Walk with the children of Lir at Carrowteige
Three Carrowteige Loops
Trailhead The Seanscoil, Carrowteige village
Minimum gear Walking boots, raingear, snack and fluid – and bring a camera to capture those sea views.
Fitness level Suits average levels of fitness with a couple of steep short climbs.
Time Allow 2½ to 3 hours.
Trail surface Laneways, grassy tracks, coastal/cliff, bog roads.
Conditions the Cliff edge is unfenced, so keep dogs and kids under strict control. Don’t miss the view over Tráigh Na bhFothantaí Dubha from Black Ditch path, the view of Stags of Broadhaven from cliffs near the Children of Lir monument.
The three loop walks that have been developed in Carrowteige are amongst the best coastal walking trails anywhere in Ireland. They take the walker from Carrowteige village onto a section of the dramatic North Mayo coast that includes breath-taking sea cliffs and lovely sandy beaches.
Getting to Carrowteige is an adventure in itself, start from the village of Glenamoy on the R314 between Belmullet and Ballycastle. Follow the R314 in the direction of Belmullet for approximately 2km to reach a road junction on your right (sign-posted Ross Port). Turn right and follow this road for approximately 12km (continuing straight at the turn-off for Ross Port) to reach the village of Carrowteige (An Ceathrú Tadhg).
The trailhead is located beside the shop on your right as you enter the village. You can approach from Bangor Erris and pass by Carrowmore Lake on your way north. Alternatively the drive from Ballina across the North Mayo coast is always worth it, and you can take in a visit to the Ceide Fields.
From the trailhead at the shop, you have a choice of three loops. Follow the blue arrows for the Children of Lir loop, which is 10km in length. The red arrows are for the Black Ditch Loop, which is 13 kilometres long, while the green arrows follow a shorter loop.
You can download information and maps from www.mayowalks.ie or www.irishtrails.ie. There is also an information board at the trailhead.
You will all remember the story of the Children of Lir from your childhood. It was out on Inishglora, hidden away on the far side of the Mullet peninsula, that the Children of Lir eventually found burial and absolution.
You will pass by a sculpture that has been erected in their honour on your walk along this breathtaking coast.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article os the sixth in the Living section Walk of the Month series, which describes a different Mayo walk at the start of each month.