There is not much forest left in Ireland but if you are in Cong area chasing The Quiet Man scenery or staying at Ashford Castle you have a great chance to walk, smell, touch, explore, photograph a marvelous real unmanicured forest which is just behind the grounds of gorgeous Ashford. You can start the walking paths from the castle or from the bridge next to the fishing house behind the Abby in Cong. The shortest walk is along the river and it takes about 10-15 minutes, we enjoyed watching salmon from the bridge and have seen two families of swans: one family has four babies. Got lots of great pictures, the best was the fishing house at the Sunset. Even this short path may get wet after rain, so dance shoes are Not recommended! Longer path may take up to 1-2 hours and it goes deep into native forest, it is much cooler there, so you need a proper attire and walking or waterproof shoes! We found lots of opportunities for taking pictures including some ruins, horse riders may cross the path, so you watch out! We are glad we did it, it was a different experience to walk the Irish forest, not the park!
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