Walking through West Town An Baile Thiar, I felt incredibly happy to note that Tory remains unspoiled.
I really love the traditional style of the buildings and their colourful paintwork.
Continuing past the club house, which is legendary for its musical entertainment, I headed for the western tip of the island.
My intention was to reach the lighthouse built between 1828 and 1832. It no longer boasts a lighthouse keeper, and has been automated since April 1990.
Would you believe that one else chose to walk these roads on such a beautiful afternoon?
These stunning sea cliffs on the north side of the island, are home to the largest puffin colony in Donegal, as well as razorbills, guillemots, kittiwakes, storm petrels…
Tory is designated a Special Protection Area for birds under the European Union Birds Directive.
It is not advisable to stand near the edge of the cliffs as there may be loose or crumbling rock. The views (from a safe distance) are amazing.
Walkers are asked to stay on roads and tracks, as the grassy areas are home to the endangered corncrake, and should not be disturbed.
There are a number of seats along these paths; I was able enjoy the spectacular scenery seated on this beautiful, red bench which was well earthed with rocks to avoid being blown into the mighty Atlantic!
Returning to my lodgings at the end of the afternoon, I was greeted by a legion of wild rabbits who scurried into these holes, a little camera shy.
Later, I watched the last ferry leave for the mainland, thankful that I had chosen to stay overnight.
In next Friday’s post, I will share photographs of artist Derek Hill’s Tory Island escape, and his mentoring of the island’s painters.
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Brigid P. Gallagher
Memoir: “Watching the Daisies – Life Lessons on the Importance of Slow” available from Amazon and all good online book stores.
Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/r5GCjaetgZk