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The front cover of Wild Ireland features a photograph of the view into a mountain valley.
Double-page spread in Wild Ireland contains an idyllic shot of Killary Harbour between the Connemara Highlands and the Partry Mountains.
Double-page spread has advice on Rights of Way and illustrations of birds found in South Wexford and the Saltee Islands.
A copy of Wild Ireland and a pencil lie on an open atlas.
    “A magical natural history tour, his lyrical style truly lights the way.”
    The Guardian
    “Has history, birds, animals, flowers, mountains, and where to stay – not only along Connemara’s “electroencephalographically ragged coastline”. A holiday in itself.”
    Ann Barr, Harpers & Queen

    Wild Ireland

    A Traveller’s Guide


    Uncover the rich abundance of Ireland’s wild places, North and South, from the peaks and dips of MacGillicuddy’s Reeks to the tranquil loughs of the upper Shannon. Let the author’s lyrical prose inspire you, then plan your own trips using the accompanying fact-packs.

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    Dispatched next day with Royal Mail 2nd Class
    • RRP: £12.50
    • Format: 210 mm x 149 mm (8 ¼ x 5 4/5 in)
    • Pages: 224
    • Weight: 0.4 kg (0.9 lb)
    • Pictures: 50 colour, 45 b/w
    • Maps: 7 colour, 14 b/w
    • Binding: Paperback
    • ISBN: 978 1 873329 34 4
    • Publication: 2000

    As befits any true scion of the Irish literary tradition, Brendan Lehane spins a good yarn. ‘Places to stay are plentiful but distant,’ he writes of the Sperrin Mountains – a distinct improvement on the 1930s when the naturalist Robert Praeger and a colleague ‘had to share a five-foot bed, both of them over six foot, with their feet sticking out of the window, in the only cottage with rooms to hire. In the morning hens were roosting on their toes’. He has plenty of other tales, drawn from folklore and fact, and an abiding love of the unchanged Irish countryside which informs every paragraph of this witty and readable book. Wild places still exist in abundance in Ireland. As he reveals, you can climb a mountain, bathe in the sea, watch thousands of birds co-existing on off-shore stacks, fish for salmon with a good chance of catching one, and hear the dusk calls of the corncrake at a river’s mouth all in a day.

    Wild Ireland offers something different from the general run of guide-books. It takes you far beyond Dublin and the other popular tourist destinations such as Cork, Galway and County Kerry, spiriting you away to the remotest sea cliffs, secret valleys and mountain lakes, in Northern Ireland as well as the Republic. If you want to be an armchair traveller, Wild Ireland will entertain and entrance you for hours with vivid narrative and colour photographs. If you like the sound of a place, look in the accompanying fact-pack and you will find everything you need to plan a journey, arrange a fishing holiday, fix up accommodation or work out the stages for a long-distance walk. Specially drawn maps enable you to find all the author’s favourite spots. In this edition the fact-packs have been packed with more facts than ever: more telephone and fax numbers, more contact names and more outdoor activities together with e-mail and web-site addresses, in short everything necessary to bring this popular and successful guide-book fully up to date.


    About the Series

    Wild Ireland: An Introduction

    The Shape of the Wild
    Wild Habitats
    Map of Ireland Showing Chapter Areas
    Protected Wild Places
    To the Reader

    Inishowen Peninsula
    Fanad Head to Rosguill
    Bloody Foreland
    Crohy Head
    Dawros Head
    Slieve League Peninsula
    Errigal and the Derryveagh Mountains
    Blue Stack Mountains
    Lough Derg
    Glens of Sligo and North Leitrim
    Ox Mountains

    Barony of Erris
    The Mullet and Islands
    Nephin Beg
    Achill Island
    Furnace Lough
    Croagh Patrick
    Mallaranny and Clew Bay
    Mweelrea Mountains
    Connemara Highlands
    The Western Way
    Partry Mountains and Lough Mask
    Iar Connacht
    Lough Corrib
    Aran Islands
    The Burren
    Coole Lough
    The Burren Way
    Loop Head
    Shannon Estuary

    Blasket Islands
    Iveragh Peninsula
    Valencia Island
    The Skelligs
    Beara Peninsula
    Mizen Head
    Cape Clear Island
    Lough Ine
    Sherkin Island
    Central County Cork

    Lough Allen and the Iron Mountain
    Bricklieve Mountains
    Lough Gara
    Lough Ree
    The Cavan Way
    Little Brosna River
    Lough Derg and the Lower Shannon
    Slieve Bloom

    Slievefelim and the Silvermine Mountains
    The Galtees
    River Blackwater
    The Comeraghs
    Blackstairs Mountains
    Waterford Harbour and River Barrow
    South Wexford and the Saltee Islands
    Wexford Slobs

    Wicklow Mountains
    Ireland’s Eye
    River Boyne

    The Mournes
    Lough Neagh
    Strangford Lough
    Glens of Antrim
    Rathlin Island
    Giant’s Causeway
    Sperrin Mountains
    Lough Erne
    Marble Arch


    Useful Addresses



    Brendan Lehane comes from an old Irish family and has lived for long periods in Ireland. He has written, among other books, The Companion Guide to Ireland, Dublin, The Compleat Flea, Natural History, The Power of Plants, a survey of the influence of plants on human life, and The Quest of Three Abbotts, a view of life and spirituality during the golden age of Irish Christianity. He has travelled in Africa, America, the Middle East and continental Europe, and has written articles for the Telegraph Magazine and many other publications.


    Before the invention of electric guitars young maidens fell collectively in love with handsome youths who hunted wild boar and formed armies to raid other armies in pursuit of blood feuds, lands, princesses with prospects and so on. No young man was quite so appealing in these and other respects as Fionn Mac Cumhail, or Finn McCool as his name is usually presented in English, doughty warrior and unrivalled hero of the Fenian cycle of legends, giant of the Giant’s Causeway and Fingal of the famous cave on Hebridean Staffa. Finn came from Slievenamon and was here hounded by bevies of desirous young women. The wise King Cormac Mac Art of Tara, whose somewhat cynical remarks about women have come down to us (‘arrogant when called on, lewd when neglected, silly… greedy… hating… tedious’ and so on) devised a plan. All the women who wanted Finn should race up the mountain’s side; Finn would be the winner’s prize. Slievenamon means, in fact, mountain of the women.

    It was a place that invited deep speculation. I sat on a rock and wondered what it would be like to be a meat-eating animal stuck to the floor waiting in vain for animals that you wanted and needed to eat to enter your mouth without compulsion. How would it feel to function best submerged in salt water and spend half your time – half of each day – all but out of water, in the air, and much of the rest of your day tantalizingly pummelled and sluiced, as the tide went in and out, by licks of water from which there was no chance of extracting anything to eat at all. This, it seemed from looking at it, was the essential daily cycle of the small beadlet sea anemone (Actinia equina), as it remained in its rock pool assaulted by the flow and ebb of the tide.