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I had the most spectacular walk in Sligo last weekend and wanted to share a few pics. November is a very special time in the west, the quality of the light is quite exceptional and when the day is bright and cold the views are out of this world.

Lough Gill in Sligo is one of my favourite places to bring visitors. It has an unusual scale for an irish lake- it’s vast yet comprehensible and meets the forests and mountains in incredibly pleasing ways. At times of the year it strongly reminds me of a North American landscape, particularly in the autumn with the colours of the leaves and the winter sky in the evening.  Yeats wrote regularly about the lake, and it’s the home of his infamous Lake isle of Inishfree. It makes for a wonderful drive too, circling you from the Ballinode side of Sligo town right round to Carraroe, and is a perfect thing to do with a car on a less than beautiful day – with regular stop off opportunities at Parkes Castle, Dromahair, Slish Wood and Dooney Rock.

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I regularly stop at Dooney Rock with its glorious views over the span of the lake – its one of the few places where you can see how Knocknarea and Benbulben talk to each other across the Sligo landscape – but this weekend I had a friend with a baby in tow so even a light climb was out of the question with the buggy. We decided to try Slish Wood which has a super walking path all along the lake, perfect for a buggy.

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The light was insane – it was nearing sunset (about 4pm) and the lake has never looked so still. It was a perfect mirror for the sky as you can see in these photos. None of these have any post-production or photoshop trickery involved – they are just iPhone pics of how it was in reality.  If you want information on the Slish Wood walking trail visit the excellent new site SligoWalks.ie.

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