We’re super excited today! On Saturday, May 10th Clare Island was one of 20 destinations selected to be on the longlist of Best Places to Go Wild in Ireland. When the competition for this Irish Times award was announced in April, we were very keen to make that list. So we were obviously delighted to be selected and suspected we may be in for a visit soon enough from one of the judging panel.
Well, they wasted no time! The following Monday morning we had a surprise guest in the form of Fionn Davenport, Irish Times columnist and author of The Lonely Planet Guide to Ireland. Although taken completely unaware, Carl rose to the challenge and gave Davenport a tour of the island, making a very strong impression. Here’s what he had to say: “Barring the presence of electricity and motors, Clare Island has changed little in 100 years. Activity-oriented (from guided walks, to horse whispering, to snorkelling) and nature-friendly, it has all the qualities of a ‘wild’ destination but with amenities to suit all travellers.”
The judges must have had a very busy time the last week and a half touring the length and breadth of the country to suss out the longlisted places in more depth, as their shortlist was announced today….and Clare Island is on it!!
Twenty has been reduced to five, with two in Mayo – Erris and ourselves (the others are in Cork, Kerry and Donegal). This means more to us than we can express. This gem of an island is so little known outside of Mayo, but it has so much to offer – even if you’re not into challenging adventures. There’s plenty of interesting things to do on the island, and we’re so pleased that the Best Place to Go Wild nomination is giving us an opportunity to showcase this wonderful land and community.
We’d just like to say a huge thank you to everyone who nominated Clare Island to begin with, helping us to make it onto the long list in the first place. We knew we were up against tough competition, against Erris in particular, and it’s really fitting that they’re joining us on the shortlist.
The next stage is for the full panel of judges to visit the island. We wouldn’t want to be them – it’s bound to be a tough enough final choice. But hopefully we have the edge. 😉
So wish us luck – Clare Island might just win the coveted Irish Times award!! #Go Wild on Clare Island