There are many good reasons to catch ferries from Liverpool to Dublin
, but with summer upon us one particularly good one is to get out into the great outdoors.
However tempting the attractions of the Irish capital may be, Ireland is not called the Emerald Isle for nothing and one does not need to venture far to enjoy some fine upland scenery, with the Wicklow Mountains to the south offering plenty of lofty hills, topped by Lugnaquillia at 3,035 ft, the highest peak on the island outside the far south-west.
For those travelling father across the island, one option is the Achill Walking Festival on Achill Island in County Mayo. This takes place from August 24th to 27th, with a variety of walks in store.
While its mountains are 2,000 ft rather than 3,000 ft, the island does have some dramatic pointy peaks like Croaghaun and the area also offers some excellent rugged coastal scenery, as well as five blueflag beaches. Perhaps best of all, those climbing its high points can enjoy a vista across the vast expanse of the Atlantic Ocean - though not all the way, of course.
Coastal walks can be enjoyed right round Ireland, of course, but those keen on higher mountains may wish to head south. The Galty Mountains include the 3,016 ft Galtymore, while in County Kerry, the horseshoe walk of Macgillycuddy's Reeks is one of the very finest in Britain. It includes the four highest mountains in Ireland, topped by the 3,410 ft Carrauntoohill.
Also in Kerry is the Dingle Peninsula, where the 3,127 ft Brandon Mountain is shadowed by its near namesake Brandon Peak, which stands at 2,793 ft and is actually the highest mountain under 3,000 ft in Ireland: Despite having scores of peaks, it is a curiosity that there are none at all between 2,800 and 3,000 ft in height.
Other mountains include the 2,510 ft Croagh Patrick, which as the name suggests has a lot to do with Ireland's Patron Saint, who is said to have prayed there before beginning his missionary work. There is a monastery at the top and some make a barefooted pilgrimage of it.
So Ireland has plenty for those who want a walking holiday to enjoy and being further west, enjoys even lighter summer evenings than Great Britain.
Posted by Andrew Smith