Day 2: Anascaul to Dingle
14.5 miles, 1,400 feet
A short walk from Anascaul brought us to Minard Castle, another location used in
Ryan's Daughter, and the perfect spot for a coffee break. We then travelled
inland through farmland and onto lower mountain slopes, along minor roads,
boreens and footpaths with great views of the mountains. After crossing the
Garfinny River we took a south-westerly direction to head for Dingle, the main
town on the peninsula.
Lush green valleys are the order of the day . . .
and the sheep enjoys a roadside throne
The ruins of Minard Castle, where Rosy met the English Captain in Ryan's
Daughter . . .
and the adjoining storm beach . . .
provides great seats for our morning stop
A spot of rain brings out the waterproofs . . .
and the locals check we are on the right path
Dingle harbour . . .
and just the place to come back to for our evening meal
Emlagh Lodge B & B is immaculately furnished
Day 3: Dingle to Dunquin
14.5 miles, 2,000 feetAfter
a very enjoyable breakfast we made our way back through Dingle and on to Ventry
Beach. This was our first opportunity to walk without boots and we made the most
of it. Then we headed through pasture land and on to the lower slopes of Mount
Eagle. Approaching Slea Head there were a great views of the coastline and
cliffs, especially as the Blasket Islands came into view. After a brief stop at
the cafe, where we found a very cheeky seagull, we headed down to Coumeenoole
Beach, another of the locations used in Ryan's Daughter. It was then along the
road to Dunquin and Glenn Dearg B & B.
The locals are out for a morning stroll
Ventry Beach with Mount Eagle in the mist
Time to test the temperature of the water
A kite surfer becomes airborne . . .
but makes a perfect landing
The remains of clochains, or beehive huts,
litter the hillside . . .
but further along the path two larger ones are
Coast road and cliffs make for good viewing . .
as does the most westerly point of Europe, at
Slea Head . . .
where we make a brief stop to stock up on the
calories . . .
and a cheeky seagull finishes off the milk
Looking back along the coast . . .
as we head for Coumeenoole Beach . . .
another location from Ryan's Daughter . . .
and a great place for photographs
Gleann Dearg B & B, comfortable but rather cosy
Day 4: Dunquin
13.5 miles, 500 feet
After climbing out of Dunquin along the road we
made our way to Clogher Beach, a very picturesque and sheltered spot. Returning
to the road it wasn't long before we turned off to take in the delights of the
Atlantic Ocean crashing against the rocks below. The scene captured by the
cameras, we carried on towards the Three Sisters - a much photographed section
of coastline. Following the road across to Smerwick Harbour a short detour took
in the Fort of Gold before continuing to Ballydavid.
The Blasket Islands are a little clearer as we
leave Dunquin . . .
and pose beside a standing stone en route
Clogher beach is a beautiful secluded spot
Zooming in on the Three Sisters . . .
which are actually quite a distance away
One oyster catcher is clearly seen, but a second
one is hard to spot - look for the legs on the left of the rock
Another view of the Three Sisters . . .
as the Atlantic Ocean pounds against the rocks
At the Fort of Gold a sculpture commemorates the
600 people massacred here in 1580
Skirting Smerwick Harbour we have a good view of
Brandon Mountain, and tomorrow's route over the shoulder on the left
We are in for a very warm welcome at Imeall na
Mara B & B
Ballydavid to Cloghane
11 miles, 2,064 feet
With a long road walk before the start of the
climb over the shoulder of Mount Brandon, we were pleased to accept the offer of
a lift from our hostess. Consequently we were fresh when we started what was
described as a 'long, stiff climb that should not be attempted in mist'. In
fact, it was a relatively easy, gradual ascent that was well waymarked. Whilst
the beginning of the descent was rather eroded it was easy to navigate around
the worst parts and soon we were on an easy track that descended gradually
before joining a road that took us into Brandon. Now with time to spare and a
lovely sunny day, we decided a little sunbathing on the beach was in order
before continuing on to Benagh B & B, 10 minutes north of Cloghane.
Preparing to start the climb . . .
which isn't too steep at all
Still climbing . . .
but a gate provides a good spot for a photo . .
and soon it is time for a coffee break
Having passed the highest point, a standing
stone . . .
is the focal point for a group photo . . .
before starting our descent - with some very big
signs to guide us
Peat cutting is still actively pursued . . .
and the blocks are stacked to dry
An alternative use for a survival bag . . .
as we spend some time on Brandon Beach . . .
before continuing on to Benagh B & B . . .
with its great view across the bay
Day 6: Cloghane to Castlegregory
18 miles, 900 feet
The colourful houses of Cloghane were a welcome contrast to the heavy rain of
the previous night. After a short stretch inland we reached the longest beach in
Ireland, our route for the next 6 miles. Firm sand made for good walking but the
pebbly sections needed a little more care. Eventually reaching the far end of
the beach we crossed the peninsula to reach another section of beach - but this
one not suitable for bare foot walking. Turning inland again we soon reached
Castle House B & B, albeit in rather damp weather.
Colourful houses in Cloghane
Preparing for our long beach walk . . .
is it really 6 miles to the far end - curving round to the left . . .
better be on our way . . .
crossing the streams poses little difficulty
What a day for . . .
a school outing
Someone on the sand dunes points the way . . .
but he won't be going far
All traces of sand must be removed . . .
before we put the boots back on
A curreagh - a typical Irish boat
Ned Natterjack's Pub - 5 minutes from Lough Gill, home of the rare natterjack
A rather damp end to the day - at Castle House B & B
Day 7: Castlegregory to Camp
7.6 miles, 320 feet
On the official route today's walk would have been 17 miles back to Tralee but
for us it was a short walk to Camp. After an initial stretch on the road we were
back on the beach again. We were very pleased to find that the trail had been
re-routed to stay on the beach almost as far as Camp. After picking the car up
at the B & B we drove to the Blennerville Windmill just outside Tralee. Our plan
had been to visit the mill then take a trip on the steam train. Unfortunately
the steam train was no longer running - and looked like it hadn't done so for
With the heavy rainfall during the night we are pleased there is a bridge at
Time for breakfast
One more river to cross - treading carefully kept our feet dry
Looking across Tralee Bay to Camp and the Slieve Mish Mountains
The last stretch on the beach . . .
before a final group photo
A cormorant poses for the camera
Returning to Camp Junction House B & B
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