The Cooley Peninsula is a hilly peninsula in County Louth, which includes towns such as Omeath, Carlingford and Greenore. It is 20 minutes drive from Dundalk Town.
In Irish mythology Cooley (Old Irish Cúalnge) was the home of the bull Donn Cúailnge, and the site of the Táin Bó Cúailnge or Cattle Raid of Cooley. Ancient monuments in Cooley include the Proleek Dolmen, whose capstone weighs an estimated 46 tons (46.7 tonnes), and a Bronze Age gallery grave, both near Ballymascanlon.
Travellers can visit neolithic tombs such as the Proleek dolmen and Clontygora court grave, walk in the footsteps of the legendary Cúchulainn, discover the Viking settlement and the Norman fortification – all of which add to the charm of this magical island.
Carlingford was originally a Viking settlement and even its name originates from its Viking history – Carlin Fjord’ (Fjord simply meant a bay to the Vikings). It is also listed as a Medieval Heritage Town – having more historical buildings than any town of the same size in the whole of Ireland. Extensive town walls have survived, together with the ruins of monasteries and, most important of all, of civic buildings – an extremely rare happening in Ireland. Carlingford offers various adventure activities to tourists like sailing, angling, painting workshops, golf, beauty treatments, horse riding, designer shopping, bird watching, cycling and guided walking tours. Carlingford even offers a pottery workshop, Irish traditional music workshops and a range of cookery courses taught using local produce and traditional recipes.
There is also a high level of innovation within the tourism industry in the area – the adventure centre is constantly evolving and diversifying its product range, using the natural environment and sustainable materials as much as possible.
There is a full range of visitor services available on the Cooley Peninsula, ranging from banks, churches, medical, shopping, taxis and boat hire to guides and the heritage centre. In addition, there is an abundance of activities on land and sea including archery, kayaking, raft building, zip wires, horse riding, fishing, sailing, trekking and golfing. Two equestrian centres offer full- day treks, including lunch on the Cooley mountains.
The Nearby towns of Omeath, Greenore and Ravensdale are also worth visiting. Ravensdale along the southern slopes of Clermont mountain is a quiet, pretty village with its main tourist attractions one kilometre outside it: a forest park and, an equestrian and trekking centre. Greenore village offers fine views of Carlingford Lough, Slieve Foye and the Mourne mountains.
Key tourist activities in the area include an extensive exhibition on the history of Greenore port and the railway village, fishing from the seashore and golf at the beautifully situated Greenore golf club. Greenore is also the location of an angling festival in July.
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