Erris head is a peninsula in the north west corner of Co. Mayo. This guided walk takes you across grassland populated by sheep but dominated by nature. The vista changes with every step as you open up the north and west coasts on this remote and rugged part of Ireland. The experience differs depending on the weather. Some days (not many) it can be almost flat calm and we may spot whales or dolphins. Some days wonderful waves crash on the coast sending spray spiralling up the cliffs. Whatever the weather, this guided walk is a ‘must do’ for energetic visitors, after all, Erris was voted by Irish Times readers as ‘The Best Place to go Wild in Ireland’
This guided walk is a ‘must do’ for energetic visitors.
Featured on this tour
Stags of Broadhaven
These impressive rocks were created about 1.6 billion years ago. The group consists of five steep rock islands with a height of almost 100m located almost 3km off Benwee Head. The rocks are a popular nesting place for many seabirds such as Puffin, Fulmar, Storm Petrel and Kittiwake. Popular with kayakers and divers the Stags have many interesting features such as caves and sea arches.
World War 2 Look Out Post
Ireland was neutral during the second world war but there was always the possibility of an invasion by German or British forces. As part of a coast watching service, 83 of these look out posts were build around the Irish coast all of them linked by telephone to Dublin. Let me recount some of the coast watcher stories, as we imagine the difficulties of being stationed here.
Éire 69 Sign
The Irish Government wanted to highlight our territory to warring factions in WW2. In order to do this, the word Éire (Ireland) was marked on many headlands around the coast with a different number on each headland. The locations and numbers of the headlands were shared with the allies which helped to orientate inexperienced navigators on war planes arriving from the United States.
This the location of one of the four lighthouses off the coast of Belmullet. The current lighthouse was built in 1895 after the sea had cascaded over the original building smashing the glass and filling it with water. Today the light flashes three times every fifteen seconds to warn passing ships to stay clear of this hazardous coast. Despite our neutrality the lighthouse was machine-gunned by a German fighter in 1940.
On this tour you will encounter lots of sheep as they munch their way across the land without paying too much attention to you. There a lot to learn about the rearing of sheep in this area: How the rams operate from late October, how many ewes a ram will ‘cover’ in a day (phew!), how the farmer knows which ewes has been ‘covered’, why Erris lamb tastes so good.
Trig pillars were erected by Ordnance Survey Ireland at various points around the country to measure angles and distance for the creation of maps. The system was based on the fact that if you know one length and two angles of a triangle you can calculate the length of the other two sides. From here you can see as far a Co. Sligo to the east and to Achill Island to the south.
Professionally guided tour by Neal Doherty. Expect an interesting and entertaining tour with lots of stories, history and anecdotes that you will remember and take home to your family and friends. Our tours are designated tours but if you have some subject or area in which you are particularly interested please let me know and I will tailor the tour to your needs.
Tour start and end location is at the carpark at Erris Head.
No dogs allowed.
2 – 2.5 hour walk across uneven and mucky ground with little or no shelter. Please wear suitable footwear and clothing.
Cost €60 for up to four people and €5 for each additional person payable on the day.