Life Ireland

Saturday 20 September 2014

Omey Island - way to go

Christopher Somerville

Published 02/10/2010 | 05:00

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MAP: OS of Ireland 1:50,000 Discovery 37; Folding Landscape map 'Connemara'.

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TRAVEL: Bus (buseireann.ie): 419/421 Galway-Clifden. Cycle rental in Clifden (7 miles): Mannion's, Bridge Street (095 21160/21155). Road: N52 Letterfrack road from Clifden; in 2 miles, left to Claddaghduff.

WALK DIRECTIONS: Leaving Sweeney's pub, left along road. Right at chapel to shore; cross sands (NB: Tides). Follow island road.

In 1 mile, pass over low brow of hill and look for sandy trackway on your right. Follow it left round sandy bay to find Tobair Feichín holy well. Back to Fahy Lough; bear left along track beside it. Keep fence on your right; follow it to find Teampull Feichín in its hollow. Continue to north shore; right to causeway and Claddaghduff.

LENGTH: Five miles: allow two to three hours.

GRADE: Easy.

CAUSEWAY CROSSING: Information on tide times from Clifden TIC or sailing.ie/inside/default.asp?pageId=589 (add five minutes to Galway for Clifden area) -- or enquire at Sweeney's pub (095 44345).

Allow a maximum of six hours on the island -- the crossing is safe for three hours each side of low water.

DON'T MISS: Tobair Feichín; Teampull Feichín; a pint in Sweeney's.

REFRESHMENTS: Sweeney's pub, Claddaghduff (095 44673).

ACCOMMODATION: Abbey Glen Hotel, Clifden (095 21201; abbeyglen.ie) -- family-run, characterful and welcoming to walkers.

GUIDEBOOK: 'Connemara: Map and Gazetteer' by Tim Robinson (Folding Landscapes, Roundstone; foldinglandscapes.com).

INFORMATION: Local walking guides: 'Connemara Geographic' (087 222 8538; connemarawalking.com); discoverireland.ie/walking.

Clifden Tourist Office. Tel: 095 21163; connemara.ie.

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