Culture & heritage
This hike will afford you a view of Irish mythology and provide some nice photo opportunities as well. Have a read of Lady Gregory’s translation of The Pursuit of Diarmuid and Gráinne and Mícheál Coimín’s poem “The Lay of Oisin in the Land of Youth” to prepare for this hike. The views are nice on their own, but knowing the stories connected with the area can give your appreciation more depth.
This route will take you to the foot of Seefin and then up around the horseshoe in a circle. From the summit, you can see squares of fields dotted with houses and the Caragh River curling around the hills before meeting Castlemaine Harbour where the strands of Inch and Rossbeigh cut across the water. Seefin, from the Irish for Seat of Fionn, is where Fionn climbed to look out for his young bride, Gráinne, who had run away with the warrior Diarmuid. In the Fenian tale, the two hid in a cave in Glenbeigh.
In another myth, Rossbeigh is the place where Niamh took Oisin away on a white horse to live in the Land of Youth. If you look toward the ocean and see a bright patch of shimmering water just beyond Rossbeigh, that means the portal to Tír na nÓg is open. Follow the route down the other side of the horseshoe back to the foot of Seefin and from there you can retrace your steps to the trail start.
Seefin is in OSI Discovery Series 78.
Park by the roadside without blocking traffic or gates: Here
Lady Gregory’s translation of The Pursuit of Diarmuid and Gráinne.