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Guide Photography Contest – Results!

Posted on Nov 16, 2018 by Dawn Rainbolt

At Wilderness Ireland, we’ve got an amazing collection of expert guides who come from all walks of life.

This year, we decided to add a little friendly competition amongst our guides. Each guide was given a camera while out on their trips for the purpose of trip photography – as well as given a mission. The challenge? Who can take the best photo while guiding a trip in Ireland!

With so many amazing photos submitted, it was hard to narrow down to just 12 photos. See below for the top three winners and honourable mentions. Who knows, maybe your next Ireland trip’s guide will win next year!

Click in to each guide to read their bio.

1. Eoin Warner – The Conor Pass, Kerry

Connor Pass - Kerry - biking Kerry Peninsulas

Photo credit: Eoin Warner

Our winning photograph was taken by our own ‘celebrity guide’ Eoin Warner, who is known for hosting a series of wildlife shows – both in English and the Irish Gaelic language! Eoin couldn’t actually speak Irish as a child. In fact, he was so determined to learn the language of his ancestors that he spent time living in a Gaeltacht region of Dingle to become fluent! Other interesting tidbits about Eoin? He’s also an expert bee-keeper!

This photo hails from one of Kerry’s most spectacular places, the Conor Pass. A breathtaking photo op in the mountains on the Dingle Peninsula, it is the highest mountain pass in Ireland! A narrow and twisting road, the Conor Pass a jaw-dropping biking country for those who love a challenge!

Enjoy this view on our NEW biking trip, Biking the Kerry Peninsulas.

2. Calliam Johnson – Mam Ean – Connemara

Connemara - Mam Ean pilgrimage - guide photography

Photo credit: Calliam Johnson

Shot by guide Calliam Johnson, Callium is a bit of a mystery! New for 2018, he has made a splash in his first season of guiding with us – including photography! Callium has lived, guided in and travelled to far-flung places like Peru, Bolivia and Kenya and brings the knowledge he earned there to the trips he guides in Ireland.

This photo was taken while hiking the trail of Mam Ean, a low-level but rugged pilgrimage route in Connemara. It is dotted with the stations of the cross – which seem so out of place in this remote landscape! – and is associated with St Patrick.

As spotted on our trip, Hiking the Mountains of Connemara & Mayo

3. John Neary – The Cliffs of Moher

Cliffs of Moher - Guide photography - John Neary

Photo credit: John Neary

Guide John Neary loves photography and videography (you might spot some of his work on our Facebook page!). From a small village in the Irish midlands, John is an expert in all things Ireland. Fun and friendly, John left behind the sparkling corporate world of banking, trading a skyline office for dramatic landscapes!

The Cliffs of Moher are generally on everyone’s list. These sheer cliffs fall some 200 metres dramatically into the sea. Though not the tallest cliffs in Ireland, the Cliffs of Moher are the most famous, and certainly quite dramatic! Please note, however, that standing at the edge (like the man in the picture) is dangerous due to erosion.

As spotted on our trip, Hiking Connemara to the Cliffs of Moher.

Our top honourable mentions:

Duncan Warner – Mweelrea Mountain, Mayo

Hiking Mweelrea Mountain - Connemara

Photo credit: Duncan Warner

The tallest mountain in Connacht, Mweelrea stands at 814m (2,670 feet), Mweelrea is a challenging hike thanks to steep slopes and boggy terrain – but the summit views are well worth it.

Hike Mweelrea mountain on our Connemara & Mayo hiking trip

Georgia MacMillan – Horn Head Peninsula

Hiking in Donegal - guide photography

Photo credit: Georgia Macmillan

Rough, rugged, windswept – Donegal is a land of myth and legend, a land where history and mythology shape the landscape. Horn Head is just one of many hauntingly beautiful headlands.

Hike the wilds of Donegal on Hiking the Causeway Coastal Route & Donegal

Dean McMenamin – Biking Sky Road, Connemara


Dean Macmenamin - Sky Road Connemara

Photo credit: Dean Macmenamin

One of Connemara’s most scenic places to explore on a bike is the aptly-named Sky Road – perfect cycling lanes overlooking ocean panoramas and Connemara hills.

Cycle this photo on Biking Connemara & the Aran Islands.

Duncan Warner – Leenane Hill, Connemara / Mayo

Hiking Connemara - Killary - Mayo

Photo credit: Duncan Warner

Beautiful colours and scenery in the hills of Connemara. Climb Leenane Hill for views of Killary Fjord, Connemara National Park, and the bogs and lakes of the Connemara region.

