Deserted islands, with pristine beaches, along Ireland’s west coast.
I survived a speedboat crash..!!
I’ve been enjoying working in the outdoors for several decades in several roles – from being a trekking guide to managing an adventure centre. Though I still have to say that my ultimate adventure has been raising a family with my husband, Geo. After the birth of my second child, a life experience introduced me to my second passion, the world of energy medicine, but don’t get me started on that subject!
I love to share my passion for Ireland – especially interpreting its landscape, ancient sites, stunning mountains, wild places, people, traditions and its lively music.
“I love to share my passion for Ireland – especially interpreting its landscape, ancient sites, stunning mountains, wild places, people, traditions and its lively music.”
At the start of my career, I worked in the great outdoors, guiding, sailing, kayaking, rock climbing, and eventually managing an outdoor centre. After having a family, I decided to go freelance. Since then, I have guided here in Ireland as well as overseas in places such as Australia, the USA and the UK – a way to fuel my desire to travel the world.
My first major adventure was to leave behind full time employment (not sure my father never got over that!) and travel overland from London to Katmandu, Nepal – on a double decker bus!! (I was inspired by Cliff Richard’s Summer Holidaymovie from way back when.) I ended up living in Australia, until I then sailed back from Darwin to Singapore on a wooden Junk – which took three months! In fact, it would have been longer but we had an accidental encounter with a speedboat which put a dramatic end to that adventure. Ouch.
A different experience was an expedition in 1991 where a group of Irish paddlers kayaked around the Bijagós Islands, off the coast of Guinea Bissau. Hiking in the Dolomites was amazing for the spectacular mountain scenery. My adventure to Norway was a memorable experience of searching for a hut up a mountain in a blizzard! I have so many memories – it’s too hard to pick out one special one. They were all fantastic!
I love being active outdoors. I am passionate about the hills, countryside and wilderness of Ireland, so I spend time teaching and assessing navigation. I also like running or walking with friends and family – anything to get me outside! However, when it comes to rock climbing, I have to admit that I’m only a fair weather climber… I swim like a fish so no matter whether it’s summer or winter, there’s a good chance you may see me in the sea! I also love sailing boats big and small as well as sea kayaking along Ireland’s coastal landscapes.
I am lucky to have two careers that I love. Obviously, the great outdoors is one of my great passions. The second one is in the world of energy medicine, which led me to walking all of the pilgrimage routes in Ireland.
I love the Celtic calendar and folklore of Ireland. I find that learning folklore and mythology is one of the best way to share the story of a place and its people. I enjoy sharing these ancient stories woven into the fabric of the Irish landscapes. I love sharing my enthusiasm and love of life in Ireland with all who visit!
Another way that Ireland manifests its history is through trad music (traditional Irish music) – I enjoy a few tunes on the fiddle or a song or two… (my kids are groaning already)!
I live in the West of Ireland on the Wild Atlantic Way meaning that I know west coast like the back of my hand! Connemara, Clare, even further south into Kerry and Cork… Ireland is just full of amazing places to explore. I particularly like the the unpopulated pilgrimage routes – I find them very incredibly special places.
Enthusiastic, friendly and knowledgeable.
Hiking - Connemara to the Cliffs of Moher
Reviewed on 09/08/2019
Michelle is an extraordinary guide. How lucky we felt to be in her hands. She knows
so much about the area in which we traveled/hiked and has so much experience.
that we saw many different places which we might not have seen otherwise. Her patience and pacing helped me (a slow hiker) . and she has a great personality. It was so much fun to watch her interacting with people, asking them questions, kidding with them, such an outgoing and spontaneous woman. Kathy and I enjoyed every moment of our "private tour". We felt totally cosseted and spoiled(and loved it)
Hiking - Connemara to the Cliffs of Moher
Reviewed on 08/08/2019
Our guide Michelle was absolutely fantastic. Her passion for Ireland and Connemara really showed. She expertly chose the best options for our walks depending on the weather and group ability. The flexibility to change things up meant we got to experience a few bonus activities which we all very much appreciated. Michelle went out of her way to ensure that everyone in the group had a memorable trip.
Hiking - The Mountains of Connemara and Mayo
Reviewed on 27/06/2019
© Michelle Hughes / Wilderness Ireland
Be the first to hear about new trips, locations and activities with our monthly newsletter