The seven most enchanting photography spots in North Mayo - Visit North Mayo

1. Downpatrick Head, Ballycastle, Co. Mayo

Wild Atlantic Waves at Downpatrick Head, Ballycastle, County Mayo, Ireland.
Wild Atlantic Waves at Downpatrick Head, Ballycastle, Co. Mayo

Just a few miles north of Ballycastle village, County Mayo, is the magnificent, windswept outcrop of Downpatrick Head, one of the most popular photography spots in North Mayo.

The sea-stack, known in Irish as Dún Briste (‘The Broken Fort’) is 80 meters (262 feet) offshore and rises to a height of about 50 meters (164 feet). The name Downpatrick is derived from a time when St. Patrick himself founded a church there.

“I love all along the north coast of Mayo, but my favourite place has to be Downpatrick Head. The rugged coastline provides stunning panoramic views. The area is relatively untouched also which is rare in this day and age.” – James Wright

2. Belleek Woods, Ballina, Co. Mayo


Situated along the banks of the river Moy lays the tranquil Belleek Woods. This peaceful woodland stretches for 6 miles and is one of the largest urban forests in Europe.

There are many historical features from bygone days to unearth at Belleek Woods including a hermitage site, Knox-Gore Monument also known as “The Horse’s Grave”, the ominous concrete boat which has lain breached at Belleek Woods for decades, and an extraordinary wall built during the famine in Ireland.

“I love to take photographs in Ballina. I love Belleek woods because there is still that little kid in me that loves to hang out in the woods and feed the ducks.” – Denise Kavanagh

3. The Windy Gap, Co. Mayo

Ox Mountains
The Windy Gap, Bonniconlon, Co. Mayo

The Windy Gap is a narrow stretch of twisting road that cuts through the Ox Mountains between Lough Talt in Co. Sligo and Bonniconlon in Co. Mayo.

It’s a brooding and desolate landscape, populated by roaming mountain sheep that sleep by the roadside.

It was through this gap that the French soldiers and the Irish insurgents made their way on the eve of the Races of Castlebar during the Irish Rebellion. This is a grand and beautiful place, especially on a foggy evening.

4. Doolough Strand, Erris, Co. Mayo



Doolough Strand in Geesala, County Mayo Ireland
Doolough Strand in Geesala, County Mayo

For over 20 years the local community in Geesala have organised horse and dog races on Doolough Strand.

These races provide an excellent and unique photo opportunity. A quick google search will produce a ream of stunning, energetic and powerful images of this traditional local pastime.

The Strand’s other main claim to fame is its distinction as the setting of the sports in J.M. Synge’s well known play ‘The Playboy of the Western World’.

5. Lough Conn, Pontoon, Co. Mayo


Lough Conn and Nephin, near Crossmolina, Co. Mayo, Ireland
Lough Conn and Nephin, near Crossmolina, Co. Mayo,

Lough Conn is a stunning lake which is connected to the Atlantic by the River Moy.

It is widely celebrated as a fantastic spot for trout and salmon fishing – and a secret gem among our photography spots in North Mayo.

The peaceful lake has a great number of amazing vantage points that are easily accessed via the Lough Conn Drive which is a looped drive of approximately 102km.

6. Sruwaddacon Bay, Erris, County Mayo


Sruwaddacon Bay in the barony of Erris in North Mayo
Sruwaddacon Bay in the barony of Erris in North Mayo

Sruwaddacon Bay is a captivating tidal estuary which runs through the middle of the Gaeltacht Kilcommon parish in Erris, County Mayo, Ireland.

Sruth Fada Conn meaning “stream of the long hound” as it was known is the bay where the legendary Children of Lir spent their last 300 years as captive swans before flying to the nearby Island of Inishglora.

“What I love about this place is that it keeps surprising me. One of the places which I’m very fond of is Sruwaddacon Bay area. I’ve spent a number of early mornings and evening there and I’ve witnessed some breath-taking scenes.” – Janusz Sowa

Rosserk Friary, Co Mayo

Rosserk Friary near Killala, County Mayo, Ireland.
Rosserk Friary near Killala, Co. Mayo

One of the finest and best preserved of the Franciscan Friaries in Ireland, Rosserk was founded around 1440 by a member of the Joyce family.

These ruins are beautifully positioned on an estuary of the River Moy and boast remarkable carvings and features such as its west doorway, the single-aisle church and a unique double piscina.

Located by the River Moy, it’s definitely one of our favourite photography spots in North Mayo.

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