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Natural Environment

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Down Patrick Head Lacken Strand, Co Mayo Ocean View

The British geographer J B Whittow has written “The wonderful range of sea-cliffs of North Mayo is virtually unknown to the tourist; they are described by some writers as the most spectacular sea-cliff scenery in the whole of Ireland.”

The famous Irish naturalist R L Praeger wrote of how moved he was by “ the broad undulations of the treeless, roadless moorland, the tall hills, the illimitable silver sea, the savage coastline, the booming waves, the singing wind, the smell of peat smoke and wild thyme.”

mountains County Mayo Blanket Bog County Mayo Heather

And here is a description, capturing the essence of the north Mayo coast by F H A Aalen in The Atlas of the Irish Rural Landscape. “The character and the hues of the landscape are constantly affected by the variable weather: the same places never look exactly the same. The hazy humid atmosphere mutes colours, producing a subtle spectrum of green, brown, and blue. Kaleidoscope colour changes occur as light is filtered through moving banks of cloud or sporadic rain; with clear air and direct sunlight, the lush grass and foliage spring into vivid almost lurid colours. In the west of Ireland, the open vistas, theatrical cumulus mushrooms and melodramatic sunsets generate a dynamic quality of light, addictive to a romantic artist, photographer and film maker.”

A E Johann has summed the environment up as “A smiling landscape, under clouds of melancholy.”