Wednesday 26 October 2016

Ireland's Best View: Our readers share their top travel snaps

View to a thrill

Online editors

Published 02/09/2015 | 06:47

Ben Bulben in Sligo on a winter's day. Photo: Bill Costello
Ben Bulben in Sligo on a winter's day. Photo: Bill Costello
Salthill, Co. Galway, as photographed by Judith Ní Mhuircheartaigh.
Taken in Loher, Co. Kerry, Eilís Murphy's photo shows her father (84) counting his cows and sheep. She left Ireland in 1996, and now lives in Boston. "We don't appreciate this beauty until you leave and return to Ireland. I have so many friends ask me why did I leave such a beautiful country."
"Brandon Point's view. Co. Kerry at its best," says Nico Hatron, who submitted this photo on Facebook.
South Wexford, by John William Stafford. "This picture doesn't need any text," our reader says. "It says it all!!!"
"I thought I saw a rabbit!" This photo of the Wild Atlantic Way in Doolin, Co. Clare, was submitted by reader Malcolm Davidson.
Donegal Bay from Rossnowlagh, Co. Donegal. Photo submitted by reader, Conor Lee.
Ferenc Énok Nagy sent this photo from West Cork - or 'Skibby' as he says himself. Nice one!
Dingle Peninsula, by Sheila O'Connor
Carlingford, Co. Louth: "A sneak peak at a blue sky after getting soaked trekking around the Slieve Foye Loop!" writes William Monaghan. "Perfect end to the day."
"This is a shot taken from the Blasket Island," says our reader, Paul O'Shea. "Quite simply there is no better view. That day, there were approximately 50 or so seals basking on the beach. Even they know the beauty of the place is unmatched!"
The Featherbed, Dublin Mountains, by Gráinne Nic Domhnaill
"This is the view of the Upper Lake and Long Range from the top of Torc mountain in Killarney," says Terry MacSweeney. "I love the way this vista opens up only when you reach the summit, a great reward for the effort expended. It is well etched in my memory having lugged my tripod up here to take this long exposure photo."
Inis Óirr GAA club. "Please find attached one of the finest views in Ireland," says Declan Maher. "It is the perfect blend of history and beauty on one Ireland's most rural locations."
"By far the best views of Ireland are taken at dawn and dusk," says Pasent Elhelw from New York. "This picture stands out in my memory as it was one of the first photos I ever took of Ireland. I was on my first visit to Ireland for Christmas 2012 driving down from Dublin to Cork to visit my future in laws for the very first time."
"Derryclare Lough outside Clifden is a favourite spot to watch the sun come up," says Paul Lanigan from Ratoath, Co. Meath.
Hook Head Lighthouse, Co. Wexford. "It was a beautiful sunny day, but as the photo is in black and white it gives it a completely different perspective," says Sinead Windle.
Glendalough, Co. Wicklow. "It's got everything," says Christine Walsh from Roundwood. "Mountains, lake, forestry... and it's ideal for family picnics."
Sheen Falls Lodge, Co. Kerry - "One of the best views in Ireland," says reader Lar Behan.
The pier at Ballyvaughan, Co. Clare. As submitted by reader Cormac Maher. Send us your own travel snaps!
Curraghmore National School, Mullingar, on a snowy morning. Photo by Sighle Fitzgerald.
"Ireland's best view is of Inchydoney Beach, Clonakilty in stunning West Cork," says Claire O'Brien. "Even though I have visited the beach frequently since childhood, the view still manages to take my breath away EVERY time!!!"
Ewe talkin' to me? Enda Gartlan's photo shows the "unspoiled beauty" of Slieve Foy, Co. Louth. "My favourite thing to do is to take a day out and climb the Cooley mountains," he says. "Particularly Slieve Foy as provides a spectacular backdrop to the medieval town of Carlingford which is one of Ireland’s best kept secrets."
Sunrise at Cruit Island, Co. Donegal. This photo was submitted on Facebook by Jim Brennan.
Breda Reynolds Raferty shot this photo on a loop walk in Donegal. "Rugged upland/mountain and coastal scenery dominated by the Urris Hills to the south and the coast to the North," she says. "Breathtaking. My beautiful Ireland."
Donegal, by Nuno Presa Cardosa
Cloughglass beach, Co. Donegal
Skellig Michael, by Bill Domican.
Ballybunion, Co. Kerry. "Why, would you ask is this my favourite view?" says Adrian Scanlon. "Well for one it is unspoiled picture, just the sun going down over the Atlantic. The red sky reflecting everywhere, upon the sand upon the sea."
The railway bridge spanning the River Shannon in Athlone, Co. Westmeath. Photo: Gene O'Sullivan
"Nothing beats a mountain walk exploring the beautiful Slieve Gullion and the Ring of Gullion Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB)," says Nicola McEvoy. "In one tale, Finn McCool was bewitched by Miluchra on the summit of Slieve Gullion at the Lough of the Calliagh Bhirra. To this day the superstition survives that if you bathe in the lough your hair will turn white."
