Ireland’s Hidden Gems
Welcome to our new Ireland’s Hidden Gems Series! With the lovely sunny spring weather we’ve been having recently here in Ireland, some of us at Love Irish Tours decided there was nothing else for it but to get out of the busy office, jump in the car, and take off on a bit of a road trip to find some of Ireland’s hidden gems! Below we’ve posted some of the photos that we took along the way along with some information on them. Some of the places are well known and some of them could be classed as hidden gems on roads less travelled in Ireland.
Belturbet, Co. Cavan
Béal Tairbirt, Co. an Chabháin.
Béal Tairbirt, from the Irish language translates as a narrow neck of land on the River Erne which runs through the town. There is a lovely marina located in this nice little town where boats peacefully pass by on their way to the beautiful Lough Erne.
Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh
Inis Ceithleann, Co. Fhear Manach.
Enniskillen sits on the River Erne between the Lower and Upper lakes of Lough Erne. The name translates as ‘Ceithleann’s Island’ which you can see on the right of the photo. Ceithleann is said to have been an Irish goddess who, having been wounded in a battle on the island, tried to swim across the river to safety but never made it. The island was named after Ceithleann and gave its name to the modern day town of Enniskillen.
To the left of the photo is Enniskillen Castle, built originally by the Irish chieftain Hugh Maguire in the 16th Century. It now houses the Fermanagh County Museum and exhibits the local natural and prehistory, local crafts and Belleek Pottery along with the castle’s own history.
Lough Nadarragh, Co. Donegal
Loch na nDarach, Co. Dhún na nGall.
This lake is located on the Pettigo to Laghey road and has a nice layby to pull in where you can take in the view and take some photos of this scenic lake. ‘Loch na nDarach’, in the Irish language translates as ‘Lake of the Oaks’, although there aren’t many oak trees to be seen here today! In the background you can see Ballynakillew mountain.
Gweebarra Bay, Co. Donegal
Gaoth Beara, Co. Dhún na nGall.
‘Gaoth’ is an old Irish word for estuary and the placename here translates as the ‘Estuary of the River Beara’. This river is a famous salmon fishing river and is well known for the unspoilt scenery along its banks. The Irish language song ‘Gaoth Beara na gCoillte, Gaoth Beara na dTonn’, written by Dónal Mac Diarmada and made famous by Clannad, was inspired by this beautiful place. The song’s title translates as ‘Gweebarra of the woods, Gweebarra of the waves’.
Doonmore, Dore, Co. Donegal
Dún Mór, Dobhar, Co. Dhún na nGall.
Located at the mouth of the Gweedore River, or the Crolly River as it is known locally, ‘Dún Mór’ translates as the ‘great fort’. Very little is known locally about the existence of a fort here however it is rumoured that survivors of a shipwreck had a fort located on the rocky outcrop that can be seen in the centre of the photo. These survivors were said to have come from one of the shipwrecked vessels of the famous Spanish Armada. The Spanish Armada was a fleet of 130 ships that left Spain to attack England in 1588. They were unfortunately blown off course due to a huge storm and many of the ships were wrecked off the coast of Scotland and Ireland. There is a well near this location which is called ‘Tobar na Spáinneach’ which means ‘Well of the Spaniard’ so maybe there is some truth to the rumour that the fort belonged to survivors of the Spanish Armada!
If you are on one of our self drive tours of Ireland why not stop off at some of these places and take some photos to remind you of your memorable vacation! If you are on one of our private escorted tours of Ireland then our drivers will be more than happy to pull in to get some scenic snaps!
Follow our blog in the coming weeks and months as we will be posting more on our Ireland’s Hidden Gems Series!