Okay, so when it comes to Ireland’s landscapes, there’s a lot of talk about 40 shades of green. And while there is some truth to the cliché (Ireland really is VERY green), there’s a lot more going on besides.
Quiet and tranquil, the island’s waterways consist of lakes, canals and winding rivers. Popular with anglers, they’re also hotspots for cruises, kayaks and canoes. Blue Flag sandy beaches fringe the island’s pure shores, and face onto many tiny islands in the Atlantic Ocean and Irish Sea. Rugged mountain ranges dominate the skyline while cliff faces, crevices and underground caves are calling out to be explored.
If you want to find something completely different, don’t miss the Burren, a lunar-like karstic plateau in north County Clare; or south County Galway with its mystical megalithic tombs; or the Giant’s Causeway on Antrim’s magnificent northern coastline.
It's no wonder the island is so frequently the source of artistic inspiration. As landscape photographer Ciaran McHugh explains “much of the west of Ireland’s beauty manifests itself in its stunning sweeping vistas; from the iconic slopes of Benbulben and Knocknarea, posing as majestic sentinels over Sligo town, to the county’s striking coastline and tranquil lakes; while the majestic Twelve Pins and tranquil Lough Corrib typify the striking landscape of Connemara in Galway and Mayo.”
And we can't forget the Mourne mountains, which moved CS Lewis so much that he used them as the inspiration for Narnia.
Forty shades of green? For sure, but there’s a lot more besides…