It takes time to soak in the unique charm and character of this unspoiled piece of Ireland… to become enchanted by this magical place. The spell-binding beauty of Dunmore East has a mesmeric way of slowing the pulse right down. Enjoy a tour of Dunmore East with Waterford Camino Tours.
Long before recorded history, people lived in this hallowed corner of Ireland’s Ancient East. They fished the seas and tilled the land to sustain them through the ravages of the seasons. Its name can be traced to a promontory fort built during the Iron Age referred to by local inhabitants then as Dun Mor, the Great Fort. When you take a trail in Dunmore East, you walk quite simply in the footsteps of those who have gone before.
The Dunmore East Cliff Walk lulls us unknowingly into a mystical space. This ancient 3 km. trail meanders its way from the harbour to Portally Cove across a recently cleared pathway. Many proud locals have worked hard to make this possible. Generations to come can now follow the trail of their ancestors. Below the cliff lies inlets and smugglers’ caves carved out of conglomerate red sandstone, known locally as “pudding sandstone”, which was used to construct the harbour from 1814. Here, the senses are stirred into life and are embalmed by the soothing embrace of the sea air.
Camino Trail, Dunmore East Cliff Walk; https://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/2035507096
It’s good on occasion to simply allow time to stand still, to ease the pace of the walk, to calm the tempest of the mind and soak it all in. Energy ripples in symmetry with the dancing of the waves. What we observe leaves lasting imprints; the magical hues of the azure ocean as it laps onto the flat rocks, the languid majesty of the seal as it basks in the sun, the silhouette of Hook Lighthouse as it peers out through misty skies. In observing the waters stretch out to the distant horizon, we sense intuitively the merging of what is near with timeless echoes from afar.
A short trip out to sea on return to the harbour completes this experience. You’d never know what you could meet as you sail out into the Bay. Dolphins, basking sharks and even whales have been spotted. Time in ‘The Keltoi Warrior’ is precious time. Brendan takes us on a voyage of discovery, sharing anecdotes on the coves and sea caves, narrowing the lens to absorb the sublime beauty of the miniscule against the towering backdrop of the cliffs. Brendan is one of nature’s gentlemen. His stories and his manner connect you to something deeper. Our time on the boat with him transports us beyond our normal frontiers. It feels like a homecoming.
For those feeling energetic, The Dunmore East to Creadon Head walk is equally memorable. This beautiful trail was once the ancient “main road” from Cork to London. An easy to moderate 6 km. walk along beach, lane and field, the views are breath-taking. Forty hand-hewn steps, leading down to sea-level can still be found in the rocks. At the base of the peninsula is ‘Trá na Mná Gorm’ (The Strand of the Blue (negro) Women), giving credence to the legend that slaves were landed, or trans-shipped via the steps to far-away places. Their faint murmurings still linger as the sun descends on glistening waters.
Camino Trail, Dunmore East to Creadon Head;