The spectacular beauty of the landscapes of Ireland has a way of getting into your head, but for many poets, writers and literary greats they have done much more than this. They are inspiration for their works and in many cases what has made them great.
Ireland’s landscape is constantly transforming as Lonely Planet author Etain O’Caroll told CNN “The Irish landscape isn’t always straightforward. Its many layers of stone walls and hedgerows and its constantly changing light means that it unfolds slowly as you walk, cycle or drive by.”
There could be no doubt that O’Carroll would have been thinking about Connemara when she made that statement. The land that rolls in green and golden hills, still water lakes and bogland that fills the air with the scent of the turf taking from its grasp – this is an area of pure magnificence.
Connemara National Park has been described by one Tripadvisor reviewer as “a beautiful display of Irish scenery” and has a visitor centre with some fantastic trails to take you through the landscape. It is also a free day out and can be managed by children of all ages and is highly recommended on your holiday in Ireland. Find out more about Connemara National Park on Tripadvisor.
If you are planning a holiday in Connemara Carna cottage is the perfect location from which to explore this beautiful region. Situated in in the village of Carna, County Galway, the cottage offers a homely base in an area famed for its ancient boat building traditions. Although a quiet village Carna is well known for its traditional music sessions which are held weekly in the local pubs. You will also be deep in the heart of the Gaeltacht (Irish speaking) region of Connemara so it will be impossible not to take some of the true Ireland with you when you leave.
But as with most things in Ireland, there is always more to see.
Located on Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way is Ben Bulben in the county of Sligo. The awe inspiring crag broods over Sligo Bay and as one user of Discover Ireland’s Facebook page said, “an image does not really do this distinctive crag justice. You have to see it for yourself to really be inspired.”
Dressed in hot pink lupine flowers this imposing mass is one of Ireland’s most extraordinary natural scenes. Its presence inspired Irish poet and playwright WB Yeats to write his poem Under Ben Bulben. Stella G Mew of the Sligo Yeats Society said “for Yeats, Sligo’s Table Mountain represented something strong, constant, eternal.” It is perhaps why the playwright chose to be buried in the churchyard of Drumcliff Village, where the mountain could remain in view from his gravesite.
The Inspiration For Narnia
It seems for all of the majestic beauty that can be seen in Ireland, it is the mountains that capture our imagination and bring out the sense of fantasy in our writers. The mountains of the Kingdom of Mourne are known to be the inspiration behind C.S Lewis’ children’s fantasy books ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’, and when you see the mountains, their stone walls and the caps covered with early snow fall it is easy to imagine yourself transported to a land of pure imagination. C.S Lewis once said “I have seen landscapes [in the Mourne Mountains] which, under a particular light, made me feel that at any moment a giant might raise his head over the next ridge.”
The Mourne Mountains are just one part of the C.S Lewis story and the landscapes that inspired him. You can find out more at Authentic Ulster’s CS Lewis tour.
Get yourself inspired
It is Ireland’s unique ability to force a person to kick start their imagination which has seen rise to a number of writer’s retreats, the perfect cure for writer’s block.
Sue Booth-Forbes of Anam Cara Writers Retreat, located on the Beara Peninsula said “No matter where you are in Ireland, the landscape plays a central part in the life here. I have found that many writers from abroad recognise its importance immediately and are inspired to match, no matter what they are writing, the solid sense of place the landscape offers…”
Fancy writing a best seller? All you need is Ireland…