WALKING DAY OUT

Walk in Burren National Park

One day walk in The Burren National Park.

This walk takes place in the stunning area around and on Mullagh More, a mountain which is characteristic of the limestone landscape which defines The Burren. Rising in steps and terraces to a height of 180 meters (627ft) at the summit and affording stunning views in every direction the views during this walk are breath-taking.

The walk begins through low scrub and hazel  with views over a crystal clear lake to the iconic mountain rising ahead. Leaving Crag Road and passing Lough Gealáin before gently rising towards the first terrace. The landscape is typical of The Burren, limestone slab broken and dissolved into glints and griks the gaps some very deep some filled with soil. The stone is weathered into fascinating almost surreal shapes in shades of grey and packed with fossils, 350 million year old creatures and plants are once again exposed. Between the rocks grow a profusion of flowers, from April to September a stunning array of flowers bloom in succession. The area sometimes described as a lunar landscape is when looked at up close packed full of a vast range of plants, plants from artic regions share space with those from alpine and  maritime habitats and a great variety of orchids grow over the period. The progress is usually slow as the distractions are many.

We continue to climb and pass Lough Gealáin, the clarity and colour of this small lake is particularly striking and a great place for photos.

We also pass a Megalithic tomb, a reminder that there have been people in The Burren for over four thousand years.

The climbing starts as we make our way across flat terraces and then pick a route up through the craggy edge which step up to the next terrace. Each step brings a whole new vista into view as we gain height. In the distance we can see good farmland and rough scrub, and a castle to be seen in the distance.

As we continue through the fossil rich stone we see the ancient remains of coral and small sea creatures, remains of a tropical sea from millions of years ago and numerous wild flowers, which ones depends on the time of year. Again the pace is usually slowed by the photos being taken both the great wide views and the small details of rock and plant. The final climb to the top reveals my favourite views in The Burren. The view is fantastic in every direction, lakes and low lying land towards Gort, a long stretch of limestone terrace and plateau ahead and wide views of the high Burren where the densest occurrence of monuments is to be found.

The return journey is down through more steps and terraces, some small enjoying the views and then to the road for collection. Again the route is one over typical Burren terrain and the views continue to the end. We get back to the road for collection and depending on time we may visit a small graveyard where the headstone s show dates back into the distant past, with the names showing the families who have been here for generations.

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