11 Apr Valentia Island
If you are on Ireland tours , and on the Ring of Kerry, think about a visit to Valentia Island.
Valentia is now linked to the mainland by a bridge , and is Europes most Westerly harbour.
Standing on the islands tip at Bray Head there is nothing but ocean between you and Newfoundland , which is 1900 miles away.
Valentias significance is out of all proportion to its size…..as the first ever transatlantic telegraph cable was laid from here in 1857. Though permanent contact was not established until 1866. Typically Irish Valentia hed better contact with New York than with Dublin for many years.
To add to the islands fame , in 1992 the oldest fossilized footprints in the whole Northern hemisphere were discovered near the Northerly light house. They dated from nearly 400 MILLION years ago and belonged to a marine tetrapod that pre-dated the dinosaurs.
Almost all of the island has been cultivated forming a rolling patchwork of fields criss crossed with dry stone walls.
The islands position in the Gulf Stream gives it a mild and balmy climate , evident by the large numbers of Fuschias amongst the hedgerows.
If you are on tours of Ireland stop off and have a look. It is only seven miles by two miles in size and has a real old-fashioned atmosphere. Its a real hidden gem worth seeing. There are even a few B&Bs to stay in !!!