Caves of Keash, Sligo, Ireland

Finally we got there

So it finally happened, we got to visit the Caves of Keash. We had talked about visiting many times but due to a number of reasons, one being the weather we just never made it. Actually one clear day we headed off and got to the foot of the hill only to find that it was lambing season and entry to the walk and caves had been restricted. So that’s my first tip check ahead to see if it’s lambing  season. We found up to date information on Sligowalk.ie site.

A little information on the Caves

The caves have 17 chambers along the hill, some of these connect to one another. For safety reasons the walk upto the Caves ends after the first 3 and with safety concerns the recommendation is only visiting these. Signs on the Caves tell you where the trail ends. (We listened to the advice and just saw the 3)

Note – The caves of keash are on private land so please when you walk through respect the land and listen to the advice and stick to designated tracks.

History

Early days there were archaeological investigations they say around the 1900s, that man lived in the Caves of Keash.

Those investigations also discovered bones from animals, with evidence of hares, brown bear, red deer, Arctic lemming and wolves all dating back to more than c.12,000 years ago.

It is said that Ireland’s famous High King, Cormac Mac Airt was born by a well near the caves. He in later life ruled as King.

The parking bay

In recent years a car park has been erected and is situated right at the entrance gate of the walking track (see picture below). Please be aware and here is tip 2 for the day. The Caves of Keash parking sign brings you a 10 minute walk away from the entrance to the walking track by the local church. New signs for the new are not clear.

At the car park

Enter the hike

Entrance to the hike is gated and as I mentioned earlier about lambing season this is locked during that time. Signs explaining safety precautions and local notices are present.

As you can see from the two photos above you can see in the hills the 17 different openings that make up the Caves of Keash . It looks cool from below and very enticing to go explore what’s in there, well it did for us anyway.

According to the information post guided tours are starting soon although no other details were present on here. It does say that tours operate from the Fox’s Den pub a 5 minute from the Caves. Heading back out on to the main road and start to head south you couldn’t miss it.

Coming soon guided walks

Start the walk

The walk starts with a slight incline through the field you can’t go off track there’s a perfectly mown strip for you to follow. As you walk up the Cave entrances start to look all the more impressive.

Start of the walk

At the end of this field a gate and sty await for you it asks for your assistance in closing. These reasons are normally as the lands are private and farmers cattle roam freely

The walking tracks

The walking tracks are in good condition, but please note we did for on a very dry week. The Start of the walk is through the grass. And this is why I emphasised we went when it was dry because during wet tines (that’s often in Ireland) this section will be muddy

About halfway up the walk a sign (Middle left above photos) the steep gradient starts and the track turns stoney giving a bit more grip. Believe us  you will need that grip as it gets a bit steep.

And approach the cave

And all your hard work finally pays off as you finally start to see the entrances to the caves. In all depending on fitness it takes about 15 – 20 minutes to reach the cave.

The below video gives a glimpse into what to expect at the Caves.

Leading into the Caves

Inside the cave

Once inside the cave the beautiful limestone formation is just amazing to see. The caves you can enter interconnect to each other showing openings and also as seen in a couple of the photos below a few holes which lead into the unknown. I would certainly be tempted to get back with headlamps and test it out.

The lookouts

Once inside the Caves of Keash you look out and there you photo opportunity. As you can see in the photos below the view looking out through the cave openings over the beautiful Sligo countryside is as Instagramable as it gets. I’d have to say these  are two of my favourite photos I have taken.

The views

The views looking out onto the Sligo countryside are just jaw dropping. We had some of the best weather of the year this day so we could see for miles and even though its taken us a while to get to the days the wait for a sunny day was well worth it.

Was it worth it?

Absolutely, we killed a few hours got some stunning views. Had fun exploring the caves and enjoyed some much needed fresh air.

Would it be as good on a rainy day? Probably not maybe plan last minute if the weather is reasonable.

Other close stuff to do

The caves although are in County Sligo, it is only minutes from the Roscommon border and in fact the closet main town is Boyle which is one of Roscommon’s largest towns.

