As much as we at STABLE enjoy the hustle and bustle of Dublin city life, there are times we long to escape for a couple of days. What’s wonderful about our capital city is that you’re never more than a ten-minute drive from a forest and mountain hike (and what’s not to love about the Wicklow Mountains) or from a genuine, iodine-soaked beach experience (Sandymount and Dollymount are both magnificent all year round). Yet as much as we love our regular recharging points, we always look forward to getting out on the road and embracing the best of the west on the Wild Atlantic Way.
The wild and rocky coastline of the west of Ireland has to be seen to be believed. 2500 km of cliffs, beaches, and caves undulate along the western coast of our little island, with nothing on the horizon other than water – and, eventually, the American seaboard. The road starts at the top of the country at the Northern Headlands in wild Donegal with its soaring cliffs and untouched crags, via the Cliff Coast, where the land falls away to the waves, the Surf Coast, Connemara’s Bay Coast, the Southern Peninsulas in the extreme west, and finishes all the way down at the Haven Coast. Here, on this southernmost stretch of the Wild Atlantic Way, you’ll find the charming fishing villages of West Cork such as Skibbereen, along with serene shores, ancient tombs, dreamy landscapes, and the most thrilling wildlife. Look out for hedgerows thick with fuschia and mobretia, as showcased on our magnificent STABLE tricolour.
Hardy surfing souls will find their heart’s desire on the Surf Coast, with its remote islands and silvery strands, and from where you could, theoretically, surf down the entire Western Seaboard. Surfers flock from all over the world to ride the monstrous waves that come rolling in off the Atlantic, while avid sailors and cave divers can also quench their thirst for adventure in places like Achill and Streedagh Beach.
Oh, and did we mention the food? This sea-sculpted area borders some of the world’s coldest waters, producing a delicious bounty of fish and shellfish. The major benefit of a coastal location is the few miles between fishing boats and fork. Restaurants like Fishy Fishy in Kinsale and An Port Mor in Westport serve the freshest and most delicious oysters, scallops and lobsters, fresh out of the sea every day; and all washed down with a pint of the black stuff, naturally. For great Vegan Lunch, options check out the Sea Hare in Cleggan, Galway. On land, herds of sheep graze in patchwork fields, on hillsides and heathery mountains. Creamy butter and flavoursome cheeses are produced from the rich, rain-soaked grass the cows happily feed upon.
Linking land, sea and all of these flavours are the hard-working farmers and food producers whose work supplies the local shops, cafés and restaurants, while the open-farm approach many have in welcoming visitors allows anyone to come and learn about their food provenance, culture and craft.
This is captivating coastal life from the northern reaches to the southern corners – literally, from head to toe. So what are you waiting for?