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.

The Best Doolin Accommodation

Finding the best Doolin Accommodation

Whilst planning a trip to the Cliffs Of Moher we had heard that Doolin would be the most pleasant place to stay, a picturesque little spot in the heart of this region. This was our start to look for accommodation and especially the Airbnb stays in Doolin.

We searched through Airbnb stays in doolin and came across this perfect little apartment only a short drive from both Doolin and the Cliffs of Moher itself.

Trish’s appartment

We found Trish’s Airbnb apartment named Heatherfield Mews as mentioned only 2 minute drive from Doolin. The opening picture with the picture window from the kitchen looking out had our attention.

To book this through Airbnb click Here

The view from the front

What they say

Quote taken from Airbnb

“New Two bedroom , holiday home with panoramic sea views views of Aran islands and Connemara mountains .A new build finished to a high standard close to all local amenities.

Operated by the Fitzpatrick family locals to the area.A warm welcome awaits you in our stylish beautiful home away from home”

This great Doolin accommodation

Kitchen, lounge and Dining

The Kitchen, lounge and Dining area were all very modern, new and well presented.

The kitchen was well equipped with all the equipment you need. Oven, fridge, toaster and kettle etc all available for you to use. As well as all utensils, cutlery and crockery you could think of.

The lounge area was comfy and came with a large TV.

A breakfast style high seated table was on the end of the kitchen, which would be my own preference of seating. Add to that it gave some height to see out the window and enjoy some views of the Wild Atlantic Way whilst you enjoy breakfast.

The rooms

The apartment has 2 bedrooms upstairs a room with 2 beds with window view. Comfy beds and shelfing and plenty of space for long stays. This bedroom has its own bathroom across the landing also (the lighting in here is so relaxing)

The downstairs bedroom, the main bedroom has the most comfortable double bed and again opposite the hall has its own bathroom.

Bedding s and linens throughout were great quality and very clean.

Picture window

One of the highlights of this apartment is the big picture window in the kitchen area with unbelievable elevated views out over the coast and the Wild Atlantic Way. (picture below doesn’t do it justice)

And finally its warm and cosy

With its location we feared a little apartment may suffer from being a bit cold but it certainly wasn’t the heating was set to come on at the right times and the apartment was always cosy.

Local attractions

This location is a perfect base for such trips like seeing the Cliffs of Moher, Doonagore Castle, Doolin Caves or explore many of the great traditional Irsih pubs.

Our stay here coincided with a family road trip we were on from Roscommon, you can check it out Here

Wild Atlantic Way

With this stay being on the Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland’s best drive. We have had a few other trips along this route like our stay n Clifden, where we visited such places like Clifden Castle and hiked Diamond Hill. Further up the coast we have visited the historical town of Killala also which was certainly another highlight.

Make a booking

To make a booking at this apartment Here is a link to the Airbnb page for this accommodation

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

Honestly Farm Kitchen, Carrick on Shannon

New Opening

There’s a new kid on the block in Honestly Farm Kitchen in Carrick on Shannon has opened its doors. A organic cafe and farm shop with drive through, known to be Irelands first organic drive through.

Its honestly organic food

Honestly opened in Carrick on Shannon early 2022 from the producers of Drumanilra organic farm a family farm from Boyle Roscommon. Drumanilra used to have its shop and cafe in the heart of Boyle Town but moved to these new and improved premises on the old KFC site.

Honestly aims to use its own produce with local suppliers to bring the best and freshest food to the table so to speak.

What the owners say

There statement on there website reads.

Our Honestly Farm Kitchen in Carrick on Shannon serves food sourced from our own organic farm, (Drumanilra Farm just 15 km away on the shores of Lough Key) and from like-minded producers.  We serve breakfasts, burgers, salads, sandwiches, freshly baked desserts and locally roasted coffee. We use local, sustainable and organic ingredients wherever possible.

Our Visit

This venue looks sleak and clean very functional with plenty of space no sitting on top of one another. There is no table service which is fine, it’s order at the counter the menus are displayed above, along with printed kids menus also which double up as drawing sheets with pictures to colour in.