Three Rock Mountain, by Aoife Reilly. "Whenever I need an escape from the housework, shopping and all those other million things that need to be done yesterday... I simply throw on the runners, march out the door and before I know it I'm breathing in the fresh Dublin Mountain air and clearing the cobwebs away! My place of paradise (and it's cheaper than a therapist!)"
Portavad, Co. Sligo - Photo by Bill Costello.
Anna Kelly shot this fab photo while visiting family in Ireland. Thanks for sending to, Anna!
"A winter's view of the Galtee Mountains." Photo by reader Caroline Horgan.
Dugort Beach with Slievemore, Achill Island. "Ireland's prettiest beach," says Olive Simpson.
Old Bawn, Wexford. "This beach has it all," says Anita Power. "Beautiful sand to lie on when the sun is out, great sand dunes to climb when it's not. It's never packed, and nice and long to walk on. My family love it."
Silver Strand, Co. Mayo - by James Kennedy
"Here is the most beautiful place in the world," says Brian O'Donnell. "Near Mullaghderg beach, Kincasslagh, Co. Donegal looking to Errigal about 20km away as the crow flies, with Gola Island & Gweedore to the left... but be careful, Mullaghderg beach can be a bit crowded on a nice day, with up to as many as 40 people piling in there!"
"My wife, son and I were almost speechless seeing the near perfect reflection of the sky whilst traveling near Doo Lough. One of my favorite landscape photographs," says Marc Safran.
Lough Tay, Co. Wicklow by Helen Mulvey
"This picture was taken at Duncannon beach," says Robert Brown. "It shows my family framed against the darking sky and i think it has a raw beauty that shows Ireland at its best."
Inch Strand, Co. Kerry - by Peter McKernan
Wicklow, by John Redford.
Bettystown, Co. Meath: "A more peaceful place you will not find," says reader Ivan Tolan.
Woodstown Beach, Passage East, Co. Waterford. "I'll never tire of its beauty, and no matter what's going on in my life, a stroll along this strand will always put a smile on my face," says reader Ciara Carew.
Dee Mack submitted this photo of hand-hewn tunnels high in the Caha Mountains, Co. Cork. The photo was taken this August by Holly Kennedy.
Olive Simpson says the Slieve League cliffs in Donegal are Ireland's best view.
Dun Laoghaire on a summer's evening, by Josephine Campbell.
"One of the most beautiful coastal locations is between Clogherhead and Annagassan in Co Louth," says Kevin Brogan.
Dingle sunset, by Bob Rorke
'Lost in a world of wondering in County Donegal...' by Martin Coffey
The Giants' Causeway, Co. Antrim "with a lucky double rainbow over the wishing chair". Photo by Caroline Burgess, via Facebook.
Kilrush Marina, Co. Clare. "Every day, a different view - and it's on my doorstep," says Brian Comerford.
"Glencar Valley, the absolutely stunning view from Sligo into Leitrim." Photo by Niamh Maher.
Autumn play at Glendalough, Co. Wicklow. Photo by Fergus Finnegan, via Facebook.
"A place I call home, beautiful Crosshaven," says Laurette Kavanagh, who submitted this photo taken by Jemima Inocco.
Keem Bay, Achill Island, Co. Mayo. Photo: Matt Grealis
"The Bray to Greystones walk has the best views," says Orla. "The cliffs and sea and rugged landscape make it a wonderful place to stretch your legs not far from the city bustle."
Derrynane beach, Co. Kerry. "The best view of the most tranquil and peaceful place to be in early morning," says Betty O'Dwyer.
"I feel like I could be anywhere in the world when I stand at this spot while walking my dogs, but I'm at home on Killiney Hill, Co. Dublin," says Eva Winterlich.
Coumeenole Beach, Slea head, Co. Kerry. "Wild waves but breath in the tranquillity. Nobody out there for 5,000km," says reader Alan Maher.
Rob Brown also sent this view - from the bottom of his garden in Harrylock, Co. Wexford. I don't think there is a better view in Ireland.
The Minaun Cliffs and Clare Island as viewed from the beach at Keel, Achill Island, Co. Mayo. "On a fine day there is nowhere quite like this," says Stephen Collins. "The picture was taken at dusk with an iPhone 4S, no modifications or retouching."
"My favourite view is of Killiney Bay as the sun sets on a summer's evening," says Gill Curtin.
Croagh Patrick from the sea, by Pat McCann. "It's one of my favourites, a different view of Croagh Patrick between sea and sky." Submit your own photos to!
A sea stack in Dingle, captured against blue skies and blue water by Brian Cassidy.
Mount Elliott, Co. Wexford. Photo submitted via Facebook by Evie Richardule.
"This is a picture I took of my homeplace of Inver, near Belmullet, Co. Mayo," says Marion Mattimoe. "One of the most beautiful places in the world."
A relaxing and tranquil evening overlooking Gwerbarra Bay in Donegal. "Makes everything seem insignificant," says Paul Wright, who submitted the photo.
"My favourite view this summer, from Dunree towards Fanad across Lough Swilly, Inishowen." Phot by Steven Barry
St. Finian's Bay, Co. Kerry, with Skellig Michael in the background. Photo via Bob Rorke on Facebook.
Dollymount - "a city break from the city" says Fergal Pearson
