Another day, another island to explore for the Parker family. Well, not quite. Achill Island in north-west Mayo is firmly attached to the mainland of Ireland by a short bridge spanning the waters of Achill Sound. For decades, tourists have flocked to Achill Island and followed the well-signposted Atlantic Drive route around this spectacular outpost. Natural displays of wild flowers and heather compete with clifftop views of the roaring North Atlantic to be the highlight of an unforgettable sight-seeing journey. It’s too difficult to pick a winner. There are dozens of stunning candidates.
The famous Atlantic Drive of Achill Island …
… where sheep keep you company, and cause the occasional traffic jam
One of many unspoilt beaches on Achill, this one at Doogort Bay
The windswept farmhouse home of some typical hardy Achill Islanders near Keel
Heading back inland, the relative tranquility of Lough Cullin at Pontoon, North Mayo
Another day of adventure in the wild west of Ireland for the Parker family concluded with a drive north through County Mayo, from the shores of Killary Harbour in Connemara to the causeway approach of Achill Island.
The Bundorragha River flowing spectacularly down into the Killary Harbour fjord
Doo Lough at the head of the Bundorragha River
Clew Bay near Croagh Patrick, the former realm of the Pirate Queen, Grace O’Malley
Still on the N59 road, Newport, on the way to Achill Island
Irish Travellers on the move
Time to take a break travelling the highways of County Mayo
Seaweed ready for harvesting in Clifden Bay
For this leg of the Parkers’ holiday tour, the family car continued its way along the N59 road beyond Clifden in County Galway, heading for Killary Harbour.
Kylemore Abbey on the banks of the Pollacappall Lough
The Mweelrea mountain of County Mayo in the distance, beyond the Killary Fjord
Looking back at the Maumturks range in County Galway
Connemara ponies by Killary Harbour, the Republic of Ireland’s only glacial fjord
Connacht’s highest mountain, Mweelrea in Mayo, overlooking Killary Harbour