Boyle is a great hub for things to do. Below is a list of a few of the popular places to see

More adventures

We love to get out into the open and see new things and is often the way these adventures are free which are all the better. Below is a list of 5 things we have done for free around Ireland.

  1. Roscommon Castle
  2. Hiked Diamond Hill
  3. Glencar Waterfall
  4. Mote Park
  5. Slieve Bawn Wind Farm

Guerins Path, Cliffs of Moher

Heading to the Cliffs of Moher

The Cliffs of Moher on Irelands wild Atlantic way is one of the most popular sites in Ireland. Explored by thousands each year, but with the west of Ireland’s wild nature can be a tough walk for young families or the less abled. Well look no further use this useful tip Guerins Path parking at the Cliffs of Moher.

Finding Guerins Path

After pulling up at the Cliffs of Moher and being told it was 10 euro per person to park, we were reluctant  on paying as the weather was not great and with a 2 year old and 8 month old we couldn’t see we would get value for more.

Being the ever optimists we decided to drive on a small bit and take some back roads and see what we could find. It was about 1km past the car park we saw a right turn with the a sign which at the bottom read car park. We turned in and headed up the small road for about another 1km.

The sign to turn up of the main road

It was here we saw the sign for Guerins Path, why not we said and turned in and headed into the fields and after a small drive saw a scattering of cars and a attendant.

We got chatting to the attendant and with the young kids in the back he told us we could bypass the car park and head along Guerins Path to the closet parking spot available to the Cliffs of Moher. “sold’ we said and even better half the price of normal parking.

The map below shows the exact location.

What They Say

Ill interupt the story here to give you  a bit of information on Guerins Path.

A family-owned business, Guerin’s Path to Cliff Walk provides a hassle-free alternative for an epic experience. Park your car at Guerin’s farm and enjoy a lovely stroll along Guerin’s Path to the stunning Cliff Walk along the Cliffs of Moher.  Excellent for hikers and walkers who want to experience a bit of adventure tackling the Cliff Walk,  for visitors who long to view the rugged beauty of the Wild Atlantic Way and for photographers and wedding parties looking to snap the perfect shot.  It is also an excellent choice for families with young children, pensioners for whom strenuous walking is difficult and those in need of wheelchair accessibility to reach the cliffs in a quick and easy way.  Local farmer Martin Guerin and his family welcome you to their farm to enjoy one of the most breathtaking wonders of the world.

Courtesy of www.guerinspath.com/

Five meter walk to see the Cliffs of Moher

We got out of the car and straight through a gate and we literally were 5 metres from the perfect view of the Cliffs of Moher. As you can see in this video below.

Guerins Path parking

Guerins Path did the job

For us this find was perfect with the kids who were both under 3 and not have to navigate it with them, but to still see the view was amazing. If this wasn’t a trip with the kids then to do the whole walk would be our preference. This post is more to give people who either like us have children, are less able or short on time.

For a bit more information check out there website for more.

Which ever way you choose the Cliffs of Moher are a must see here is are a few snaps from our trip below. You could also check out our Cliffs of Moher road trip post right Here.

And Finally

Enjoyed this? Then find some more of our favourite Ireland trips below

We even have our own Irish only content site Travel Through Ireland check it out.

For more info on the area maybe a look at these sites below may help.

Boulders Beach Penguins, Cape Town

Meet the boulders beach penguins

As part of a tour around the Western Cape one of the main parts of this trip and one we were looking forward to the most was a visit to Boulders Beach Cape Town which has one of South Africa and Africa’s largest penguin colonies.

The breed of penguin is the rare African penguin in fact its the only place in the world you can get close to African Penguins

The rare African Penguin

A bit of history

It was back in 1982 that a few of these penguins settled here on Boulders Beach. The area was perfect with large Boulders made of granite that protect the beach from wind and wild waves.

The population of the penguin is sadly dwindling to between 2000 and 3000 and is classified as protected.

Penguin spotting

On a good note Boulders Beach and some of the surrounding areas are part of the marine protected area in the Table Mountain National Park. This meaning the beaches are protected and both safe and clean.

