Céide Fields

Top choice in County Mayo

An exposed hillside 8km northwest of Ballycastle is home to one of the world's most extensive Stone Age monuments. So far stone-walled fields, houses and megalithic tombs – about half a million tonnes of stone – have been found, the legacy of a farming community nearly 6000 years old. The visitor centre, in a glass pyramid overlooking the site, gives a fascinating glimpse into these times. Be sure to take a guided tour of the site to fully appreciate the findings.

It was only during the 1930s that a local, Patrick Caulfield, was digging in the bog when he noticed a lot of piled-up stones buried beneath it. A full realisation of what lay under the sod didn't happen for another four decades, when his son Seamus began exploration of the area. Excavations are ongoing.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby County Mayo attractions

1. Ballinglen Art Foundation

3.94 MILES

If you see artists out capturing their impressions of the sensational scenery around here, they may well be under the patronage of this foundation. Check…

2. Dun Briste

4.73 MILES

An astonishing sea stack that's lashed by foaming sea, Dun Briste is Mayo's top natural sight. Legend attests that St Patrick drove all the vipers from…

3. Lackan Strand

8.44 MILES

Lackan Bay's beach is a stunning and vast expanse of golden sand – it's particularly beautiful as the sun goes down, making it one of Ireland's most…

4. Round Tower

11.59 MILES

Right at the centre of things and at the heart of Killala, the town's gorgeous 12th-century limestone round tower is perfectly preserved, although it was…

5. Rosserk Abbey

15.8 MILES

Dipping its toes into the River Rosserk, this sublime Franciscan abbey dates from the mid-15th century. An eye-catching double piscina (perforated stone…

6. St Mary's Well

15.83 MILES

St Mary's is one of Ireland's most transfixing holy wells. An apparition of the Virgin Mary has drawn pilgrims here for centuries, and today a tumbledown…

7. Enniscrone Beach

15.96 MILES

This gorgeous 5km stretch of sand is the real reason to visit Enniscrone, especially as the sun goes down. Cars can drive straight on to the beach; a…

8. Belleek Castle

17.46 MILES

Take a fascinating tour of this restored castle, built between 1825 and 1831 on the site of a medieval abbey. The castle was bought in the 1960s by fossil…