Lucy Cox explains how the best way to tour a Celtic nation is on foot, away from the madding crowd.
The Celtic nations are among the most interesting places you could ever wish to visit. If you’re looking for culture, tradition, history and engaging people, then the Celtic regions must top the list.
However, just as going to Washington DC isn’t the same as going to America, going to the major towns or cities in the Celtic countries isn’t the same as getting out into the wilds.
There is no better way to take in the Celtic countryside than to slip into a pair of comfy boots and take a trek through the hills and valleys. For this is the real Celtic country, the country that our ancestors would still recognise today aside from a few intrusive roads. Here is one such walk that we recommend.
Based in the Beara Peninsula of County Cork, there are many sites to explore which cover quaint villages, rivers, beaches, caves and megalithic monuments.
Starting from the village of Ardgroom, make sure you take the time to explore this multi-coloured estuary village before you head out on the looped walk. Although it is anticipated this walk will only take between one and two hours, coastal walking can be challenging and it would be a shame to miss what this beautiful village and surrounding area has to offer. The stone circle in the south west of the village named Canfea is certainly worth a visit.
Starting from Cuas Quay, follow the footpath arrow (coloured blue) onto the road and around to the left where eventually you will come to a grassy track on your left, leading to open ground.
Follow this track until you reach the site of stone ruins, walls and pens. These skeletal remains of rural living offer a fascinating insight into both current and historical farming in the area.
Continue following the walls and beyond until you reach Dogs Point and the start of some of the most spectacular views across Kenmarne Bay and the ocean. On a clear day, the distant coast of County Kerry will be visible. If not too windy, this would make an ideal site for a sip of tea and a slice of cake and bask in the open space.
Flask packed up and last crumbs of cake eaten, follow the footpath signs until you reach Coosmore Caves and stop to explore this expansive cave system before pressing on and completing your loop, finishing back at the village of Ardgroom.