View Full Version : Mayo versus Donegal
03-31-2008, 01:14 PM
And I don't mean hurling!:p
I'm in the midst of finalizing all the details for my upcoming trip to Ireland (can't wait for the Lith Printing Workshop!) and I have two or three full days to play with after spending some time in the Burren and Connemara. I'm having a tough time deciding whether or not I should stay close and see what (underrated?) Mayo has to offer, or if I should work my way up to Donegal instead (which has been on my mind for some time). I don't imagine I'll have any opportunities to return to Ireland in the near future, so I want to make the most of my time there, but I don't want to rush things or spend too much time in the car. If any of you have any suggestions as to why you prefer one area over the other (photographically), I'd appreciate hearing them.
03-31-2008, 02:58 PM
I'm no expert and this is probably the wrong direction. But had a great time out in the Aran Islands. But I always prefer small islands. In fact I collect them.
04-02-2008, 05:03 PM
Westport in Mayo is a lovely town on the coast and only a short drive from Croagh Patrick, if you fancy the hike. Its a tough climb but the views from the top are great. If your time is limited I think you should find plenty to see and do in Mayo but Donegal is beautiful also but as you say, you don't want to spend your time in the car.
A trip out to one of the Islands off the west coast might be fun.
Here's a few links:
Looking forward to meeting you next week.
04-02-2008, 06:22 PM
Nothing in it- both great locations. There's no problem filling a couple of days or so in Mayo, and especially if you allow yourself to sneak over the Sligo boundary as well. There's a lot in Donegal too, and I guess I wouldn't go there unless I had at least the three days since I feel I'd be a bit frustrated at what to leave out. In and round Mayo I particularly like Clew Bay, Achill Island, and a couple of areas just north of Sligo round Streedagh and Cloghboley. Good beach at Strandhill for reflections in wet sand, though it isn't a wilderness experience. As with much of western Ireland I think you'll find the photography best on or near the coast. I wouldn't spend time inland unless I had a lot of it.
04-03-2008, 07:24 AM
Split the difference. Achille Island is at the top of Mayo, just north of Westport, which I agree is beautiful but filled with lots of other people looking at its beauty. Achille is a bit desolate, far more sheep than people, dramatic and drivable without a ferry. If you're heading south from there, take the inland route through the Mweelrea mountains. When you hit the Galway border, get ready for the tour buses.
You can't lose in the northwest, just take your time and don't think you have to get someplace else. The beauty of the place is subtle at times and takes some relaxing to appreciate. A pint or two can aid this process.
04-03-2008, 08:13 AM
Thanks guys -- a week to go and I still can't decide. ;-)
I guess (maybe) I'll stick with Mayo since the general consensus is that is does have a lot to offer. Leave Donegal and the north of Ireland for another trip perhaps.
Now, where did I leave my pint?
04-03-2008, 08:44 AM
What route are you taking from the Burren to Connemara to Mayo? Don't underestimated your time in Connemara, you could stand in one place for the day and get so many different shots it will astound you. I love the west, especially Connemara, personally I prefer it on overcast days, (which is lucky) as it adds a real brooding feel to the area.
Anyhow, try make sure to include Killary harbour (Leenane) see http://www.connemara.ie/connemara/leenane/ I would recommend using the N59 as a route from Clifden northwards. In fact taking it from Galway towards Clifden and adding in a detour off the N59 to Roundstone, Ballyconneely would be well worth it.
Have a great time,
04-04-2008, 04:57 AM
Hey Rachelle, looking forward to meeting you on the workshop, thanks for coming along and joining in the fun. Am I right in thinking that you are planning to arrive in Ireland, then go to the Burren and Connemara, then up to our workshop in Dublin and back to Mayo / Donegal?
If thats the case and you dont think you will be back for some time, I'm going to say to go for Donegal.
Travelling from Connemara to Donegal is quite a journey and going to Mayo would make more sense. But if the decision is a drive from Dublin to Mayo versus a drive from Dublin to Donegal then I would pick Donegal just for the diversity of the scenery.
04-06-2008, 02:50 PM
Fintan - I can't wait for the workshop! I've been dying to try lith for some time now, but really wanted to work with someone who knew what they were doing, so FPWorkshops really came to my rescue! (I wish I had known about you guys last year).
Actually, I'll be doing the Burren, Connemara, and Mayo (I've decided to scrap Donegal) before the workshop. After some thought I decided it would be better to do Donegal and the North some other time when I have the time to explore them properly. Last year doing the southwest coast I felt I spent too much time in the car, and not enough time exploring and photographing. So, we'll see how things work out this time. Hopefully the weather will cooperate!!
I have to say, Ireland is the first country (out of about 20) that I've ever returned to for an extended trip -- which is saying a lot! So I imagine if it has that great a hold on me that I'll make back again in the future (once I get another job that is...:-)).