The Slieve Aughtys in Galway at sunset. "Peaceful and completely unspoilt... bar the windfarm," says reader Paul Boland.
Dunworley Beach, West Cork, as submitted by Shane Dunne. "Where else would you want to be?"
Funderland at the RDS in Dublin, by Dee Myers
"Lough Ree on the River Shannon is beautifully unpredictable," says Ruth O'Brien. "One day, it's too rough to cross, other days it's calm and still. But it's the sight of the sun setting over the lake that takes your breath away and stays in your thoughts long after, reminding you what true peace and beauty really is..."
Howth Head, Co. Dublin. "It is the most tranquil, beautiful, scenic spot overlooking the sea," says Doireann Manning. "I sat here for an hour. Thoroughly relaxing. One of the best sea views."
"This is a photo of my house and a beautiful landscape around it near Schull in West Cork," says reader Ulan Koshkarbayev. "I think this is Ireland's best view and I'm very happy that I can enjoy it every day."
Slea Head, Co. Kerry. "This is my favourite view," says reader Marion Donohoe. "Mystical and magic... As a Dub I would happily retire there!"
"Tramore beach - the best place in the world to find challenge, feel fresh and alive." Photo by Margaretta Carr
"This picture was taken from An Grianán of Aileach, Burt, Co Donegal. A magical place with breathtaking view," says Sabina Blaszczok.
"A picture taken at 8.44am on August 8th - a beautiful quiet morning in Kinsale town with a freshly brewed coffee in hand for a morning stroll," says Ian O'Brien. "All calm before the town gets ready for the hustle and bustle of the tourist trade..."
"Our family has our first family holiday in Ireland this year after years of France and we loved it," says Sarah Holmes from Newcastle, Co. Wicklow. "We spent a whole week cycling the greenway in Mayo."
Sun setting over Strandhill, Co. Sligo. This photo was submitted by Dennis & Joan Boyd - it was taken while the couple were celebrating their 42nd wedding anniversary at The Venue restaurant!
"Stunning image from a young calf's home at Caherdaniel, Co. Kerry," says reader Kathryn Hosey.
"We visited Valentia Island for the first time this summer, and this was the view from the radio mast, looking north to Dingle," says reader Olive Simpson.
"I went on a fantastic family holiday in Kerry," says John Hyland. "I took this picture walking part of the Kerry Way with my family."
Dun Laoghaire. Co. Dublin. "I love this picture as it shows the tranquillity of the sea after a busy day," says Paul Rigby.
"Dear Inch must I leave you I have promises to keep and many miles to travel before my final sleep” - these words on the walls of Sammy's restaurant ring so true each time I sadly bid goodbye to this vast, open and peaceful beach," says Kathleen Cagney. "It's a get-lost-in-your-own thoughts type of place."
"These photos were taken on our family trip to Arranmore Island off Donegal," says Hannah Herron. "The pictures do not do it justice, a beautiful wee gem of a place to visit!"
Lough Gill, Co. Sligo. Submitted by Anne Louise Bohan. Send your best views to!
Thallabawn, Co. Mayo with Inishturk in the distance. "All along the road from Louisburgh to the silver strand, one is spoilt for choice of the many beaches that are just breathtakingly beautiful," says Eddie Kent.
Philip Payne sent us this fab panorama of the bay beside Connemara Sands Hotel, Co. Galway
"This is one of my favorite Irish views," says reader Deirdre Ní Choistín. "The walkway from the sean-céibh to an chéibh nua in An Spidéal, Co. Galway. A great place for an evening stroll."
Kilkee, Co. Clare by Martina Connolly
"The photo is a landscape shot of the Old Head of Kinsale Golf Course in July of this year," says Mark Whelan.
Westport Quay, by Marcin Piasecki
View from the top of Bray Head, Co. Wicklow, as submitted by reader Nichola Collier.
"I love this view of the sunset in Strandhill, Co Sligo," says reader Louise Hannon. "It's a very peaceful place in the evening when the sun is going down."
Malin, Co. Donegal, by Shaun McLaughlin.
The Ring of Kerry, by Brian Murphy
"Molly and Holly keeping a look out on Galway Bay," says Tomás Ó Neachtain of Indreabhán, Connemara/
"This is one of my favourite walks in Louth," says Trisha Nugent from Hackballscross. "It's the Navy Bank, Dundalk and overlooks the Cooley peninsula which includes the famous and very beautiful Carlingford."
Sunrise at Bray, Co. Wicklow, by Seamus Nicholson.
Clouds cast their shadows on Brandon Creek, Dingle by Betty O'Dwyer.
"Went on a mini holiday last week to Co. Wexford," says Juliette McDonald. "This is Hook Lighthouse on Hook peninsula. It's just gorgeous there. Easily one of Ireland's best views!!"
Gweedore, Co.Donegal. "I spent three weeks up here in the Gaeltacht region learning Irish and literally had no phone coverage or Internet for that time," says Eoin Jenkinson. "With views, scenery and beaches like this there was no need for technology."
Dingle Peninsula, by Sheila O'Connor

