Killaloe

Killaloe

Killaloe, Lough Derg May 2011 Lough Derg is one of the most attractive lakes in the country, large and with a varied shore line. The swimming spot, about 5 kilometres outside Killaloe, is a lovely place to visit . This is a well kept area with lots of grass and a number of seats and picnic tables. You can access the water from a small sandy beach , where the water is quite shallow and good for children to play in. For swimmers you need to wade out from here into your depth. Alternatively, you can get in from the slipway to the side where the water is deeper. Whichever way you go, please remember to be careful of hidden rocks. As well as having a swim there is plenty of room to picnic and a forest area with short walks. Toilets are located nearby The water here is soft and dark and the views across the lake as you swim are most impressive. Unfortunately, there are signs warning you of algae in the summer months so do be careful. Blue Flag location. Directions:  View Larger Map   From the M7 take exit 27 and get onto the R494 for Killaloe. From there you take the R463 signposted Tuamgraney. The swimming spot is located about 5kms from Killaloe and you will know it by the good sized car parking area at the roadside on the right hand side. Ordnance Survey Discovery Series Map No. 58   ]]> [...]

Mountshannon

Mountshannon

Mountshannon, Lough Derg May 2011 Mountshannon is an attractive and well kept former Tidy Town winner, situated on the shores of Lough Derg. The swimming area is located to the side of the popular marina, which is a well used stopping off spot for people cruising the waterways. However, don't be put off as the area for swimming is separate and safe. The whole area of the marina is well kept, with attractive grassy areas and plenty of seats. The swimming spot has slipways to walk out onto which gives you access to the soft lake waters. As always with lakes be careful and beware of hidden rocks. Unusually for Ireland, but welcome, is a small indoor changing room which backs onto well kept toilets. The whole area is a credit to the local community and Clare County Council. The one big drawback is the sign warning you to beware of algae in the summer months. There was none when we swam there in May, but the summer is obviously different . It's a shame because otherwise this is an attractive place to swim, relax and picnic. Blue Flag location. Directions  View Larger Map Coming from the M7 you take exit 27 onto the R494 to Killaloe. Then you take the R463 to Scariff and the R352 to Mountshannon. In the middle of the town there is a turn signposted for the harbour, which has ample car parking. Ordnance Survey Discovery Series Map No. 58   ]]> [...]

Cleevaun Lough

Cleevaun Lough

Cleevaun Lough September 2009 Serious walkers only need apply. Cleevaun Lough is a corrie lake set at the foot of Wiclow's 849 metres high Mullaghcleevaun Mountain. This one is not for the fainthearted. The lake can be approached from a few different directions but whichever way you go requires at least a two hour hike. So this is only for experienced and well equipped hikers and, indeed, experienced swimmers. However, if you get there it's well worth the effort. Set at the base of impressive Mullaghcleevaun, Cleevaun Lough is surrounded by the mountains of Duff Hill, Gravale and Carrigvore which stretch back to the Sally Gap. The lake's waters are dark, clear and refreshing. As always this and any other lake has to be treated carefully as you can't see the bottom or its submerged rocks. Don't swim here alone. This is a lovely spot for a swim, sunbathing and a picnic. If you see anyone else while you are there, count yourself lucky (or unlucky as the case may be). Directions Firstly, you need Ordinance Survey Map 56 to find your way across the mountains. From Dublin the best route is to take the R115 Military Road and head for the Sally Gap. From the Gap you stay on the Military Road and after a few kilometres s there is a small parking area, marked on Map 56. From here you have a good, strong walk across four peaks and you can descend to the lake from Mullaghcleevaun East Top or Mullaghcleevaun itself. Be warned that there is a steep descent to the lake which needs to be negotiated slowly and carefully.   [...]

Lough Easkey

Lough Easkey

Lough Easkey August 2010 Lough Easkey is in a lovely location in the heart of the Ox mountains. Surrounded by hills and the wild countryside the lake shimmers in the sunlight and is a really nice place to stop for a swim. The water here is lovely and fresh but access is stony and a bit difficult. However, it's worth the effort and when we swam there in the sun it was tranquil and just a lovely place to be. Directions  View Larger Map Access is off the N59 which runs between Ballina and Ballysadare. From the Ballysadare direction you go through Templeboy and then watch for a left turn signposted for the Ox mountains and Tubbercurry. This road will lead you to the lake where you will see a place to park plus a few seats.   [...]

Lough Easkey

Lough Gill

Lough Gill May 2013 Lough Gill was made famous by W.B. Yeats whose 'Lake Isle of Innisfree' inhabits one of its small corners. More recently, a popular Irish- American folk group, led by a Sligo troubadour, have taken the name. Unfortunately, on a cold and windy day in May, neither poetry nor music inspired us or made the lake more appealing. We accessed the water via a slipway which runs alongside the berthing place of the lake's leisure cruiser. It was stony underfoot and we bumped our way slowly into the cold, but fresh water. As we always say when swimming in lakes, be careful, watch for underwater rocks. No jumping or diving. Despite the little obstacle course, it was a refreshing swim with the soft and wavy water blowing away the cobwebs. We emerged revitalised and ready to write a poem or three. This must be a nice spot in the summer with Parkes castle alongside and a tour around the lake also on offer. Directions : From Sligo take the N16 toward Enniskillen. Just outside the town branch off onto the R286 signposted for Dromohair and the lake. Follow this road until you come to the lake on your right hand side and continue on until you come to the castle with the car park beside it.   [...]

Lough Easkey

Annamakerrig Lake

Annaghmakerrig Lake April 2011 Don't even think of trying to find this lake without a map, compass or sat-nav, preferably all three. The lake is located in the grounds of the Tyrone Guthrie Centre, a retreat where artists can come and stay and work on their artistic creations. Obviously the artistic community are a resourceful lot because there isn't much in the way of signposts, certainly none when you come on the R183 between Ballybay and Newbliss. However, when you do find it Annamakerrig is a lovely tranquil place. You can combine your swim with walks along the lake shore, through attractive forests. The best place to swim appears to be at the old boat house down from the main house. There is a grassy area here and you can get in along the side of the boat house. The water is fresh and cool and there are attractive views as you look across to the forests on the far side. Like all lakes you need to be careful. Swim slowly and beware of submerged rocks. This is a popular fishing lake as well, so on occasion you might be competing with the angling fraternity. Directions :  View Larger Map Take the R183 from Ballybay toward Newbliss. After you go through the Swans Cross roundabout/junction the turn off for the lake is about 3-4 kilometres further on. However, as there doesn't appear to be a signpost you will need a map or maybe just ask for directions.   [...]

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