Isle of Albion
First Photographed: Saturday 19th August 2006
Last Photographed: Friday 7th September 2007
Site rating:

Uragh is a 2.4 metre diameter circle consisting of five small stones. A massive megalith placed tight up against the circle dominates its smaller cousins, rising to a height of approximately 3 metres.

No words can possibly do justice to the splendour of this site. I'd be surprised if there's a better situated stone circle in the whole of Europe. Uragh sits on a terrace overlooking the placid beauty of Loch Inchiquin, which is in turn ringed by dramatic mountains. Tightly-packed woodland covers the slopes as they drop sharply towards the lake, and waterfalls carry rainwater down from the peaks in the far distance. Early in the morning, mist clings eerily to the water, creating an imminent sense of magic and wonder. In the evening, the sun bathes the stones in a golden light, casting long shadows towards the lake, which already sits brooding in darkness. Meanwhile, the sky plays out the day in many shades, providing a magnificent panoply for the scene below.

Uragh is easy enough to find, with parking for a handful of cars available. In the busy months, a farmer with an impressively unintelligible accent patrols the area, demanding a 1 Euro entrance fee and attempting to flog postcards. An honesty box performs a similar role during his absence.

During the hot months when I visited, the approach to the stones was distinctly bouncy underfoot. In less clement weather, this will most certainly be reduced to a bog. I'd strongly advise sturdy footwear in this instance. This spongy area only takes a minute to cross, and the footpath then climbs steeply up towards the terrace. The view that meets the visitor when the stone circle suddenly rises into view is one that will be long remembered.

Uragh is relatively popular, but never busy. There's a steady stream of visitors, but they tend to come and go quickly, with large stretches of time separating them. I lay here in the sun for a couple of hours, taking in the views and reading a book. I glanced up a couple of times to see visitors walking past, but I was otherwise undisturbed. This is still a place of peace and solitude, where tranquillity is easily found. Visiting Uragh is a pilgrimage that offers a welcome escape from modernity and a glimpse of an older world. The longer one spends here, the greater the reward - so be sure to allow plenty of time when visiting. This is perhaps the hardest stone circle to leave.