What is Ireland's best view? We asked you to send us your photos, and you delivered... in spades.

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In the end, Bill Costello's photo of Ben Bulben on a winter's day (above) won our 'Ireland's Best View' readers' photography competition.

Bill's photo was chosen after many hours reviewing the overwhelming amount of images we received, the best of which you can browse in the gallery above.

Does it make Ben Bulben Ireland's best view?

That, of course, is in the eye of the beholder. Our readers submitted photos from all over the country, ranging from the wildest dunes of Donegal to the gorgeous lakes of Glendalough (not to mention one particularly tasty pint of Guinness), reaffirming our belief that the Irish landscape is among the most beautiful on earth.

Our competition was originally inspired by author Sharon Charity, who sent us this lovely story of her childhood memories of Cloughlass beach.

And the prize? Bill takes away a terrific, three-night family getaway at the 4-star Limerick Strand Hotel (, below).

Limerick's 4-star Strand Hotel

The prize includes delicious B&B and a plus family pass (2 adults + 2 kids) to the newly refurbished King John's Castle. He'll also be able to take in the 'Spooktacular Festival' on Arthur's Quay, just a three-minute walk away.

The hotel also offers an unsupervised Kiddies Playroom, free access to Energize Leisure Centre with 20m pool, kiddies pool, sauna and steam rooms and more, as well as free Wi-Fi and a 15pc discount off food purchases at The Terrace Bar.

This competition is now closed, but feel free to continue sending your travel photos to, sharing them on Facebook here, or tweeting us at @indo_travel_.

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