Downpatrick Head is a set of vertiginous cliffs, cut off from the rest of Ireland in County Mayo. Located less than 3 miles from the village of Ballycastle, it offers a breathtaking view of the Atlantic Ocean and is one of the most beautiful wilderness sites in the county. It is easily accessible by road, and a small footpath will allow you to enjoy the view during a short walk!
Downpatrick Head is hard to miss with its dark stone strata. It is accessed through a small free parking lot (often exposed to the sea spray, which will “salt” your car a little).
The rest is done on foot, and will allow you to admire the beauty of the Atlantic Ocean, crashing violently against the cliffs. A beautiful statue of Saint Patrick marks the beginning of these cliffs: you will then have the opportunity to admire Poll na Seantoine, a 30-metre chasm dug naturally by the erosion of the ocean.
History tells us that it was in this cavity that insurgents of the 1798 Rebellion hid. Unfortunately, the tide would have washed them away. A commemorative plaque is installed nearby to tell their story…
If you continue the walk, you will then pass by an observation post dating from the Second World War. It offers a superb view of the cliffs.
However, the cliffs are very steep and fall steeply into the raging ocean. So be careful not to venture near the edge, or to walk around in windy weather. Children should also stay close to you for safety.
Finally, you will have the opportunity to admire the highlight of the show: the Dun Briste rock, which is completely detached from the cliffs, and which faces the ocean alone.