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The Wild Atlantic Way

Posted by Deirdre Murray on

Well! How’s she cutting? (Greetings, friend. How are you?) Well I’ve finally arrived stateside, thousands of miles from my lovely little town of Castlebar, Co.Mayo; a place where the sheep to human ratio is about 50:1. Although moving across the world was a bit scary, I was lucky to have found a small patch of Ireland here, in South Haven, Michigan. I recently graduated from Maynooth University, Co. Kildare with a BA in English Lit. & German and now I'm here, at as their new Digital Marketing Intern. Here in the office, I’m surrounded by a plethora of products from home, each with it’s own character and charm. Looking at all of these beautiful celtic items and hearing the occasional Irish accent drift over the top of my laptop, I can’t help but be transported back there. Of course, my little slice of Ireland has it’s own charms too; it’s called the Wild Atlantic Way.

The Wild Atlantic Way is quickly becoming one of Ireland’s most  popular tourist attractions. Drawing acclaim from those who have visited, the WAW is now quickly climbing the list of must see places in the Irish travel guide.The WAW is a combination of roads and cyclepaths that run along the entire west coast of Ireland. There is 2500km of coastline to enjoy! Should you choose to travel by bicycle, you can enjoy huge stretches of bicycle-only paths that will take you into the heart of the Irish countryside and onto the 15 WAW beaches. But worry not, those who travel by car will also be taken to each beach and lookout as the road winds around Ireland’s jagged coastline. There is so much craic to be had in each town along the way (and by ‘craic’, I mean fun or banter...don’t be getting ideas!). If seafood is your thing, you’ll be stuffed to the gills as the local fisherman restock restaurants everyday. And I’m sure I don’t need to even mention the drink!

Along the way, there are thousands of landmarks and sights to see. There’s the Cliffs of Moher, Keem Bay, the Ceide Fields, The Skellig Islands (where the most recent Star Wars film was shot) just to name a few. There’s surfing, kayaking and all kinds of adventure sports. Not too far from the WAW route, is the Foxford Woolen Mills. This historical woolen mill produces some of finest woolen blankets, throws and knitwear in the world. Construction on the mill began in 1892 and some of the original mill equipment can still be seen there today. We are very lucky here at to have a relationship with the Foxford Woolen Mills as we have a number of their products in stock and in store. The mill is a lovely site to visit when you find yourself looking to stretch your legs or take a break on your journey along the Wild Atlantic Way.

You could also find yourself popping into the National Museum of Country Life to discover what life was like in the ancient Irish settlements located around the area. At the foot of Croagh Patrick (a mountain on Clew Bay, Co.Mayo from which St. Patrick said mass and banished the snakes from Ireland) you’ll find a tribute to the ‘coffin ships’, that carried the starving to America in hopes of finding food during the famine years. Unfortunately, not many made the journey. The west coast of Ireland is rich with history with so much to discover and learn.

So all in all, it’s a beautiful part of the world. Well worth a visit. I’m awfully lucky to have been raised there with long weekends on the strands and getting a 99 (whipped ice-cream cone) from the local shops. There’s so much to do and see and so many options of how to do it. So if you're thinking of taking an Irish vacation, feel free to send your queries to  I’d be happy to help.

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  • Deirdre:
    I enjoyed your blog post about the Wild Irish Way. I have a Murray great-great grandfather and I’m trying to learn more about my Irish Heritage. If Murray is your maiden name perhaps we are distantly related. One of my dreams is to take a trip to Ireland in the near future. Thank you for giving me a travel option.
    Anne, Lancaster, PA USA

    Anne Walt on
  • Thank you for your comment Kathleen! Unfortunately the numbers of deer in Ireland has declined considerably over the last 30-40 years. This is due to over hunting and poaching. However, there are many programs taking place at the moment in an effort to preserve the deer in Ireland.
    As for times to visit, the beginning of June/mid-June is always the best time to be around in Ireland. At that time, the Leaving Cert (which is a bit like the SATs) take place for students in Ireland – as fate would have it, the weather is always beautiful in that time haha!! We call it ‘Leaving Cert Weather’!!! We hope you have a wonderful trip and please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have! We’re here to help!

    Deirdre @ Biddy Murphy on
  • I toured Ireland in the early 90’s and they were raising reindeer on the farms. However, when speaking to a friend who just returned from Ireland, she said she didn’t see any? Was there a problem? I didn’t get a chance to see County Clare on my tour and would love to return to see this portion of Ireland. I went the end of May beginning of June. Is this the best time to visit?
    I loved every minute of my trip, the people are lovely and helpful and the food was delicious.

    Kathleen on

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Biddy Murphy
A Little About Us is a global online retailer for beautifully handcrafted Celtic gifts. We work with a variety of Irish artisans to source meaningful jewelry, clothing, and home goods that make special Irish gifts for all occasions. Some of our best sellers include Celtic Crosses, Trinity Knot necklaces, Guinness merchandise, blessings for the home, and gorgeous Irish caps, sweaters, scarves and blankets. Shop those hard to find Confirmation, First Communion, and Holiday gifts!

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