If you are looking for a forest walk with a difference this is the place to visit. You can enjoy a 3km looped walk, or you can do what I did and just wander around looking at the beautiful carvings of forest animals. All trails lead to the ruin of the once magnificent Moore Hall. This was built by the Moore family, in the late 1700s but was a victim of the Civil War and on February 1st, 1923, it was set on fire, now just the shell of the building remains. You can read a history of the house here. Mayo County Council plan to restore the house and grounds – including the walled garden, so I’ll watch this space with interest.
One day last Autumn I set off bright and early to Moore Hall. I must admit I took the long way round and thought I’d never get there – word to the wise for Sligo folk – take the N60 not the N17. Anyway I finally arrived and my first stop was Lough Carra, this is just beside Moore Hall, this is unique lake in Ireland due to its marl habitat and its ecology consisting of unusual habitats and rare species.
My next stop was Moore Hall, there is a lovely playground, a car park and toilets. The toilets are quite a rare find at forest walks, and they were open and spotlessly clean.
You can see just how dark the tunnel was in the image above. I could hear water dripping but that was it. I was completely alone – apart from my overactive imagination! I can tell you one thing, I wouldn’t like to spend a night here.
There is always a light at the end of the tunnel though, and the views were worth the worry. I think next time I’ll bring a torch though – or a companion.
I continued my walk around the forest, enjoying the sunlight through the trees and the birds looking for breakfast.
The highlight of the walk is Moore Hall. The first glimpse of it through the trees is breath-taking. It would be fantastic to see this building restored to its former glory.
You can’t get into the house, there are bars on the doors and windows, but it was fascinating to look through them.
There’s also a small outbuilding, that’s well worth a look. Mind your footing though as I almost went flying – but I am clumsy.
That was my first visit to Moore Hall, but I will be back. It has a very special atmosphere. Let me know what you think if you’ve been there or if you visit.