Ceide Fields - Ballycastle
Ceide Fields are an archeological site located in the west of Ireland, in North Mayo, overlooking the mighty Atlantic Ocean. Located beside some of the most impressive cliffs and rock formations in Ireland, to get the best views there is a viewing platform situated on the edge of the 110m high cliff.
The fields provide a unique experience, being a vast prehistoric landscape, they are the oldest and most extensive known field systems in the world, at almost six thousand years old. This rare Neolithic landscape is of world importance as it provides an unparalleled look at our stone age ancestors. On the site are the remains of stone field walls, dwelling areas, houses and megalithic tombs all preserved under a carpet of peat, over the course of many centuries, it covers thousands of acres. Only a small area has been developed for tourists, the majority of the walls etc. are still protected by the peat.
These fields portray the story of the daily lives of a farming people, their organised society, their strong spiritual beliefs and their continous struggle against an ever changing environment, over which, they had no control. Discover the intriguing story of this continually changing landscape, like why bogs grow and the monumental effects a slight change in climate can cause to this fragile environment.
See for yourself the unique ecology of the bogland, home to colourful mosses, sedges, lichens, heathers and flowers. Savour the peacefulness as you listen to the birds overhead and the waves crashing below, in this secluded spot.
The highly acclaimed Visitor Centre, contains well displayed exhibits that are informative and interesting, there is also an an audio-visual show that lasts about twenty minutes, this provides an overview on what you are about to see, so worth watching. Professional guides will take you on a guided walking tour where you will be introduced to this hidden world, tours last between forty five and sixty minutes. Leaflets are available in multi-languages for those not taking a tour. Much of the tour takes place outside so ensure you are dressed appropriately.
There is a nice tearoom where you can enjoy some tasty refreshments after your visit.
Ceide Fields are open daily from Easter to October.