Shortly before Easter we explored the coast in the south west of our county Clare around Miltown Malbay, where traditional music and Irish culture are located, for the first time.
Discovering Spanish Point and its history
We started with the blue flag beach at Spanish Point. As we learned soon, it got its name from the Spanish Armada, which was shipwrecked nearby in 1588 in an attempt to capture Britain, and whose bodies were washed to this beach in hundreds if not in thousands.
Meanwhile, Spanish Point beach is better known for surfing or swimming in summer. When we were there it was pretty deserted. Only a few people made kites fly or went for a walk breathing in the salty sea air.
Traditional tunes in Miltown Malbay
A small detour to Miltown Malbay mustn’t be missing. We strolled through the small but nice village. We came across a pretty church and again many colorful, closely apposed shops here. As already mentioned, it was just before Easter, so we saw how someone lathered his shop front from top to bottom and cleaned it up for the very important Christian holiday in Ireland. We satisfied our lunch hunger next door in a cozy atmosphere in “The Bakehouse restaurant” with very friendly service.
But what this place is so famous for is the traditional festival called “Willie Clancy Summer School” (or “Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy” in Irish), which takes place here every July in honor of the famous Irish musician of the same name. It attracts music lovers from all over the world. In addition to Irish music, the Irish language, Irish dance and Irish art are celebrated for a week. There are also plenty of courses that students, but also the general public, can attend.
We could not wait to see it for ourselves! On the 7th July the day had come and we strolled through the pubs of the now packed village in the evening. Traditional Irish live music or later modern music for the younger generation was playing everywhere. The pubs always surprise you here – from the outside very small and narrow, but in their interior so much more is hidden than you could have guessed. There are not just one or two other back rooms, often more rooms and large covered open-air areas in the backyard. We enjoyed the rest of the evening in such a pub with a few Irish acquaintances with nice drinks. 🙂
Majestic seascape at White beach
In the afternoon we drove to the very close White Beach. This is also a blue flag beach. But what interested us much more: an inconspicuous hiking trail along a majestic cliff starts from here. On our first visit here we had very good weather, but it was windy enough to whip up the waves and take breathtaking snapshots. The interaction of wind, water and sun was very special for us on this day. As usual, we tried to capture it (also from above) and our conclusion as always is: You have to see it yourself!