Wild Atlantic Way: the name itself brings up images of adventure and exploration.
You will find those, as well as community, archaeology, food, drink, fishing, wilderness, music, and many other things along the Way.
The Wild Atlantic Way is a series of roads, running along the west coast of Ir;end, from Kinsale in Cork in the south to Inishowen in Donegal in the north of the country. There are 188 cultural, natural, and historic Discovery Points marked out along its 1500 mile/2500km length, and other places to discover beyond these, as well.
The Way is meant to be a driving route, primarily, and that is a fine way to explore it. You can also reach to or near come parts of it by public transport, and travel most it by foot, too. Unless you live nearby, this may not be a time for you to visit by those methods, however. Here are some Wild Atlantic Way highlights for you to explore online.
Edwina Guckian is a world renown Irish dancer, who travels the world with her steps. When she and her husband Michael married several years back, they decided they wanted to stay close to home for their honeymoon. The Wild Atlantic Way was their choice. They began in the northern part of the way, and this video was the result.
In the south, along the region of the Way called the Haven Coast, Kinsale is known for its food scene and nearby Clonakilty for its family friendly activities. There is a lighthouse on the sea between them, and beaches along the way, also.
Further along to the north and west, you will find several peninsulas stretching out to the sea in west Kerry.
Dingle is known for the playing of and inspiring of traditional music as well as for views which will print themselves in your memory.
If you take the chance to go off the coast to Skellig Michael, where medieval monks once lived, you will have a unique experience. This, which is the safety video about the trip, will give you a great idea of the place.
Fishing is a way of life in parts of the Wild Atlantic Way, You will be able to savour the catch prepared in many ways, chat to fisher folk, and see them at work in the harbours.
Quiet beaches — busy ones too- are also something you will find along your journey.
There are cliffs facing the sea, too, among them the well known Cliffs of Moher.
Galway is one of the larger towns along the Wild Atlantic Way. Home to a top class university, it is also home to several of the country’s better known pubs and more than bit of the region’s history.
Almost everywhere along the Wild Atlantic Way, you will find music, often with differing styles, different accents so to speak. This story of Fiddles along the Wild Atlantic Way will tell you a bit a musicians who play in those different accents.
Off the coast of County Galway lie the Aran Islands. Though well beloved of visitors they retain a remoteness worth seeking out, too. You may want to seek out Clare Island further north too at the head of Clew Bay in Mayo, too. It was once the home of Ireland’s pirate queen, Grace O’Malley.
Mayo, to the north of Galway, is a place to explore nature and the sea. Take time to explore the night sky as well, as Ballycroy National park is one of the world’s best places to find dark skies and see the heavens.
Sligo is also known for its connections to poet, politician, and playwright William Butler Yeats. Jack Yeats, his brother, was a ground breaking painter across his long career, and often drew on images of Sligo in his work. I tell you more of the story of Jack Yeats at this link.
Donegal: it might be country all on its own, with landscapes and people that are as diverse as they are connected. There’s an influence of Scotland in Donegal, though it is indeed throughly Irish. Like Kerry to the south Donegal is one of the primary areas along the Wild Atlantic Way which is a Gaeltacht, that is, where Irish is in daily use and widely spoken.
Donegal holds many places connected with history, both ancient and more recent. It is the home of distinctive music, too. Learn about the band Altan, who have been taking the music of Donegal across the world.
Music, history, and nature play a part in Donegal’s northernmost place, the Inishowen peninsula. Its coastal waves make it a favorite of surfers too. Nearby, just across the border in Northern Ireland, is the town of Derry with its own many faceted stories.
Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way: it is a place for exploring, adventuring, listening, and dreaming, as this song from Aoife Scott suggests.
Whether you visit on the ground or in imagination,it is a worthwhile journey. Take your time with the Wild Atlantic Way. Take your time with the resources I’ve pointed you to here. My suggestion: make the trip along the Wild Atlantic Way both through imagination and in person, several times.
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