The Mountains of Munster

Retrace your drive from Helvick though Ringville and turn left for Ardmore when you meet N25 – a good road that gives fine views of mountains to north and sea to south as it makes its way to Youghal. But we don’t go that far, turning to south after five miles for our last close look at seaside at Ardmore ‘big hill’.

Signposts to left take you to pleasant beaches from which you can look up towards said hill and admire splendid round tower that has stood there for eight hundred years. That may not be much for a round tower, since most of them are a couple of centuries older. But Ardmore is special, both in its refined architecture and in marking a spot of unusual interest in history of Christian Ireland. Everybody knows that St. Patrick spread faith throughout Ireland. Not so many are aware that St. Declan had established a Christian community at Ardmore before arrival of Patrick. Below tower you may visit a little stone oratory, said to be burial place of Declan and, nearby, extensive ruins of a big church, richly decorated with Romanesque carving and presenting a unique collection of 10th century relief sculptures showing scenes from scriptures.

Ardmore Round Tower (Munster Mountains)

Ardmore Round Tower

From Ardmore stay on main road as far as Lemybrien, then turn left at crossroads and head westwards towards Monavullagh Mountains. Follow signposts for Mahon Falls and embark on an exceedingly narrow road that takes you uphill fi rst through green fi elds and then through more and more barren and stony hillsides to a car-park. The view is of a thin white ribbon of water that seems to come down from skies as water cascades from Knockaunapeebra – Piper’s Hill.

The narrow road goes in a circle and takes you back towards Lemybrien. Turn left when you meet R676. If you follow it into valley of River Suir you will end up in small town of Carrick and access to main roads that take you away from mountains. But a left turn at crossroads in direction of Clonmel takes you over Comeraghs once more and mountain road that brought us to Nire Valley in first place.Mountains of Munster - Route distances

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