Britain 09 - Day 3
Today we were booked on a boat trip out to the Aran Island of Inishsheer in the morning, followed by an excusrion to the base of the Cliffs of Moher in the afternoon. I was particularly looking forward to this trip, but the weather had a different plan for us. Overnight, a storm rolled in across the Atlantic, raising the seas into 5-6m swell and with a driving westerly wind. With mixed feelings, I checked that the trip was indeed cancelled.
We decided to take a leisurely drive around the coast of The Burren, going west from Ballyvaughan, down to the quay at Doolin, then back through Lisdoonvarna with a visit to the Burren salmon smokehouse. With a recommendation for Linnane's Fish Restaurant at "New Quay" we decided to eat there - wherever it was.
The Coast Road
West from Ballyvaughan the road hugs the coast. We were soon exposed to the full force of the westerley gale and could see from the large sea roaring into Galway Bay why the small boat trip to the Aran Is had been cancelled.
Fanore is more of a locality along the coast than a small town or village. There are strings of houses, holiday cottages and farms, we well as a camping ground and a surf school.
Linnane's Lobster Bar and Restaurant at New Quay came highly recommended, but locating it was another matter. We had been told it was east of Ballyvaughan, but it did not show up on our maps, or for that matter on an Internet search. In fact the web showed New Quay being in Dublin! But safe in the knowledge that there were not many roads in the area, and being a "quay" it would be on the edge of water, we set off. In the general area we spied some faded signs to "seafood restaurant", which we followed, and these took us to the correct location. But today was Monday, and such places are known to shut at odd times. There were no signs of life until about 12.20, when someone came along to clean the windows. A few locals turned up, and sure enough they opened up the doors at 12.35 and in we went. As a restaurant, it was not in the style of An Fulacht Fia. The decor had seen better days, but the crab claws and scallops were excellent, washed down by a Guinness, some cider and some good white wine.
A prominent feature of the south side of Galway Bay is a squat round tower. This one, at Finavarra, is of many Martello Towers, of identical design to those elsewhere in Ireland and on the south coast of England and built as a defence against Napoleon. They are found throughout the British Isles and other parts of the Empire. They are in Asia and as far away as Australia, there being a good example in the middle of Sydney harbour, although this was built to repel the Russians in 1857! After our leisurely lunch at Linnane's, we drove the short distance out to see this most amazing remnant. The towers were built to house a garrison who manned a heavy cannon in the top of the tower, that could be turned to cover a 360° arc of fire. They were very effective for a short while, but advances in artillery soon made them redundant.
Last updated: 16/06/2017