My Ireland Tour Guided Tour Ireland
Local weather www.ireland.com/weather/cities/cork.htm
The Lee Valley is West Cork's best kept secret. Known as West Cork's lake district it abounds with mountains, lakes and rivers and a quiet rural landscape all of which are relatively unexplored by visitors. With the historic town of Macroom as its capital, this is Art O Laoghaire country, Sean O Riada country
Lee Valley Walking
Bespoke day treks, walking breaks, hiking holidays
T 026 45642 M 087 2231225
The Wood Native Irish woodturning
T 087 2130471 See Facebook gallery click here
Music sessions and An Siopa
www.millsinn.ie T 026 45237
Four Star Castle Hotel, Macroom
Host to Lee Valley Walking weekend breaks
www.castlehotel.ie T 026 41074 / 1850 924 123
Tir na Spideoga Fishing Lodge
Findus House Farmhouse Guesthouse
www.findushouse.ie T 026 40023
Gougane Barra Hotel
The West Cork Hotel
Prince August Toy Soldier Factory Shop Kilnamartyra
T 026 41888 www.macroombookshop.com
T 026 40172 www.coolavokigpottery.com
Denis Cronin - fly angling guide
T 086 1713909
Carrig Waterski and Wakeboard centre
087 2311179 (Sean)
C&H Cab and Mini-bus hire
T 086 8364061
The Lee rises in the hills above Gougane Barra, the spot that St Finbarr chose for his 7th century hermitage which today remains a centre of pilgrimage. After many riverine adventures the Lee joins the sea below Cork City which was also founded by the Saint. The journey of the river mimics the saints own life-journey from a hermetic and idyllic setting among the Shehy Mountains - one of the most spectacularly beautiful settings in Ireland - to the busy, people centred city of Cork, also known as the ‘real capital’ of Ireland.
The upper Lee Valley is encircled by the Shehy (Carran 567m), Derrynasaggart (Paps 694m) and Boggeragh Mountains (Mushersmore 644m) and the glaciated valley displays a range of geographic features and their consequently beautiful landscapes.
Travelling downstream on the Lee, we meet Ballingeary (Beal Atha an Ghaorthaidh) in the parish of Uibh Laoire, also containing the villages of Inchigeelagh, Kilbarry and Toonsbridge. This is the Lee Valley’s Lake district, with four miles of unspoilt lake and mountain scenery.
Kilmichael famed in song and in story also lies downstream on the Lee and the events surrounding the historic 1921 ambush still remain controversial today.
Downstream of Toonsbridge the Lee transforms itself into the extensive alluvial forest of the Gearagh - the only one west of the Rhine. The network of narrow channels demarcate islands growing oak, ash birch and willow. The Gearagh is a world heritage Ramsar site and is protected under both Irish and European environmental law.
Further downstream again, the river forms the Carrigadrohid and Inniscarra reservoirs set in rich rolling countryside.
The way-marked-way the Beara Breifne Way traverses this region from Gougane Barra and Ballingeary to Ballyvourney and onwards north to Millstreet taking in some of the most unspoilt and varied countryside en route. The Múscraí Gaeltacht is the only Irish speaking area on the entire route lending particular importance to this section.
It was in Cúil Áodha that Sean Ó Riada lived and worked composing some of the most memorable Irish music of the twentieth century.
To the north of the town lie two regions in which the local heritage has been particularly well-preserved; Carriganima and Aghinagh which lie in the Foherish and Laney valleys respectively. Both have way-marked trails with excellently preserved examples of archaeological and historical sites.
The Lee Valley is ideally situated as a base to explore further west in Cork and Kerry while still having access to the cultural life of the 'real' capital.
Contact Catherine 026 45642 email@example.com
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