My Wild Atlantic Wayfarer project has been so interesting and enjoyable and I’ve loved every minute of it. It’s not all about me throwing myself into the Wild Atlantic Way though. Parts of it have been very laid back and extremely relaxing and informative. My day with Denis from Wild Atlantic Cultural Tours was one of those really chilled out experiences.
When I first met Liz from Old Deanery Cottages she was telling me all about Denis and how great his tours are, so I was delighted to meet him and spend some time with him. As always I was clock watching but I did have a wonderful few hours with him exploring the area.
Our first adventure was foraging for cockles, I have never foraged before so this was an experience. Denis handed me my equipment (a spoon and a plastic bag) and off we went. It was like a treasure hunt trying to find the cockles. I started off quite badly but ended up getting the hang of it.
When we had enough cockles for a meal we headed back to the car. I loved seeing the Dunlins, I’ve never seen these birds before, so another first on my tour with Denis.
The next stop on my magical mystery tour with Denis was Rathfran Abbey, this is a Dominican Friary, dating from 1274.
It was great looking around the abbey. Denis pointed out some really interesting parts of it including faces carved into the stones, I would never have noticed them.
Right near the abbey is Summerhill House. This is an 18th century house and was home of the Palmer family. It’s a real shame it’s a ruin as I think it would be beautiful if it was restored.
Very close to the abbey we did a bit more foraging. Denis showed me sea beet and we picked some. I’d never seen this before, it tastes a bit like spinach. We also took time to look at the other plants around us and Denis was telling me what they were. I’d never really paid much attention to gorse before, do you know it smells like coconut? Neither did I until I was with Denis and he told me to smell it. You really do learn something new every day.
Another short drive and some wonderful scenery including some amazing little cottages and we arrived at Kilcummin.
Kilcummin Pier is a very pretty little area, popular for fishing and diving.Kilcummin is noted as the site where a French expedition commanded by General Humbert landed in 1798.
We saw the rambled around the old church near the pier. Looked at the old graveyard and visited St. Cummin’s Holy Well.
Our next stop was to have a look at the Lacken Bay Cliffs. This is a really stunning area – so beautiful and we had the whole area to ourselves. Again I wouldn’t have found this area if it wasn’t for Denis.
We had a look at Lacken Strand and the sculpture, which is part of Tír Sáile – The North Mayo Sculpture Trail.
Our final stop on my wonderful Wild Atlantic Cultural Tour was a court tomb, this was really hard to find and very off the beaten track, again Denis helped me find it.
I had a wonderful time with Denis, it’s hard to believe how much we saw in the space of a few hours. If you want to see the real Ireland go on a Wild Atlantic Cultural Tour. You will learn about the flora and fauna, history and heritage, the people, the sights and the sounds. It’s a wonderful relaxing day and throughly enjoyable. Thanks so much Denis for everything.