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“Clew Bay”


Clew Bay, Westport, County Mayo, Ireland

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Westport, County Mayo, Ireland

Clew Bay is one of Ireland’s finest areas of natural beauty. The bay with the surrounding mountains & all of its small islands are stretched across such a large scale. This makes it challenging to capture its entirety in one single photo. For Miles I travelled up, down & across this bay for 2 days capturing various angles but continually found it difficult to fit everything into frame. This particular angle was captured at the base of ‘Croagh Patrick’ Mountain looking north towards Achill Island. To squeeze all these details in, I captured multiple photos & stitched them all together into this one final panoramic photo. I hope it shows you the true scale & beauty of Clew Bay.

According to tradition Clew Bay has 365 islands, one for each day of the year. It’s swarm of Islands (drumlins) are unlike anything else found in western Europe. These small islands are called ‘drowned drumlins’. They are elongated steep-sided hills (sometimes described as whale-backed) that were formed during our last ice age 12 thousand years ago when the glaciers started to melt & slide into the sea. They carved up & pushed the rocky sediment off the landscape which gathered in wave like patterned mounds on the mouth of Clew Bay creating these unique islands ?

The largest of these is Clare Island, which is famously known as the home of the “Pirate Queen” Grace O’Malley. This 16th-century heroine attacked & plundered countless ships passing through this area. Clare island guards the entrance to the sheltered bay & today is home to 130 people. Most of the others smaller islands in the bay are mainly uninhabited. Although a few brave souls still cling to the age-old tradition of living on a small island all year round. Can you just imagine living off the grid & alone on one of these islands? Sheer bliss! ?

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