Tormore Island, at 139m, the highest sea stack in Ireland.
Following on from my last post, I continued up Port Hill, hugging the coast, with dramatic views down on the sea stacks below. In the previous post, I had just passed the Toralaydan sea stack. Every step seemed to open up new views, with a multitude of stacks, big and small. They are particularly beloved of the most adventurous outdoor pursuit lovers, offering challenging and dangerous rock climbing, which often requires risky boat or kayak trips to even get to the starting point. The next notable stack to come into view was An Bhuideal, a twin-peaked stack, and incredibly to me, some rock climbers have ascended both peaks.
An Bhuideal, a double headed sea stack.
A closer view.
Tormore Island was just starting to creep into view in the shots above too, emerging from behind the cliffs as I went higher up the hill and further north. Tormore is 139m high and the highest sea stack in Ireland. I was particularly pleased to get a close up view of it, as I had looked at it from afar countless times from Tramore Strand at Rosbeg. We used to go there every year on holiday when I was a child, to a borrowed caravan, and Tormore was a mysterious and imposing presence which always seemed to draw my eye as it rose from the distant point at the end of the Slievetooey cliffs. It was usually indistinct in haze, adding to its mystery, and looked hugely impressive on clearer days. I was thrilled to be seeing it in all its glory, close by now.
A look back at Toralaydan from the northern side.
Sturrall Head on the horizon.
Tormore Island, and just this side of it, the slightly lower Cnoc na Mara.
Just a little higher, and the views down on Tormore were breathtaking, in its setting surrounded by other stacks, and a stony beach at the base of the steep landward cliffs.
By now, I had been away a long time, and it was time to turn and go back down to the rest of the family who had turned back earlier, but there were plenty of pauses to drink it all in again on the return leg.
Sturrall Head in the distance, and inland a little, on Glen Head, the Napoleonic watch tower which is prominently visible from Glencolmcille.
Almost back at my starting point at Port harbour.
This is a fantastic place for walking, with some of the most dramatic coastal scenery in Ireland, and I hadn’t even seen the whole stretch of this coastline. I knew that I wanted to return to continue past Tormore Island, and see the stunning storm beaches and Gull Island among other things, if the walk was extended north and east. I also had plans to explore Sturrall Head by approaching from Glencolmcille to the south. All for another day, but it is no bad thing to have an excuse to return to this magnificent area.