The Bourke Family who own and farm The Lost Valley will guide you on a circa 4km looped trail within the valley, conducted at a leisurely pace, on a well developed trail that is suitable for all ages.
The circuit of the valley takes approximately 3 hours as we recount and explain its heritage and history.
The first stop is at the viewing point where we enjoy the panoramic views of the offshore islands, the Wild Atlantic, Mweelrea Mountain and the Bens of North Connemara and of course The Lost Valley where uniqueness, character and charm can only be felt not described.
Next we recount the history attaching to the multitude of old potato ridges and the piles of stones removed from the rocky soil during potato cultivation which remain exactly as they were left, giving testimony to the hardships endured by these almost forgotten people.
We then enter the native woodland which is comprised mainly of Oak, Ash, Holly, Whitethorn, Hazel, Blackthorn, Aspen, Birch and Rowan. Here we discuss the Celtic attachments and beliefs about trees and the impact of the old Celtic Brehon laws in preserving the forests. The beautiful waterfall within the woodland is a favourite for family and group photographs.
We next arrive at the deserted village now engulfed in woodland and Bracken. Here we explain the way of life of the people and the impact of the famine on the Valley and the local Louisburgh area.
Then it is onwards to the Fjord where we again promise unique and spectacular views and explain its history and geology and its uses over the centuries.
From here we begin our return via the looped walkway and give a working sheepdog and sheep shearing demonstrations in season on request.
The trail takes us back to the deserted village, where we have installed toilet facilities, for a visit to the old family homestead. Here we have been known to supply refreshments occasionally so be on your best behaviour and you may be pleasantly surprised. We also give an overview, from the prospective of the villagers, of the Great Famine, which was very much a defining event in Irish history because of its enduring impact on Irish society.
As The Lost Valley is an active working farm pre-booking is essential and a mutually agreeable time of arrival will be arranged. We ask all our visitors to contact us a couple of days in advance as occasionally your appointment may be rescheduled to suit weather conditions in the best interest of the visitor experience.
Family Ticket €45
( children must be accompanied by an adult)
No dogs allowed*
Pre-booking is essential
*as this is a working farm pets are not allowed on these walks.
Reviewed 14 September 2015
Serendipity...an amazing find. A warm welcome from Gerard and Maureen Bourke.The walk is at a steady leisurely pace interspersed with a fascinating and biographical account of the famine history in this area. Fantastic scenery and a welcome cuppa on route (also toilet facilities). Sturdy shoes needed. A thoroughly enjoyable afternoon.