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pdtempan
2006-08-08 12:22:33
Connemara
Richard, a lot depends on the level of walking you want to do, but I can give you a few general tips.

Connemara has some beautiful walks, and if you want to stick to the most challenging areas, like the Maam Turks and Twelve Bens, and you get the weather to do it, you will have plenty to keep you occupied for four days. On the other hand, walkers who want to do half-day walks are not very well catered for. For example, the Diamond Hill walk (recently re-opened, I think) is the one and only walk which is encouraged within the National Park, while the options from Kylemore Abbey area are much more limited than you would think: no access to Doughruagh because the nuns are afraid you will break your neck, and on the S side of the valley you have very high grass and a deer fence to contend with. Basically, neither the National Park or Kylemore Abbey are interested in encouraging walking tourism. They just want the tour coaches. Over the last few years I have come across a few good alternatives: Tully Mountain near Letterfrack has a terrific view both of the Bens and the islands. Errisbeg near Roundstone is also worth climbing and at this time of year the gorse and heather (including the rare St. Dabeoc's heath) are particularly spectacular in this area. If you want a low-level walk in the event of bad weather/tiredness, there is a very scenic walk on Inishnee, a group of islands opposite Roundstone connected by causeway and bridge. There is a quiet road on one side and paths looping round the other side, so you need not retrace your steps too much. You won't get a view from the very tip though, as it is private. Hope this help, and enjoy!
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