I made two visits so far both times sampling the homemade burgers. Firstly I opted for the Deluxe Dexter burger and second visit I tried the Buttermilk chicken burger with buffalo and blue cheese.

The food at Honestly

The Dexter was juicy and tasted great. Dexter is a great Irish grade of beef with fantastic marbling which gives it is great flavour and tender beef. The burger is accompanied with free range bacon, Irish cheese, caramelised onions, brioche bun and the Honestly burger sauce.

Buttermilk Chicken Burger

The buttermilk chicken burger was a great piece of organic chicken beautifully coated and crispy, with generous spicy buffalo sauce and blue cheese very simply done done but packed full of punch and flavour.

On the side

The sides we have tried are the fries, sweet potato fries and the sweet and sticky wings. Both the fries were hand cut which is all the better and the chicken wings were tasty not too saucy and feel of the bone.

Sweet and sticky wings

Something different

My wife tried the Tofu burger the first time and probably the biggest compliment was she went back for it again the second time. The kids both had sausage on a stick with sweet potato fries and again the quality of the meat in the sausage was delicious, not fatty or greasy just quality, just what I want my kids eating.

Drive through

A first and very rare sight to have a drive through for a cafe / restaurant is a plus for the business and certainly for those in a rush or like ourselves with kids the ease of it all makes me want to use the business even more, to which i have regularly for coffees the ease of it is great.

Farm Shop

Inside the building in the left corner of the shop is a farm shop selling Drumanilra produce of veg and fruit, baked goods, organic pantry goods and much more. A great idea and with the owners of the premises owing the farm you just know the produce will be first draw.

Contacts

Phone

(071) 931 7388

Address

Rosebank Retail Park,
Dublin Rd,
Attifinlay,
Carrick-On-Shannon,
Co. Leitrim,
N41 VK33

Website

Honestly Website

Socials

Finding Honestly

The easiest and best way to plan your trip is to use the google maps directory.

More Carrick on Shannon

More Eats

Carrick is a great bustling town and is a bit of a food and drink destination with another one of our favourite places to go The Oarsman in the heart of the centre of Carrick. More a finer dining approach with some of the best food in the county. you can check out our Oarsman review Here.

Best to do

With all the eating a bit of exploring is needed and no better place to visit would be Lough Rynn Castle. With walks around the grounds and walled gardens a must and even step inside and see the history of this great castle.

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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Romantic story Of McDermott Castle Lough Key

Visiting Lough Key for McDermott Castle

One of our favourite places to visit is Lough Key Forest Park. We often spend many a afternoon there exploring the 350 hectare site. What always captures my imagination is the lonely castle ruins lying out in the Lough McDermott Castle.

McDermotts Castle in the backfround

The story of Una

So here is a little story what is believed to be the tale of the castle.

Local legend tells the story of a girl called Una, the daughter of the McDermott chief, who fell in love with a boy from a lower class.

Una’s father refused to let her leave the island, in the hopes that this would deter the budding relationship.

A sad ending for Una

Unbeknownst to her father, Una’s boyfriend began swimming across Lough Key to reach the castle. It was during one of these crossings that tragedy struck, and the boy drowned.

It’s said that Una died from grief and that both she and her partner have remained buried beneath two intertwined trees on the island ever since”

Take a visit yourself

Want to see this beautiful piece of history you can take a boat out around the Lough from Lough Key Boats situated on the side of Lough at Lough Key Forest Park.

Lough Key boats

Find out some more information about the boats, Mcdermott castle and Lough Key via the Travel Through Ireland website.

Love more history

We love local stories like these, fancy hearing the some more ? How about the story of why Cindy the elephant was buried in the rural Irish town of Castlerea. Now this is a intriguing one.

Some more historical sites we have found on our travels involve a lot of castles here ar a couple below we have visited.

Roscommon Castle, Roscommon, Ireland

Roscommon Castle

After recently moving to Roscommon, we thought we should get out and explore. Me and my son set of for wander round the new neighborhood. And what we came across was the ruins of the Roscommon Castle and Loughnaneane Park.

As soon as I heard of the castle I wanted to visit. I have often loved visiting ruins it’s really a place to let the imagination flow and wander what these sorts of structures where once like when operational.

