As part of our Wild Atlantic Way pages we wanted to create on www.outdoorfitnesssligo.com , we decided to take a day trip to co.Mayo, targeting the north coast from Ballina to Belmullet. And we decided to stop at all the Wild Atlantic Way Discovery points . First stop, Killala Quays. it was still early in the morning, so it was quiet in killala. From Killala, we followed the coastal road towards Lackan Strand. Lackan Strand is another Discovery Point along the Wild Atlantic Way. Lackan strand looks out onto the Atlantic offering breathtaking views as far as Sligo and Donegal.
Next on route was Downpatrick Head. Downpatrick Head used and still is an important pilgrim destination. St Patrick founded a church here, ruins can still be seen within the landscape. The very spectacular sea-stack is called Dún Briste. Many birds can be seen breeding along the rocks of this stack. There are also multiple blowholes, the largest one being Poll Na Seantainne which on a stormy day is spectacular.
Afterwards, we headed towards the Ceide Fields in Ballycastle. Here, you can enjoy the views towards dramatic cliffs along the Co.Mayo coast. The Ceide Fields visitor centre is worthwhile a visit. They are the oldest known field systems in the world. The remains of the stone walls, houses,.. are buried under the huge layer of peat.
After the Ceide Fields, we headed towards our next discovery point, Benwee Head. Benwee Head is the ideal location for walking as you have waymarked walks along the cliff edges with spectacular views of the Wild Atlantic ocean.
After having stretched our legs, we headed towards Belmullet where we had to cover our next 5 Discovery points. After a stop in Belmullet's Post office, where we got our Wild Atlantic Way passport stamped, we headed towards blacksod. On the way to Blacksod, you pass another discovery point called Elly Beach , a fine beach with the clearest waters suitable for swimming and watersports.
From here, it is a short drive to Blacksod lighthouse which was built in 1862. In June 1944, a decision was made to go ahead with the D-Day landings based on a detailed weather report from Blacksod Bay. The lighthouse itself is spectacular as it is built from massive granite blocks.
Afterwards, it was back direction Belmullet in order to visit Falmore. Here , you find a granite boulder sculpture that was created as part of the sculpture trail in Co.Mayo. The views toward Achill Island are impressive. Heading back towards Belmullet, we visited Annagh Head. Here, we found ourselves surrounded by sheep, which in our view must be the happiest sheep on the planet due to the fact that they have some of the most amazing views towards the Atlantic Ocean and not a soul in the vicinity.
Afterwards, we headed towards Doonamoe Blowhole, another discovery point. Here you will find another sculpture which is called 'Thin Places' . It is two shrines dedicated to those Lost at Sea.
Our last stop of the day was Ceann iorrais, an amazing location for walks and watching sealife. And right in front of us was a tiny seal who just came to say goodbye when we said goodbye to co.May after enjoying an amazing daytrip along the Wild Atlantic Way