The Flaggy Shore

Jun 24, 2017

The Wild Atlantic Way is abound with offshoots, places of interest and areas of outstanding natural beauty, and one such deviation that’s worth about an hour of your time is the Flaggy Shore, about 10 km south of Kinvara, located near New Quay and Finvarra

The Flaggy Shore, so called due to the large limestone flags which line the shore left by the ice age millions of years ago, is about 2 miles of very walkable coastline at the most northerly point of County Clare.

Parking up at the eastern end of the Flaggy Shore, head west on the well surfaced, narrow road which runs along the rugged seam where ocean and scabrous limestone hills meet.

Time takes on a new meaning here and a visit to the ‘Flaggy’ shouldn’t be rushed as it affords exceptional views across Galway Bay and the Atlantic beyond and, if you time your visit well, heart-stopping sunsets.

Such is the enchantment of the Flaggy Shore, it is celebrated in a poem by Seamus Heaney, and its literary credentials don’t stop there…

The Flaggy Shore

Postscript

And some time make the time to drive out west

Into County Clare, along the Flaggy Shore,

In September or October, when the wind

And the light are working off each other

So that the ocean on one side is wild

With foam and glitter, and inland among stones

The surface of a slate-grey lake is lit

By the earthed lightening of flock of swans,

Their feathers roughed and ruffling, white on white,

Their fully-grown headstrong-looking heads

Tucked or cresting or busy underwater.

Useless to think you’ll park or capture it

More thoroughly. You are neither here nor there,

A hurry through which known and strange things pass

As big soft buffetings come at the car sideways

And catch the heart off guard and blow it open

Seamus Heaney

Postscript

And some time make the time to drive out west

Into County Clare, along the Flaggy Shore,

In September or October, when the wind

And the light are working off each other

So that the ocean on one side is wild

With foam and glitter, and inland among stones

The surface of a slate-grey lake is lit

By the earthed lightening of flock of swans,

Their feathers roughed and ruffling, white on white,

Their fully-grown headstrong-looking heads

Tucked or cresting or busy underwater.

Useless to think you’ll park or capture it

More thoroughly. You are neither here nor there,

A hurry through which known and strange things pass

As big soft buffetings come at the car sideways

And catch the heart off guard and blow it open

Seamus Heaney

The Flaggy Shore

Patron of the Arts and key player in the Irish Literary Revival of the early 1990, Lady Augusta Gregory had her summer house here, Mount Vernon, which still stands and W.B. Yeats is said to have written a number of plays here, including The Dreaming of the Bones.

A walk from one end to the Flaggy Shore to the other and back again should take about an hour but the visit can be extended by a visit to either the Russel Gallery, which sells teas and coffees as well as art, or Linnane’s excellent Seafood Restaurant which offers fresh fish and an excellent pint of Guinness alongside sea-views and the children’s menu will fill up any hungry tiddlers you may have floating around.

Patron of the Arts and key player in the Irish Literary Revival of the early 1990, Lady Augusta Gregory had her summer house here, Mount Vernon, which still stands and W.B. Yeats is said to have written a number of plays here, including The Dreaming of the Bones.

A walk from one end to the Flaggy Shore to the other and back again should take about an hour but the visit can be extended by a visit to either the Russel Gallery, which sells teas and coffees as well as art or Linnane’s excellent Seafood Restaurant which offers fresh fish and an excellent pint of Guinness alongside sea-views and the children’s menu will fill up any hungry tiddlers you may have floating around.

The Flaggy Shore

The Flaggy Shore

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