North Connacht has a lot to offer for beauty. We would highly recommend going to this region! Here are some of the best places in these counties.
1. Doo lough Pass, Co. Mayo
The Doolough Valley was the most beautiful scenery we saw in Ireland. Doo Lough means Dark Lake. The lake is at the southern end of the valley and does look quite dark on the surface. The valley is bogland and is uninhabited except for the intrepid sheep who seem quite content to have it to themselves. The bog grass has a beautiful reddish hue. Many small waterfalls flow down both sides of the valley.
2. Aasleagh Falls, Co. Mayo
Located 1 km north of the Galway/Mayo border, this location provides views over Aasleagh Falls, a picturesque waterfall located on the River Erriff just before the river meets Killary Harbour. Two laybys located on either side of the R335 Regional Road provide formal parking. A pathway exists which allows visitors to make the short walk to the waterfall. Salmon fishing is very popular at this location.
3. Ashleam Bay, Co. Mayo
This Discovery Point, along the southern coast of Achill Island that looks down onto Ashleam Bay, is a small pebbly cove sometimes known as Portnahally. A series of hairpin bends descend from this point to the inlet of Ashleam Bay which is enclosed by rock cliffs some 100ft high. This vantage point boasts a series of exceptional panoramic and elevated viewpoints. It offers one of the most breathtaking views on Achill Island.
4. Achillbeg Island, Co. Mayo
Acaill Bheag (Achillbeg) is a small island in County Mayo, just off the southern tip of Achill Island. Its name means ‘Little Achill’. Acaill Bheag was evacuated in 1965 and the inhabitants were settled on the main (Achill) island and nearby mainland.
The main settlement was in the centre of the island, bounded by two hills to the north and south. There are a small number of holiday homes on the island, but they are usually empty for most of the year. Access to the island is from Cé Mhór, in the village of An Chloich Mhór (Cloghmore), by local arrangement. A lighthouse on Acaill Bheag’s southern tip was completed in 1965.
5. Knockmore Mountain, Clare Island
This is an amazing spot in Clare Island which lies off the west coast of Ireland at at the entrance to Clew Bay. It is the largest of the Mayo offshore islands, it has a varied terrain: spectacular cliffs with large numbers of nesting sea birds and a rich ‘inland’ topography of hills and bogs and small pockets of woodland, making it ideal for hill-walking.
6. Mullaghmore, Co. Sligo
Mullaghmore, Co. Sligo. It is a noted holiday destination, characterised by ocean views and a skyline dominated by the monolithic shape of Ben Bulben mountain. In Irish – An Mullach Mór, meaning “the great summit”.
7. Ben Bulben, Co. Sligo
Benbulben, Co. Sligo. Sometimes spelled Ben Bulben or Benbulben, is a large rock formation in County Sligo, Ireland. It is part of the Dartry Mountains, in an area sometimes called “Yeats Country”.
Ben Bulben is a protected site, designated as a County Geological Site by Sligo County Council. In fact, one might possibly describe what is easily Ireland’s most distinctive mountain as being the nearest that Ireland gets to having its own version of Ayres Rock, in central Australia, or Table Mountain near Cape Town, South Africa!
8. Garavogue River, Co. Sligo
The Garavogue is a river located in County Sligo, Ireland. From Lough Gill, it winds its way through Sligo town and into Sligo Bay. The river has a large estuary with a shipping channel capable of taking ships up to 10,000 tons, but now fallen into disuse and used mainly by smaller pleasure craft.
9. Markree Castle, Co. Sligo
One of the country’s finest Victorian Gothic Revival castles. This castle has been sold to a hotel group which specialises in the restoration of such venues. Markree Castle will be closed until March 2016 as it undergoes a €5 million restoration project which will be carried out in three phases over three years.
10. Parkes Castle, Co. Leitrim
A restored plantation castle of the early 17th century, picturesquely situated on the shores of Lough Gill, once the home of Robert Parke and his family. The Courtyard grounds contain evidence of an earlier 16th century Tower House structure once owned by Sir Brian O’Rourke who subsequently was executed at Tyburn, London in 1591. The Castle has been restored using Irish oak and traditional craftsmanship. Access for visitors with disabilities to the ground floor.
11. Glencar Waterfall, Co. Leitrim
Glencar Waterfall is situated near Glencar Lake, 11 kilometres west of Manorhamilton, County Leitrim. It is particularly impressive after rain and can be viewed from a lovely wooded walk. There are more waterfalls visible from the road, although none is quite as romantic as this one.