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North West of Ireland.

The western counties of Ireland, in particular the Wild Atlantic Way, are quite busy during the summer months. The usual bucket list destinations attract crowds that fleet for a moment, capturing instagram friendly snaps, and off again leaving a trail of hash-tags and filters.

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Off The Beaten Track.


I’m not sure what it is that attracts me to hills. It could be a number of things.   It could be the reward of freewheeling manically downhill.  Maybe it’s the chance to empty your brain, focusing on the one task of carrying you and your bike upwards. Or perhaps it’s the self congratulatory pat on the back for your efforts .  It’s probably a bit of all three!
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Rose Hip Syrup

In Ireland there is an old folk tale that warns against picking wild berries after Halloween.  The Púka (a mischievous shape shifting Irish fairy) will pee and spit all over the wild berries once October has passed rendering them inedible.  So although rose hip berries are visible throughout the winter it’s best to leave them to the Púca!

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Cycling north Leitrim, Ireland in the Autumn. | Crank and Cog
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Cycling North Leitrim, Ireland.


Leitrim, in the North West of Ireland, can be divided into two parts, the lowlands of the south and the highlands of the north, with Lough Allen in the middle.   I’ll explore the south of the county on another day but for now the North Leitrim hills awash with it’s autumn colour have me enthralled.  With rippling hills, unmanicured hedgerows, glacial lakes and a vast network of meandering little roads to explore it’s a cyclists seventh heaven!

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Meadowsweet Cordial with lemon | Crank & Cog
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Meadowsweet Cordial with Lemon.

After a wet and blustery start to August it’s tempting to conjure up some druidic magic to try to save the remainder of the ‘summer’ before it’s swept away by our unforgiving weather.  Thankfully you won’t need to sacrifice any virginal bride in a public ceremony, instead making and bottling some meadowsweet cordial should be enough to at least remind you of the summery good times!

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