Location

Set about 2 minute drive from the town center, best access and parking is just off Castle Street and down Castle Lane. Exact location can be found on Google maps below.

Roscommon has a town center train station located 3 minute drive to Roscommon Castle. Busus are available also via Bus Eireann

A Brief History Of The Castle

The castle now in ruins, this large and striking 13th-century Norman castle was once of Hugh O’Connor, the King of Connaught. It features a quadrangular plan with rounded bastions at the corners and a double-towered entrance gate.

The castles 7 Norman structure, built back in 1269 by then Robert de Ufford, on lands which were taken from an Augustinian priory.

The castle was laid to siege by the Connacht King Aodh O’Connor in 1272. Eight years on, and then again in the possession of the English garrison and fully restored. 1340 came around and the O’Connors had regained possession and held it until 1569, to which it then fell to Sir Henry Sidney, who at the time was the Lord Deputy.

Our Visit To The Castle

The Roscommon Castle ruins is free to visit and is its surrounding walking tracks and play areas. Open all year round with no opening or closing times.

The castle from across Loughnaneane park looks beautiful and as you can see the structure is largely still well visible. Currently a few restoration projects are also ongoing helping to keep this site as well maintained as possible.

The Castle

The entrance to the castle through the stone arch is grand and very well maintained. A bridge at the front of the castle is not the original but is there for access to all visitors, With easy ramps and railings for elderly or wheelchair access.

Once inside the ruins become more visible and you can see where the castle fell into decay and you can see where it all once stood. The extremely high walls and stunning windows show the formation of the former 3 floored castle.

I do love to sit back and absorb places like this and try to imagine what it once was like when it was operational. I think imagination is great could you imagine the people who once resided here and how they went about there lives.

The stairwell access still remains but due to the ruins lead to nowhere. They are gated shut due to safety, and the obvious ruins of the site. But these would of been access to the other levels of the castle.

One of my favourite shots from the back of the castle. Luckily I managed to capture the glaring sunlight through the windows and gate. This back gate leads out onto a grassed area which would of once been part of the castles gardens and courtyard.

Another shot, and this time of one of the bastions. This would of been built so to allow defense fire in several directions. Again the obvious signs of ruins and what once was a castle. It’s easy to see here the former castle was over 3 floors with the still present window frames.

The Park

A very well maintained walking track adjacent to the castle and a lake situated perfectly in the center of Loughnaneane park. Full of ducks, which we now regularly enjoy going to with the kids to feed them. Very friendly and always welcome for some bread if those magpies don’t sweep in to quickly.

Walking tracks around the pond to enjoy and to stretch the legs. There is also a outer walking track for longer walks. Al very well maintained as is the whole area.

Also situated in this park is a good quality well equipped playground. With lots of climbing and adventures for the kids again extremely well maintained and like new. Plenty of space for kids with an array of features for all ages.

This place is great way to kill an hour or so in the morning and would be a perfect picnic spot in the summer and somewhere to bring the family to enjoyed a great bit of fresh air.

Fitness Machines

Loughnaneane park is well equipped with street fitness machines, this is great way for people to keep fit whilst out for a walk. Again very well maintained and never to crowded. Machines for different parts of the body.

Local Refreshments

A favourite spot of ours and somewhere we like to pick up a coffee to bring for our walks is Rogue and Co in Roscommon Town Centre.

Only a 5 – 6 minute walk from the castle and situated on the high street in Roscommon is Rogue & Co is a trendy cafe offering great food and beverages.

High recommendations the double smash burger and the haloumi burger, or for early risers the smashed avo on sourdough topped with siracha is always a winner.

Equally as mention, a pre walk stop take away coffees and homemade scones are always a hit.

Rogue and Co Cafe Roscommon

County Roscommon Things To Do

Roscommon is a county steeped in history, we have had the priveledge to be here for 3 years now and in that time have seen what this county has to offer. And we are now delighted to offer our ultimate guide to County Roscommon.

Our guide includes our top 5 musts, walk, hotels, restaurants and a few little extras. Make sure to check it out.

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