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roads to remember

My Favourite Drive: Ken Price explores the mountain views of Connemara

‘The lake is one of the most beautiful views you’ll ever see in your life’

shutterstock_377318080 Shutterstock / Gimas Shutterstock / Gimas / Gimas

Journeys, even everyday ones, can mean a lot. Ken Price is owner of Easy Drive and Easy Drive School of Motoring, with 12 years’ experience. As someone with a passion for motoring, Ken told about the drive that means the most to him.

First up, describe the drive.

One of the nicest roads I’ve ever driven is the looped route from Louisburgh to Leenane in Connemara. Most tourists out West would use use the Westport road, but I prefer this one. It’s a proper road for driving a car, with minimum traffic, and it’s a snapshot of Ireland in its natural state. Every bend is an open bend, so you can see down the road for miles as you’re driving along.

All in all it’s about an hour’s drive, but often I cycle it instead, packing the bikes up and heading down to Connemara with a friend for the weekend. I last did that in May 2017. On a bike, travelling the road and back it’s a long trip, but worth it! Leenane town itself is very untouched. The whole place feels as if it was left behind in the 1950s. There’s a pub there called Gaynor’s, serving up Irish ham sandwiches, cups of tea and pints.

Is there a view or moment that sums it up?

There’s a lake between Louisburgh and Leenane called Doo Lough, which is a stop-off point for sure, it’s one of the most beautiful views you’ll ever see in your life. The mountains in the West of Ireland aren’t high. They’re miniature, in fact, but it means you can see every bit of detail in the landscape.

People talk about the Scottish Highlands as being the best mountain views on this side of the world, but in Scotland the mountains are so huge it’s hard to get a sense of where you are.

shutterstock_378878689 Shutterstock / GreenPicturesMedia Shutterstock / GreenPicturesMedia / GreenPicturesMedia

What makes it special?

There are very few places you can go in Ireland where you have the road to yourself. The West of Ireland is full of amazing spots that people have never heard of – Dursey Island on the Beara Peninsula, and parts of Kerry too – but the road to Leenane always stands out for me.

More My Favourite Drive: Paddy Comyn takes a mountain road to a sheikh’s palace

More My Favourite Drive: My Favourite Drive: Leah Cullen on the rewarding road to Dublin’s Strawberry Beds

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