From date is bigger than To date
Mayo’s jagged-edge coast offers plenty of access to water, from the wild Atlantic Ocean to a variety of lakes and rivers where anglers, swimmers, kayakers and bog snorkellers enjoy their rich offerings. Furthermore, Mayo’s lakes offer a wide and interesting variety of vegetation, from woodland to grassland, fen, peat bog and heath with an abundance of flora and fauna as well as animal habitats.
Mayo’s jagged-edge coast offers plenty of access to water, from the wild Atlantic Ocean to a variety of lakes and rivers where anglers, swimmers, kayakers and bog snorkellers enjoy their rich offerings.
Mayo is home to the largest lake in the Republic of Ireland, Lough Corrib. At 44,000 acres it is home to brown trout, salmon, eels, pike, perch and roach and is considered by many a fishing paradise. With a range of nature trails around the lake it is also a destination for walkers. Of the numerous islands (purportedly 365), 10 are inhabited. The most notable island on Lough Corrib is Inchagoill Island (Inis an Ghaill, meaning "Island of the Stranger"). The “Stranger” is believed to be St. Patrick who was banished here when he tried to spread the Christian message in Cong. The island’s significant ancient monastic ruins include ‘The Stone of Lugnad.’ Lugnad is believed to be St. Patrick’s nephew and the inscription, dating from the 5th century, is considered one of the oldest Christian inscriptions in Europe. William WIlde, notable surgeon and father of Oscar, built a summer house called Moytura House on the shores of Lough Corrib and wrote a book about the lake in the late 1860s.
With dozens of lakes dotted about the landscape, you are never far from water in Mayo. Some of the most notable lakes for fishing and boating include Lough Mask, Lough Conn, Lough Corrib and Lough Carra. The latter is a relatively shallow lake with a 70km long limestone shoreline located 15km south of Castlebar. It was once part of the Moore Family estate in Muckloon and Moore Hall lies on its shore. Any of its numerous inlets, bays and peninsulas entice painters and anglers in equal measure, with its magical reflections of drumlins, clouds and a rainbow of colour on its glassy surface.
Lough Carra is designated a Special Area of Conservation by the EU (as are Lough Conn, Lough Corrib and Lough Cullin). The lake shore is bordered with reed beds and strands of true bulrush, providing protection for birds and restricting access in places. Best points for boats and anglers to access the lake with ease include Moore Hall, as well as Brownstown and Castleburke.
Mayo’s lakes offer a wide and interesting variety of vegetation, from woodland to grassland, fen, peat bog and heath with an abundance of flora and fauna as well as animal habitats. The deeper, more rugged Lough Mask with its picture-postcard scenery, jagged rocky shores surrounded by gentle sloping hills, draws people from near and far. Sitting out in the middle of Lough Mask, fishing rod in hand, waiting for the brown or ferox trout to bite, with nothing but the wide open skies and quiet sounds of lapping of water, is what passionate anglers live for.
A colourful legend surrounds the formation of Loughs Conn and Cullin. While hunting wild boar, Celtic hero, Fionn mac Cumhaill’s two hounds, Cullin and Conn were chasing a boar until water began to gush from the boar’s feet and formed the two lakes, drowning the hunting hounds for whom the lakes are named in the process.
“And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight's all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet's wings.”
To just experience nature in all its glory or the peace that Yeats describes, just pick a lake, pack a lunch and go.