Our trip

We arrived in False Bay the location of Boulders Beach out on the Cape drive from Cape Town.

Around this little town there are local shops, restaurants and cafes for you to explore. However we headed straight for the boardwalk. (A fee is payable on entrance to the boardwalk 65 SA Rand).

The boardwalk took us out onto a elevated boardwalk above where the penguins are running around playing, swimming and waddling about. It’s a beautiful site to see. The view out to sea is breathtaking and to catch a glimpse of them playing in the waves is just a bucket list item.

Watching the penguins at sea

The boardwalks meander through the dunes and don’t interfere with the penguins in fact they provide great shelter for those penguins nesting with there chicks.

Nesting penguins

Take a guide

Our guide Chris who was with us through our Cape Point tour was so knowledgeable on the penguins and although its a easy trip to take yourself I would well recommend a guide as the history and the habits of penguins was so interesting to learn. We used City Sightseeing as our guide for this tour they are experts in the field and have regular tours to Boulders Beach and also well known over South Africa.

We love penguins

This wasn’t our first trip to see rare penguins on a trip to New Zealand we took a drive out Curiio Bay on the most southerly point of the South Island of New Zealand.

It was here we got to see the yellow eyed penguins waddling in for the night from the shore.

Yellow eyed penguins

To see more on this check out our trip to Curio Bay.

More South Africa

We had 4 parts on our stay in South Africa. See some posts below and see what we got up to.

The Red Bank Restaurant, Carrick On Shannon

Exploring Leitrim

We have been exploring a look around the County Leitrim area recently and spent a lot of time around Carrick Shannon. We heard great things about the restaurant The Red Bank so we decided to check it out one sunny evening

Pre drinks

We had a nice sunny day so we decided to check out Gings Bar which has it’s own beer garden with views out onto the river shannon.

Pre drinks

A more traditional choice of bar would be either the Oarsman on the main street or Flynns bar also on the main street the later has great live music in the evenings.

The Red Bank Restaurant

The Red Bank Restaurant was opened in 2020 and after a couple of tough years during the pandemic it is now able to show off its talents and flourish.

Outside the restaurant

The Menu

The menu at The Red Bank is full of choice, with seafood, steaks, burgers and and a few different choices. Started range from a wing menu, chowder, local goats cheese to name a few.

Most impressively was the vegan menu with a choice of 3 starters, 3 mains and 3 desserts. Its not often you see that in fact you lucky to find 1 of each in many places, they should be commended here.

Our choices

To get a great feel for the food we opted for both menus one off the normal menu and one off the Vegan.

Firstly off the main menu we chose the Buffalo wings which were delicious. Crispy wings not to saucy, could of kept eating and eating them

For main the Andarl Farm Pork Fillet with herb crust, black pudding, apple, potato fondant a d re wine jus stood out. And when it came out an A+ for presentation and the taste didn’t disappoint either.

Note : Andarl Farm is home to Velvet Pork, based in County Mayo great to see local produce being used and so well advertised.

The Vegan menu as mentioned sounded delicious we opted for first course seared Tofu marinaded in lemon and herb and served with charred baby gem and pea and mint dressing. This dish was a highlight so fresh and moreish would recommend either to a meat eater.

For main the the homemade burger of beetroot and mushroom with pickled red cabbage, beetroot ketchup, rocket and sweet potato fries. The dish I must say was so tasty and again would recommend to anyone. The flavours were perfectly balanced.

Contacts

Phone

+353 (0)71 967 1392

Address

St. George’s Terrace, Townparks, Carrick-On-Shannon, Co. Leitrim, N41 CK00

Socials

Lovely Leitrim

As mentioned at the top we have had some great trips and have enjoyed exploring the sights of Leitrim. Lough Rynn Castle is certainly a must with it’s walled gardens and lush grounds and further north in the county would be Glencar Waterfalll and the stunning views over Glencar lough.

