THE LOST VALLEY
The Lost Valley is designated as an ‘’Area of Special Scenic Importance’’, a ‘’Special Amenity Area’’ a ‘’Natural Heritage Area’’ and a ‘’Special Area of Conservation’’ under the European Habitats Directive.
Join us on a fully guided cultural adventure through this spectacular valley, which is suitable for all ages. Duration is 3 hours approximately as the heritage and history of The Lost Valley will be recounted and explained, while we make our way on a well developed trail along the different points of interest in the valley.
Located west of Louisburgh (Co Mayo) on the Wild Atlantic Way and sheltered beneath Mweelrea, the highest mountain in the west of Ireland. The lost Valley offers unique views of the entrance of Ireland’s only fjord, Killary Harbour and if your timing is right you can also catch the visit of the dolphins who frequent the fjord.
Ireland’s Lost Valley offers a unique window into the cultural heritage of the west of Ireland. Indeed the valley is in itself, arguably the finest memorial of ‘the Great Famine’ that remains today. Visit the ruined famine village and see the multitude of potato ridges that have remained undisturbed and unattended for nearly two centuries.
The Lost Valley is privately owned by the Bourke family who have lived and farmed here for over three centuries. Many generations of Bourkes have been isolated away from the rest of Ireland, hidden behind a rugged but majestic mountain. We eventually managed to put in place a safe access to the valley and are now happy to share our heritage with you.
Maureen and myself (Gerard) and our family were the first to enjoy safe convenient access to our home, when in the late eighties we built a roadway over the mountainside. Many previous generations had traversed the mountainside on foot, or taken a dangerous route through the foreshore when the tide was out to access their home in the valley. Seven generations of Bourkes takes us back to when records began. Their predecessors are now lost in the mists of time.
Over the generations many unsuccessful pleas for assistance with the building of a roadway into The Lost Valley were made. On one memorable occasion the family took court action against the Irish Land Commission to try to get them to help. The Land Commission claimed in court that the cost of an access roadway was such that a reasonable contribution to it would be beyond their means and ‘’it would be cheaper to buy a helicopter’’.
No doubt this inaccessibility contributed in a major way to the preservation of the heritage of The Lost Valley of Uggool, (Eagle’s Egg) as only the most intrepid visitors ventured in and indeed very many of the locals will tell you today that they had never seen The Lost Valley previously.