The past few weekends it has started to feel a little bit springlike here in Ireland. To celebrate the longer days, spurts of sunshine and that little bit more energy one gets around this time of year, Eamonn and I have gone on a few mini walks in surrounding area.

One very windy but not really rainy Sunday we went first to the Rock of Dunamase. It is castle ruins on a hill that commands an amazing view of the flat lands around it. It was easy to imagine how intimidating and impregnable the place would have been in its heyday and glory. Despite the wind and the threat of rain there were still a few people about. One group consisted of a bunch of kids that had so much fun running around and climbing up walls and exclaiming “Wooah look at this!” It is a great place to have 7-14 year olds let loose and explore.

Drawing of Dunamase From the Outer Barbican DSCN7826 Great Hall Great Hall Entryway

After that we drove over to the Slieve Bloom Mountains which once were some of the tallest in Europe and are considered some of the oldest mountains, if not the oldest. We started a walk, but quickly lost the markers so we headed home with the desire to come again when we know the loop.

That’s exactly what we did. The next weekend, we went to the same trail head and started from the “correct” direction, which meant we found all of the trail markers. It was a lovely walk along a stream and by an old ruined mill. Then there was the “Lost Village of Cones”. It was a collection of some stone houses that were abandoned in the 60’s.

The peak, while no longer impressively high, still provided an amazing view of the area. The day was sunny and clear and in one direction we could see the Dublin Mountains and in another we could see another mountain range over 114 km away! It was lovely. The walk was well marked and fairly easy, despite the claims that it was a strenuous walk.

The Black Pool! Site of Old Mill Old Mill Stone View from the Top "Lost Village of Cones"