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Inishbiggle - Gubnadoogha Loop Walk

Inishbiggle is a small island situated between the northeast of Achill Island and the mainland off the coast of County Mayo. The island is accessed by boat from Gubnadoogha at Ballycroy or Bullsmouth on Achill.

The island is only 2.6 km2 in area – and is home to about 20 people. The main activities are farming (sheep and cattle) and fishing. The little Holy Trinity Church on the island has an interesting history. Constructed in the early 1900s (in a time of strict Church divisions) it was built exclusively for the use of the Protestant people on the island - Inishbiggle is the only Irish island that has a Protestant church of its own. Almost exactly one hundred years later (2003), Inishbiggle set a headline for ecumenism in Ireland, when the church was rededicated to serve both the Church of Ireland and the Roman Catholic communities.

A-B. Starting from the mapboard at the pier at Gobnadoogha, follow the green arrow along the roadway for almost 1km to reach a 3-way junction with a house on your right. You will be returning to this point towards the end of the loop. For now, proceed straight ahead.

B-C. The loop now joins another loop which starts and finishes at Bull’s Mouth on the Achill side of the island - this is marked with red arrows. Follow the green and red arrows along the roadway to reach a house at a left bend. Turn left and after 50m pass a sandy roadway on your left. After 200m pass a roadway on your right and descend to reach a crossroads where the red loop turns right and heads back to the Achill slip - but you turn left. [Note: if you have the time you might enjoy the trip to the Bull’s Mouth slip - allow 1hr out and back to this point.]

C-D. Continue to follow the roadway past the schoolhouse (on your left) and a roadway (on your right). After 1km you reach the island’s Holy Trinity Church at a crossroads. The loop turns left here - but you might like to take a short trip to the beach which is only 100m straight ahead.

D-A. From the church, the loop ascends gently and levels out to pass a laneway to a house (on your left) before turning left at a 3-way junction. Another 300m takes you back to the junction at B above from where you started the loop. This time turn right and enjoy the short trek back to the pier.

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