When you dream of Ireland, it's quite possible you're picturing a photo taken by one of Ireland's most prolific landscape photographers, Chris Hill. Chris is responsible for a spectacular range of images of the cliffs, coastlines, lakes and mountains, showing this breathtaking island at its most beautiful. A native of Belfast, Northern Ireland, Chris took a trip to Connemara in County Galway at just 16 years old and fell in love with "the wilder side of Ireland. It blew my mind."
Ben Bulben, County Sligo
Locals of Ireland joke about experiencing all four seasons in one day, and it's not uncommon to hear the rumbling of storm clouds in the morning, yet still be able to walk in the beautiful sunshine by noon. For Chris, that's exactly what makes Ireland so captivating to photograph. "Ireland is always exciting," he explains. "The ideal time is when the light changes. Spring is one of the best times for catching bright sun shining off the wet ground."
With so much of the island already under his belt and an impressive portfolio to show for it, one might wonder: is there anything Chris hasn't seen? "I have a bucket list that's always growing! Ireland draws me, it keeps drawing me in."
In the meantime, here are three of Chris's favourites...
Glenariff, County Antrim
Antrim's nine glens make for some spectacular natural sights, but it's Glenariff which is known as Queen of the Glens. The wilderness and fairytale beauty of Glenariff Forest Park make it a must-see, according to Chris: "In May, the hills are awash with bluebells, and the waterfalls never fail to inspire."
Boyeeghter Bay, County Donegal
Donegal holds a special place in Chris's heart; he owns a home there and is delighted at the number of people discovering this stunning county via the coastal routes of the Wild Atlantic Way. This secluded beach at Boyeeghter Bay, otherwise known as The Murder Hole, is a favourite on the coast of Ireland: "I've had to pass by a herd of cows to get to it, but it's worth it," he says.
Roundstone Harbour, County Galway
Beloved for its nearly 30km2 of woodlands, mountains and bog, and filled with wildlife, Connemara National Park is another brilliant recommendation from Chris: "The road from Clifden to Roundstone, with the Twelve Bens in the background, is beautiful."