Abbey Hill is a nice short climb which rewards you with splendid views over the Burren and Galway Bay. It is also a rather popular walk and on a sunny Sunday afternoon you won’t be alone on this summit. I often take visitors from abroad up here as it is a great quick introduction to the Burren limestone landscape. The three most obvious routes are:
1. From the east. Leave the car at AbyHl (M31212 10187)
and follow the green road west until a gap in the wall at B (M31107 10468)
. From here straight up west to the summit.
2. From the north. Either same parking as route 1, or west at St. Patricks church C (M28630 10124)
. Follow the green road up until a gap in the wall at D (M30005 10878)
. From here follow a trail up west until you bump into the wall that will guide you all the way to the summit; first south then southeast. This route offers some easy scrambling up several small limestone cliffs.
3. From the south. Park at Corcomroe Abbey E (M29440 08935)
. The 13th century abbey ruins are worth the short visit. Over the wall or through the gate into the field west of the abbey. Straight up north until you meet the wall that guides you up NE all the way to the summit. This route also negotiates a few easy cliffs.
Route 1 and 2 combined give you a nice loop over Abbey Hill. For a longer loop consider taking in the nearby peaks of Oughtmama and Turlough Hill. I describe a route Bell Harbour – Turlough Hill – Oughtmama – Abbey Hill – Bell Harbour on Wikiloc (http://www.wikiloc.com/wikiloc/user.do?name=fkaatje).
As a side note: My personal opinion is that Turlough Hill offers a much better challenge than any of the West Clare summits listed on MountainViews. It’s a real pity it misses the 150m prominence criterium (the saddle connecting it to Slievecarran is just 100m lower than the summit). The same applies to other Burren peaks like Moneen and Gleninagh Mountains. Apart from offering a better challenge than the listed mountains, they are striking landmarks in the Burren; clearly distinguishable from the Salthill prom 20 km across Galway Bay. Linkback: mountainviews.ie/summit/1009/comment/6669/