09 Aug Inisheer , County Galway
It doesn’t have the archaeological wealth of Inishmore , or the wild solitude of Inishmaan , but regular day-trip ferry services from Doolin bring a constant , if small , flow of visitors.
This service also makes for a handy route from County Clare to Connemara.
Of course tourism may threaten the very stuff of the island’s attraction – the purity of traditions and its romantic isolation – but for the moment Inisheer retains its old character , and for some it’s a favourite place.
A great plug of rock dominates the island , its rough, pale-grey stone dripping with greenery. At the top , the 15th century O’Briens castle stands inside an early medieval ring fort , Dun Formna. Set around it are low fields , a small community of pubs and houses , and windswept sand dunes.
Half-buried in the sand just southeast of the beach and the pier is the 10th century St Kevin’s Church ; still in use in the 19th century , it is now used only to commemorate him as the patron saint of the island every June 14.
Southeast again from here is Loch Mor , a pretty lake inhabited by wildfowl.
The 6 mile , waymarked Inis Oirr Way traces a circular route round the northern half of the island , taking in these sites , and you could easily branch off between St Kevin’s Church and Loch Mor to add on a walk down the road to the lighthouse at the southeastern tip of the island , which affords fantastic views of the Cliffs of Moher.
As I said …. well worth a visit on any tours of Ireland…..in my opinion a must see attraction.