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My Ireland

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  • #Landscapes
  • #CultureandHeritage
  • #OutdoorActivities
  • #Landmarks
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    The magic of Céide Fields

    Uncover a Stone Age marvel in the wilds of County Mayo
    • #WildAtlanticWay
    • #Landmarks
    • #CultureandHeritage
    County Mayo
    Culture & Heritage
    1hr 15mins from Ireland West Airport

    Perched on stunning sea cliffs near the village of Ballycastle along the west coast of County Mayo, you’ll find a site of great historical significance.

    Submerged under a blanket bog, Céide Fields is a fascinating series of megalithic tombs and dwellings dating back over 6,000 years.

    At a glance, it may seem like a normal blanket bog, but this incredible place is home to one of the oldest stone-walled field systems in the world – an amazing Stone Age wonder that predates the pyramids by more than 2,000 years.

    Here, all those years ago, farmers built walls, sowed seeds and harvested crops, giving us a unique connection to the ancient past. 

    Glenurla, Ballycastle, Co. Mayo
    (096) 43325

    Scenes from North Mayo

    Unearth Ireland’s Stone Age past at Céide Fields

    State of the art

    Step into the Céide Fields award-winning visitor centre and you can discover all about this archaeological site, as well as the lives of the people who worked the land thousands of years ago.

    The centre uses state-of-the-art techniques including immersive, audio-visual 360-degree displays, interactive graphics and artefacts from the era to tell the story of Céide Fields.

    The highlight of the centre is an infinity box model, which gives a viewpoint of Céide Fields during the Neolithic period. The model is part of a live projected landscape with walls of mirrors that make it feel like it stretches out for miles around you. Immersive, fascinating and enlightening, it’s a great way to experience what the fields would have looked like all those years ago.

    Céide Fields visitor centre, County Mayo Céide Fields visitor centre, County Mayo

    Céide Fields Visitor Centre, County Mayo

    A wild Atlantic wonder

    One of the most striking things about Céide Fields is its dramatic location along the Wild Atlantic Way. The rust-coloured boglands, rugged cliffs and majestic ocean views make a visit here something quite special.

    Among the dramatic rock formations of the cliffs, the visitor centre has erected a stunning viewing platform that takes in the epic panoramas. Standing on the cliffside, with the expanse of the Atlantic Ocean stretching into the horizon, feels like standing at the edge of the world.

    ceide-fields-BG ceide-fields-BG

    Céide Fields, County Mayo

    Unearthing the past

    The Belderrig Valley Experience is a great way to delve further into the Céide Fields story. This fascinating walk unpacks the science, history and folklore that underpin this archaeological marvel.

    The tour is run by Professor Séamus Caulfield, who has close ties to the Céide Fields site as it was his father who discovered the remains of the stone walls here back in 1934.

    Séamus Caulfield, now an archaeologist, returned to the site in 1969 and began excavations – devising a system of mapping the lines of the stone walls without removing the peat bog.

    The Caulfields unearthed a fascinating site of great historical significance, and to this day, County Mayo’s Céide Fields remain one of the most striking destinations on the island of Ireland.

    Ceide Fields, Visitor Centre, Ballycastle, County Mayo Ceide Fields, Visitor Centre, Ballycastle, County Mayo

    Céide Fields Visitor Centre, County Mayo

    Need to know: Céide Fields

    1

    The site is open from April through to November – with the last guided tour an hour before closing. If you’re interested in visiting during winter, a group booking can be arranged.

    2

    If you’re travelling by bus, take the Bus Éireann route 446 from Ballina. If you’re driving, follow the R314 road.

    3

    The visitor centre has displays and exhibitions in English and Irish, with written translations available in Dutch, French, German, Italian, Polish and Spanish.

    4

    At the visitor centre, you can enjoy a 20-minute audio-visual show, before heading off on a guided walking tour of the site. Allow around two hours for your visit.

    5

    The guided tour takes place in the wild, untamed landscape of Mayo – and in the unpredictable Irish weather! Make sure to bring appropriate clothing and footwear for your visit.

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