The idyllic scenery on the drive from Geesala to Doohoma along the winding road that skirts Tullaghan Bay never fails to impress no matter how many times we make the journey.
Taking advantage of the beautiful Autumn weather, we set out to walk the Doohoma peninsula’s beautiful beach and byroads that look out on the Mullet and Achill Island.
Doohoma Head, in the soft, warm glow of an October evening, was a peaceful, picturesque scene that would inspire any landscape artist.
The long, sandy beach, overlooked by Doohoma Head (Cean Romhar), is one of the most scenic beaches in Co Mayo with spectacular views across Blacksod Bay to Slievemore, on Achill, and Blacksod, at the head of the Mullet.
Our evening walk was all the more magical as we watched the Autumn sunset gently fall like a celestial curtain across the entrance to Blacksod Bay that from Dohooma is such a beautifully framed vista between Croaghaun on Achill and the tip of the Mullet peninsula to the north.
Strolling along the beach with its lovely white sand and many rock-pools at low tide, it is difficult to believe that only a few feet beneath the Doohoma sand lies the remains of a 5,000-year-old forest of oak, Irish yew and Scots pine that once covered this part of Co Mayo.
Some years ago, we were lucky enough to see the remains of an ancient forest that was uncovered on Dohooma beach by winter storms. The huge, rock-hard tree stumps were an amazing sight, echoing a time when Ireland enjoyed a much warmer and drier climate.
Doohoma beach is also a great place to pick cockles in the sand and mussels and other shellfish among the seaweed covered rocks when the tide is out.
Walking the Dohooma Loop
Earlier in the day, we had walked the slightly shorter of the two Doohoma Loop Walks which start at the Church where you can park.
The blue loop is 6.5km and takes about an hour to complete at a leisurely pace over quiet, sheltered, country roads with lush vegetation in an elevated setting giving panoramic views out over the bay and across to Achill island.
Taking the road around by Rath Hill Roy, the walk is by lovely well-kept bungalows and farmhouses – many of which are now used as holiday homes in the summer as the ravages of emigration continue to take their toll in this isolated part of Co Mayo where seasonal fishing and farming is often supplemented by work in Mayo’s bigger towns.
As you turn left and pass by the Dohooma graveyard, you will have the best view of Dohooma Head and its little village in the shadow of Achill’s towering, Slievemore. You can also make out the Achill seaside village of Doogort, just a half hour boat journey away.
Doohoma Golf Links also comes into view. The golf course, on its elevated site overlooking the gorgeous vista, must surely be one of the prettiest settings in which to play golf in Mayo – and a testament to the enterprise of the vibrant local community.
As you turn for home, the narrow road, flanked by pretty bungalows, makes for an idyllic setting where that unique aroma of turf fires and the slow pace of life adds to the enjoyment of walking in this remote part of Co Mayo.
The road winds its way back up to the village where you will find a warm welcome in whichever of the two local pubs you visit. Barretts Sea Rod Inn, and Holmes’ Trá Buí; both have restaurants serving delicious seafood, fresh from the pristine waters of the Tullaghan and Blacksod Bays.
Dohooma Head is in the south-west of the Barony of Erris and is one of the 34 Discovery points on the Wild Atlantic Way in Co. Mayo.