The Roundstone bog complex is one of Ireland’s last great wild and natural areas and is of international, ecological and historical importance. The area is a designated Special Area of Conservation, which has assisted in the area keeping its unspoilt and wild image. A lovely route for walkers, cyclists and drivers to enjoy.
Leaving Clifden, take the R341 signposted Roundstone. Take a left turn at the Ballinaboy Bridge where you will enter the Roundstone Bog Complex. This is a wonderful cycling and driving route, offering beautiful and rugged scenery.
In 1907 these bogs provided fuel to power a technological revolution when Guglielmo Marconi established his transatlantic telegraph station there, which cut substantially the distance between the Old and the New Worlds. In 1919, Alcock and Brown crash landed their Vickers Vimy aircraft into the bog complex, following their successful trans-Atlantic flight from Newfoundland.
Botanists will find a number of rare plants in the area of interest, including rare heathers which grow nowhere else in Ireland.
Errisbeg Hill, the lonely peak in the landscape offers hill walkers a wonderful trek to the top, where they can see the Atlantic Ocean, Dogs Bay and Gurteen Beach to one side, and look over the blanket bog complex on the other.
Many old ruins remain in the bog landscape and local legend has it that one of the old ruins, the Half-Way house, believed to be an old inn is haunted!
Terence O Toole
Piotr Dybowski / Big Smoke Media / Fáilte Ireland