Welcome to Lee Valley- An Laoi (Gougane Barra)

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Welcome to Lee Valley- An Laoi (Gougane Barra)

An Laoi (Gougane Barra)

The fourth part of our 'Welcome to Lee Valley' series is based in 'An Laoi'.  This is the source of the River Lee, in the hills above the forest of Gougane Barra.
 
 A beautiful area full of lush greenery tucked away on the edge of the Shehy mountains, Gougane Barra and 'An Laoi' mark the beginning of the Lee Valley..
 

 The River Lee

The River Lee or 'An Laoi' in the Irish language, rises at this location in West Cork, Southern Ireland and continues on through Cork County, where it then splits in two for a short distance creating an island on which Cork City is built.  The river then continues and flows into the Celtic Sea at Cork Harbour- which is the second largest natural harbour in the world.
The Lee Valley gets it's name from the River Lee and comprises of the catchment area of the river and the valleys of it's tributaries. 
You can see from our video, this area is so tranquil, surrounded by forest, mountains and the sound of the river as it flows downwards towards Gougane Barra Lake.
 

Gougane Barra

One of the most beautiful settings in Ireland, this forest park covers 339 acres of marvellous woodlands, waterways and hiking trails.  First opening to the public in 1966, it was Ireland's first National Park.
  Here, St. Finbarr, the Patron Saint of Cork founded his monastery in the 6th century which still remains on an island on the Gougane Barra Lake (Lough an Ghugain).  Next to this lies the famous chapel- The Oratory of St Finbarr (more about this stunning location in our next blog post).
No matter the weather, there is plenty to do and see around Gougane Barra.  There are no fewer than six walking/hiking trails to discover.  Enjoy a spot of fishing on the lake which is known to be stock full of brown trout. Go for a cycle or a drive.  Pack a picnic for your forest trip or visit the nearby Gougane Barra Hotel at the end of a long day exploring for dinner and drinks.  If you are spending time in Ireland, this is a must see.

 

 

Map Lee Valley

Map of The Lee Valley, Ireland (Arrow Shows Location of An Laoi, Gougane Barra)

 

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