Laraganmore Loop, Co Mayo - way to go
MAP: OS of Ireland 1:50,000 Discovery Sheet 32; map/ instructions downloadable at discoverireland.ie/walking.
TRAVEL: N26 Foxford-Swinford; in 3km left ('Attymass, Bonniconlon'); in 1.5km, right ('Prebaun, Largan Mór'). In 3km, left ('Prebaun, Largan Mór'); in 1.5km pass Prebaun trailhead board. Follow 'Largan Mór' for 3.5km to trailhead car park on left at crest of hill. Park here.
WALK DIRECTIONS: Continue down road. Foxford Way/FW soon bears left (FW yellow 'walking man' and arrows), but keep ahead along road (purple arrow/PA). At bottom of dip, left (PA) along lane for 1km to pass between houses. On right bend go left (PA) down boreen.
In 200m at left bend, keep ahead (PA), then ahead again along grassy boreen. Follow it for 1km to road. Left along road for 20m; fork left (PA) down side road.
In 1km pass between old granaries; turn left, then right (PAs) along boreen to T-junction, with graveyard down road on right. Turn left here uphill on road for 2km. Look out for PA/FW on left, with stile into walled lane ascending mountainside. Follow PA/FW up and over ridge; follow white poles/PAs down to road. Right to car.
LENGTH: Eight miles -- allow four to five hours.
CONDITIONS: Lanes, boreens, mountain tracks (these can be boggy).
DON'T MISS: Feral goat herd; overgrown orchards along boreens; ancient bog trees on Larganmore.
REFRESHMENTS: Picnic, or Foxford Woollen Mills Café, Foxford (094 925 7274; foxfordwoollenmills.ie).
ACCOMMODATION: Pontoon Bridge Hotel, near Foxford (094 925 6120; pontoon bridge.com).
INFORMATION Foxford Ramblers meet every Sunday. Foxford Walking Festival, October 21-23. Tel: 094 925 7684; foxfordwalking festival.com. Foxford Visitor Information Centre: Tel: 094 925 6194; discoverireland.ie/walking.