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Why tourists keep returning to Old Head

It’s no surprise that Old Head near Louisburgh in Co Mayo has been popular with families from all over Ireland for generations.

Old Head beach, off the R335 near Louisburgh, is one of Mayo’s most uniquely beautiful beaches.

Sheltered by high cliffs and native woodland that reaches down to the shoreline, Old Head beach has more in common with the sandy coves that are dotted along Spain’s Costa Brava than Mayo’s wild and windswept coastline.

Old Head Wood is unique in that it is the only Atlantic Oak woodland that grows directly adjacent to the coast in Ireland. Bird life in Old Head Wood includes Long-tailed Tit, Spotted Flycatcher and Chiffchaff

The sandy beach is the perfect place for families and offers lots of opportunities for those interested in watersports activities.

Children can safely swim and play in the calm clear waters and explore the rock pools at low tide.

A Blueway Beach

Old Head near Louisburgh in Co Mayo has been a firm favourite with generations of families from all over Ireland. Photo: Anthony Hickey
Old Head near Louisburgh in Co Mayo has been a firm favourite with generations of families from all over Ireland. Photo: Anthony Hickey

The more adventurous will be glad to hear that Old Head, which has lifeguard cover during the summer, is a Blueway beach meaning that is ideal for a wide variety of watersports such as swimming, sailing, kayaking, windsurfing, snorkeling and scuba diving.

Learners can take lessons in snorkeling and kayaking with local water-sports providers.

Facilities around Old Head are top class including plenty of car parking, public toilets, and walks.

The extensive pier at Old Head harbour is an attraction in its own right and with Croagh Patrick as a backdrop, it is one of the most picturesque beaches in County Mayo.

By Anthony Hickey

Follow writer and photographer, Anthony Hickey, as he travels around his native Co. Mayo, Ireland.

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