05 Dec

“Everywhere is within walking distance if you have the time.” 


Steven Wright

“Keem Bay is a breathtaking rural and sheltered beach surrounded by cliffs on Ireland’s largest island – Achill Island. Its gleaming white sand rivals tropical islands and the water is superbly clear. The sun might not always be shining, but when it does it’s world-class. And yes, it’s beautiful even on a rainy day.”

Global travel site Big 7 Travel.

Keem Bay: Nature's Breathtaking Masterpiece

Keem Bay, situated on the western coast of Achill Island, stands as a testament to the unparalleled beauty of Ireland. Accessible via a meandering clifftop road along the Croaghaun mountain slopes, this stunning bay boasts a pristine fine-sand beach nestled in its midst. With the Croaghaun mountain slopes to the east and the Moyteoge spur to the west, the beach is flanked by majestic cliffs on two sides.

There is an undeniable allure to witnessing a sunrise at Keem Bay. Nature unfolds its most exquisite display during this golden hour, as the sun's golden rays illuminate the land and sky, casting the bay in a resplendent yellow and pink hue. The clouds gradually brighten, giving way to a gentle emergence of a small ball of light in the sky. As it grows in size and brilliance, the morning's increasing brightness brings an end to this truly spectacular show.

Keem Bay serves as a precious reminder of the awe-inspiring beauty that nature has to offer. Whether beheld in person or through captivating imagery, the bay's allure is bound to leave an indelible impression on all who experience it.

The magnificent colors in the Sunrise at Keem Bay last Sunday morning are captured here in the changing light as the sun slowly makes its appearance.

Blues and pinks

The Corrie lakes at Cartron and Srahmore

Exploring the Hidden Gem of Loughaunfiddaunbuntack

When it comes to breathtaking landscapes and hidden gems, Ireland never fails to deliver. Nestled within the Corraun hills, near Achill, lies the mystical beauty of lough Laur and Loughaunfiddaunbuntack, a destination that had been lingering on my must-see list for far too long. After visiting Keem Bay and fueled by the promise of nice weather, I embarked on a journey to uncover these enchanting Corrie lakes.

The trek commenced with a well-established hike up the Cartron Coilte Forest, where the forest road guided my footsteps for approximately 2 kilometers, meandering through the woods and bestowing the first glimpse of the fine corrie lake, Lough Laur. While several loughs adorn the vicinity, one in particular stood out  Loughaunfiddaunbuntack,  with its captivating name - Lochán Fheadán Bhun tSaic, translating to "mouth of the watercourse or stream" in Irish. Despite not claiming the title of the longest named among the many corrie lakes in Ireland it’s certainly up there among the longest !

The allure of Loughaunfiddaunbuntack and the other Corrie lakes lies not just in their natural splendour but also in the sense of awe and tranquilly they bestow upon their visitors. The sense of “being there value" of understanding the rich Irish nomenclature of the lakes coupled with the sheer joy of discovery in such a pristine environment is what makes this trek truly unforgettable.

Upon reaching Lough Laur, the way marker post presented a choice - the standard route downwards or the path less traveled, veering to the left and ascending further to behold the grandeur of the majestic corries cradling Lough Cullylea and Culleydoo. The panoramic vista from the pinnacle of Cartron Forest, stretching over the vast expanse of Ballycroy National Park and embracing the regal mountains of Slieve Carr and the Corabinnias, was nothing short of spectacular.

Lough Nambrackeagh, 

  Lough  Cullylea

  View looking towards Ballycroy National Park from Lough Cullylea. 

The descent from the woodland corner led me to trace the path alongside the meandering Glennanean river, guiding me through the lush wet blanket bog until I eventually reached the main road, stumbling upon ancient ruins nestled beside the tranquil waters of the Glennanean river. As the journey drew to a close and I retraced my steps back to the car, I couldn't help but reflect on the enjoyment of the day's excursion.

Some pines out on there own away from the main forest and developing on their own  as nature intended.

More isolated pines spreading out on their own.

As I descend along the Glennanean river, I come upon the remnants of an old house and wonder who may have lived here and what type of life they led eking out a livelihood on the side of a remote mountain.

In retrospect, as always, the adventure was a harmonious blend of expectation and pleasant surprise, a testament to the inexhaustible wonders that await in the embrace of nature. As I reminisce on the beauty that unfolded from the sunrise in Keem Bay to the blissful trails of Loughaunfiddaunbuntack, it is undeniable that this was indeed a day well spent and an experience to cherish.


Carpe Diem

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