The magnificent Céide Fields in County Mayo
The center houses exhibits on not only the site's human history but also its rich geological and botanical records. The focal point is the 4,300-year-old Scots Pine tree trunk that preserved by the bog.
The geology of the area adds to the site's beauty. The Céide Cliffs (on which the Céide Fields rest) are over 300 million years old and rise up to 370 feet above sea level. These horizontal limestone and shale cliffs, although not quite as large as the Cliffs of Moher in County Clare, are certainly as awe-inspiring with much less of a crowd.
The Céide Fields staff is impressive. I arrived in the midst of the winter holidays, the most inconvenient time of the year to be given a personal tour, as the visitor center is closed during this season. Gretta Byrne, a Céide Fields archaeologist, took time out of her holiday to brave the roads from Dublin and meet me there. It was Ms. Byrne who brought the Céide Fields' history to life. She patiently answered all questions and was enthusiastic about the field's archaeology and preservation.
At the Céide Fields, there is something of interest for everyone, be it history, botany, geology, award-winning architecture, or the center's tearoom. It is a great experience in a wonderful setting.
And if you go in the summer there are beautiful wildflowers and I hear a bit of sunshine.
The Céide Fields is located 8km west of Ballycastle, Mayo. The site is open from mid-March to May 17, June 1 to September 18, and from October 1 to November 17. The price of admission is 3.50 euros for adults, 2.50 euros for seniors and groups and 1.25 for students and children.
For more information contact the Céide Fields' Visitor Center:
Tel: 011 353 96 43325
Fax: 011 353 96 43261