to reach a road junction on your right signposted Derradda Community Centre. Turn right and follow this road for 500 meters until you arrive at the Community Centre. There is an information board at the centre which gives you details of all the loop walks
Tom Carolan works for South West Mayo Development Company as Recreation Officer. His job involves the design, construction and promotion of recreational trails. He can be contacted at email@example.com.
This article is the second in the Living section’s Walk of the Month series, which describes a different Mayo walk on the first Tuesday of every month. See www.mayonews.ie/living for last month’s walk, the Moorehall Walking Trail.