Category Archives: Mayo Walks

Fairy Trail

Just before the summer holidays finished, we visited Belleek woods in Ballina, Co. Mayo. We had visited the woods before, but one of the paths was now part of a new cycle greenway from Ballina to Killala (called the Monasteries of the Moy Greenway) and we thought we’d try some of the route.

Monastries of the Moy Greenway

Monasteries of the Moy Greenway

As we followed some of the woodland paths on our return we found these lovely fairy houses.  The fairy trail has been a relatively recent addition to the woods and many of the fairy houses have been made locally through the men’s shed project.

It was a great little find and particularly entertained our six year old who enjoyed running ahead to see what little fairy house she could spot next.

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Tourmakeady woods

Today, our amble was at Tourmakeady Woods in County Mayo. It is a lovely woodland walk. We took the path along the River Glensaul, then followed the red walk loop that goes around the lake, past Tourmakeady Lodge.

The sun was shining and there were lots of butterflies about, but the stars were the Silver-washed fritillary, of which we saw seven. These large butterflies are often seen in deciduous woodland. The caterpillars feed on violets.

Silver-washed fritillary

Silver-washed fritillary, hiding in the falling leaves

The woodland, was one of sixteen chosen to be part of the People’s Millennium Woods to commemorate the new century. The project involved the planting of 1.3 million native Irish trees.

Tourmakeady Woods

Tourmakeady Woods

Not having been there before, and only reading up on the site on our return, I see that we missed what is supposed to be a lovely waterfall which was on another path than the one we took!! Never mind, something to see the next time we visit.

Peacock

Peacock, determined not to show it’s beautiful colours!

 

 

Enniscoe House

Enniscoe House and Estate can be found near Crossmolina in Co Mayo, on the shores of Lough Conn.  Steeped in heritage the Georgian house dates from 1790 and today is run as a family hotel. We visited a couple of weeks ago to take part in a bumblebee workshop (held by the National Biodiversity Data Centre). The second half of the day involved looking for and identifying bumblebees.  It also allowed us to enjoy the grounds including the beautiful woodland, but especially the organic walled garden. The garden is divided into two; first the formal garden or pleasure grounds, and secondly the vegetable and impressive fruit growing area. Strawberries, apple trees and currants were all in bloom.  The garlic was huge in comparison to my own! And the potatoes were coming on very well.

Enniscoe is also the location of the Mayo North Heritage Centre, where people can go and explore their North Mayo ancestors / genealogy. There is also a looped walk, a museum and all important tea rooms.

Wildlife Wednesday

Moorehall is one of our favourite places to go for a walk, here in County Mayo. Here are some of yesterday’s little wildlife highlights. The Holly Blue butterfly is small and delicate. The inside wings are the blue of an evening sky in summer, so seeing them flying along is like watching fragments of sky flutter about.

Atop Nephin

This week’s photo challenge was to take a photo atop of something. So I had to dig back to some old photos – this one from 2006, when my husband and I climbed Nephin (806m), one of our higher mountains here in Mayo. You can see right the way to the west coast, though the day wasn’t hundred percent clear.Nephin