For more food in the Leitrim area you could check out our look at Honestly Farm Kitchen an organic cafe in the heart of Carrick and Shannon

Honestly Farm

Find out a few more on our Instagram Page or even our sister page Travel Through Ireland

Costello Memorial Chapel, smallest in Europe

The smallest chapel in Ireland

Situated in the heart of Carrick on Shannon Town lies the smallest Chapel in Europe and the second smallest in the world the by the name of Costello Memorial Chapel.

At only sixteen feet long by twelve foot wide, the Chapel only covers an area of 192 feet.

Costello Memorial Chapel

We decided to take a look and do a bit of research on this little chapel, here is what we found.

The story of the chapel

This fascinating little chapel was erected by Edward Costello and is to mark his devotion to his wife, who unfortunately passed in 1877 at the now slender age of 46. Mr Costello, a farmer near Carrick moved to the town in the early 1800’s and set himself up in business.

When his wife passed, Mary Josephine, he got to work on the memorial Chapel in her honour and proceeded with getting it started. It was moving gesture and a show of love and also a last resting place for his wife and himself.

Inside the Chapel

It was dedicated on Aprill 22, 1879 and after the consecration ceremony, Mrs Costello body was placed in a sunken space just inside and to the left of the entrance, and was covered with a slab of specially made glass. The body, had been embalmed when Mrs Costello died, and had been cared for in the interim by the marist nuns.

Mr Costello passing

2 years after Mary Josephie passed, Mr Costello himself died in early March 1891, and likewise his remains also in a metal coffin were placed in a sunken space to the right of the entrance. Again a thick glass lid was placed over this vault too.

Mass was actually celebrated in this chapel on every first Friday of the month from the time of its consecration to Mr Costello’s death, but ever since no religious service has taken place in it since. The Costello Memorial chapel now lies tucked in between two more recent buildings in the heart of town.

Some more info on the chapel

So where is the smallest chapel in the world

So the costello memorial chapel is the second smallest in the world where is the smallest?

The smallest chapel in the world is the ‘The Living Water Wayside Chapel’ located in the Niagara region of the U.S.A and is known in the Guiness book Of Records as being the smallest in the world covering just 78 feet, Making this more than half the size of the Costello Memorial Chapel.

Other heritage visits we have made

Since moving to Ireland we have started looking at local historical and heritage sites around us. A visit to the Templetogher Mill which has been beautiful restored to its former glory by the local community.

We visited the town of Killala were we took a look at the Round Tower, and old lookout tower used during the French Rebellion.

A favourite of ours and one we take much joy in is visiting many castle ruins. Looking at the histories of the castles and manor houses and who and what they were used for and used by. A few of the castles ruins are listed below

Templetogher Mill, The Community Project

That heritage sign

For 2 years on the way to work I drove past a sign on the road which read heritage area. With a lack of time I never quite made it there. One sunny afternoon I had a hour to spare I decided to have a look at this site known as the site of the Templetogher Mill.

Location

Located in County Galway but very close to the Roscommon border lies the town of Williamstown.

Plan your route with Google maps

Templetogher Mill

Templetogher Mill is the main feature of this heritage site and is a community restored corn mill, featuring a corn drying kiln nearby. The last family to run the mill was said to be the Egan family of millers, before falling to ruin.

The Mill

The mill itself is a three-bay, three-storey water mill, something that use to be popular of small rural mills in County Galway and it is great that in stayed in tact so well and with its restoration looks great, which is rare. The water wheel is still present on the mill.

The Water Wheel

The community restoration

Templetogher restoration came about from the Williamstown heritage society and this was known as there  flagship project and the centrepiece of there achievements has been Templetogher Mill and new Heritage Area. 

The walkway

Purchase

First of all was to purchase the mill and adjacent lands from the previous owners. The mill was then in the hands of the local community.

Restoration

The start was to conserve the building following which the wheel was reconstructed and is now turning once more. 

The kiln across the road has been restored while on the ground floor of the same building, a traditional forge has been developed.  The land adjacent to the mill was tidied up and native trees were planted. 

The Kiln

Completion

The restoration of the inner mill was then taken care of before the final stage in the development the restoration of the beautiful miller’s house. 

