Lough Eske and Barnes Gap

Lough Eske is found to the West of the Bluestack Mountains in Co Donegal and for me, has some of the best scenery in Ireland.  I took a trip round the lough at the start of November 2014.  The shortest route from my home is through Barnes or Barnesmore Gap, a pass through the Bluestacks.  Before reaching the lough, I stopped at the Western end of the gap next to the Lowerymore River.  Biddy’s O’Barnes pub is found here, at the river’s edge.  It is probably the most well known pub in the North West of Ireland.

Biddy’s famous pub.  A pleasant spot in the old fashioned interior, but probably even better for sitting outside on a nice day, enjoying the stunning mountain scenery.

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Another view of the pub with Croaghconnellagh Mountain as a backdrop.

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The Lowerymore River.

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Looking towards Barnes Gap along the river.

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Rowan, or mountain ash tree at the river’s edge.

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Another view of Croaghconnellagh.

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From Biddy’s, it is a short drive to Lough Eske itself.  Below is one of the first views you encounter on the circuit round the Lough.

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The Lough’s surface was like a mirror in the calm conditions.

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A glimpse through the trees on the shore, with some interesting rocks in the foreground.

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A Scots Pine on the shore.

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I took a lot of shots from similar viewpoints as moving round the Lough revealed so many possibilities for interesting foregrounds.

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Apologies for all the similar views, but I just love this location and found it impossible to choose between the different rocks and mini islands as foreground interest.

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As I followed the road round, it began to move away from the shore and rose into the higher ground on the lower slopes of the Bluestacks.  As the sun dropped towards the horizon, the higher vantage point gave broader views.

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Looking along the Lough from the Eastern end.

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A great couple of hours in a magical place, and couldn’t have been luckier with the weather.

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