Ireland earns top surfing accolade

A headland on the west coast of Ireland has been named by a travel bible as one of the best surfing spots in the world.

Mullaghmore Head in Co Sligo has been listed by the Lonely Planet in a new book of top tens for adventurers while walking across the country is also said to be one of the best coast-to-coast missions.

The two holiday ideas are among four locations named by the guide book which also said climbing Croagh Patrick is an ultimate pilgrimage and the Castle Leslie estate a top ten for horseriding ethusiasts.

Mullaghmore, popular for its big waves, was the spot were groups of surfers from around the world last year rode waves up to 15 metres high.

Lonely Planet listed it as one of the Best Spots to Catch a Big Wave and described it as a roaring reef break where storm patterns kick up Atlantic swells in late winter and early spring which surfers are “lucky to ride and grateful to survive”.

“High winds, choppy surfaces and blinding rain can present obstacles, but the heavy, long tubes make up for conditions,” the book said.

The Lonely Planet’s 1000 Ultimate Adventures presents 100 top ten lists of adventure activities and destinations which it says are perfect for thrill seekers.

The coast to coast section is introduced with a picture of the Carrick-a-rede rope bridge in Co Antrim while the trip by foot across the country covers 387 miles and should take 24 days.

Travel writers said the 10,000 pubs in Ireland will be a welcome shelter while walkers can expect to endure “exposure to wild weather and even wilder hospitality”.

“Ireland is a country that refuses to be rushed and this meander has done it justice,” it says.

Croagh Patrick is listed alongside the likes of the Hajj, in Saudi Arabia and the Camino de Santiago in northern Spain.

Castle Leslie is listed among the equine escapades and is picked for its good horses, historic house and “a touch of eccentricity”.

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