The miller’s cottage

Keeping with the local project local builders were used in the project in the restoration.

Ireland history and heritage

Since being in Ireland the heritage and history of this country is just everywhere to be seen.

We have visited some amazing sites like Roscommon Castle ruins, Clifden Castle and Lough Rynn Castle. See the history behind the Kilala round tower and it’s use during the French Rebellion We have even found out some great historical stories like how Cindy the elephant came to be buried in Castlerea.

Many of these of stories can be found also on our sister site Travel Through Ireland an informative site on our travels and what to find county by county in Ireland.

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Learning the Angel’s Share in whiskey making

A speakeasy not easy to find

When we visited Hong Kong we found a little speakeasy online situated up a tiny elevator stairwell. Now I say find it, it took almost 30 minutes of trying to open doors and asking people to finally find it. Even the street seller 20 metres down the road had no idea.

Enter the Angel Share Bar

After a elevator ride that reminded me of the Tower of Terror at Disneyland. W entered a corridor with a door which opened up in what we can only describe as a 1950s cigar bar.

Perfect Setting

It’s dim lights, comfy couches and sleek exterior mad for the perfect setting. The most impressive back bar full of bottles and bottles of whiskey from all over the world.

The Angel’s share

Hard to choose what to have the bartender came over and went through the menu, found out our palettes and suggested some drinks. Whilst picking his brain for a while the question came up why is the bar called Angel’s Share ?

So the story of Angel’s Share was told, here is a run down of it. Not wanting to miss out on the fun, the Angels have to have there share as well. This Share is the total amount of distilled spirits that gets lost to evaporation out of the barrel or cask into the air as the ageing process of the whiskey continues. Therefore the Angel’s share was invented.

Angel Share no more

Unfortunately since our visit Angel Share is no more. Maybe it’s the difficulty in finding or maybe the wrong vibe who knows all I know is I loved it and the experience was not only great but a learning curve into whiskey.

The Instagram page is still live take a look for yourselves at this great trendy cocktail bar.

More Hong Kong food and drink

We had some great food and drink adventures around Hong Kong with visits to the ORIGIN Gin bar in the central district where we drank out out of bathtubs, thats right bathtubs catch our ORIGIN post.

Some great food destinations around this amazing city none other than Little Bao and many more from our Hong Kong Food and Drink Guide.

A Bathtub Cocktail In Hong Kong

Bar hopper couple

Whilst on a trip to Hong Kong we did our fair share of bar hopping, and if there is one thing Hong Kong does well that’s bars. One of best our best finds was ORIGIN Bar in Hong Kongs Central district. Did someone say a bathtub cocktail

Bar researching for cocktails

After a bit of research and looking at bars online we stumbled across a picture of a bathtub cocktail!! Yes that’s right a bathtub. Loving the unique nature and knowing the trendy bar scene in Hong Kong we jotted it down because we really wanted this experience and find out more.

Enter ORIGIN Bar

ORIGIN Bar a funky small and narrow venue, dark with dimmed lighting and very inviting, almost like a speakeasy but not hidden at the back of a launderette or up some secret stairs. It’s there for all to see.

Menu at ORIGIN Bar

The menu consisted of many contemporary cocktails with all combinations of Gins and other spirits. Being a gin bar, gin was obviously at the forefront but other options were available also.

The one item that stood out to me was the cocktail in the bathtub the one we had researched the “Kyoho Grape Bathtub” cocktail known as the bars signature cocktail and around around Hong Kong.

The Kyoho Grape Bathtub

Delicious and moreish cocktail

It was a super smooth cocktail and very easy to drink, the fear was it would be to gimmicky but no it was well worth the visit. You can see in the photo below the glazed eyes and happy smile was after a fair few soaks in the tub.

Kyoho Grape Bathtub round 4

So that’s the story of how we drank out of a bathtub. A bathtub cocktail in Hong Kong is certainly not the usual thing to do. Do you have a unique coattail story to tell us? let us know below.

After all this drinking your need something to soak it all up and we have just the place Little bao in the Central District is the place to go and sample some share plates and a assortment of delicious baos.

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