Hiking in Connemara’s vast landscapes? If this sounds like your kind of holiday, check out our trip through the mountains of Connemara & Mayo

Michelle Hughes – Mt Brandon, Dingle, Kerry

Michelle Hughes- Mt Brandon - Hiking Dingle Way

Photo credit: Michelle Hughes

Mt Brandon is one of Ireland’s holy mountains, so-called for their association with various saints and pilgrimages – in this case, St Brendan the Navigator.

Itching to be there? Hike Ireland’s Dingle Way to climb Mt Brandon!

Georgia MacMillan – Giant’s Causeway

Giant's Causeway hiking Causeway Coast

Photo credit: Georgia Macmillan

The Giant’s Causeway is a place dipped in mythology – in fact, Irish myth states that the causeway and its 40,000 basalt columns were created by a warring giant! Science states it was due to a volcanic eruption. Which is it? You’ll have to visit to decide for yourself!

Get to the Giant’s Causeway yourself on our trip, the Causeway Coast & Donegal

Duncan Warner – Croagh Patrick Mountain, Mayo

Duncan Warner - Croagh Patrick Mountain hiking - guide photography

Photo credit: Duncan Warner

Another holy mountain, Croagh Patrick is associated with St Patrick, who legend has it, fasted at its summit for 40 days. While this might be stretching reality a bit (the summit is really windy!), follow in his footsteps to the top for fantastic views.

Climb Croagh Patrick mountain and more rugged peaks in Connemara & Mayo

Paul Quinn – Kayaking in the Burren, Clare

Paul Quinn - Kayaking the Burren National Park -guide photography

Photo credit: Paul Quinn

Sometimes exploring a place from an unusual perspective yields unexpected yet amazing results! Try kayaking the Burren, taking in its weird geology from the water.

While not currently on any scheduled trips, tailor-make your own dream vacation to the Burren and beyond!

John Neary – The Burren National Park, Clare

hiking Burren National Park - John Neary - guide photography

Photo credit: John Neary

For an intimate look at the worldliness that inspired JRR Tolkien’s Middle Earth, hike the rugged exposed limestone of the Burren National Park.

Make this photo reality – jump onto Hiking Connemara to Cliffs of Moher or even a bike tour of Connemara and the Burren if two wheels are your preferred method of exploration!

Thanks to all of our amazing guides and all of the submitted photos from 2018 – whittling it down to these 12 winning photos was no easy task!

Inspired for your next trip to Ireland? Check out a few of our favourite trips below!

Hiking Connemara to the Cliffs of Moher

hiking Connemara and the Burren
Location: West – Connemara, Burren & Aran Islands
  • Stand at the edge of the world atop the Cliffs of Moher
  • Island hopping adventure to Irish-speaking Aran Islands
  • Explore Connemara's wild mountains, bogs and and windswept vistas
  • Hike the Burren National Park to explore its exposed limestone landscape

Price: from €1,795

View Trip Details

Bike Tour - Connemara & the Aran Islands

Location: West – Connemara, Burren & Aran Islands
  • Bike in Connemara National Park and along the famous Sky Road
  • Two nights island retreat on the Aran Islands & off the beaten path visit to the Cliffs of Moher
  • Discover why the otherworldly Burren National Park is the hidden treasure of West Ireland

Price: from €2,010

View Trip Details

Hiking and Island Hopping Cork and Kerry

Skellig Islands tours, Kerry, hiking and island hopping in Cork and Kerry
Location: South West – Cork & Kerry
  • Guided gentle hikes & island hopping along the spectacular coastline and islands of southwest Ireland
  • Climb Skellig Michael, UNESCO World Heritage, and now a Star Wars filming location
  • Explore remote islands where the Gaeltacht (Irish speaking) culture & tradition is still strong

Price: from €1,795

View Trip Details

Bike Tour - Wild Atlantic Way

biking the Wild Atlantic Way
Location: Multi-Location
  • Bike along the Wild Atlantic Way from Ireland's extreme south to its northernmost point
  • Bike through 3 Irish National Parks, 8 counties & cover 672 km or 418 miles!
  • Tick off classic Irish biking routes such as the Ring of Kerry, Corkscrew Hill & Mamore Gap

Price: from €3,600

View Trip Details

About the author

Dawn Rainbolt

American by birth but European in spirit, Dawn has called the US, Costa Rica, Spain, England, Poland, France and now Ireland home over the years. While she has travelled to more than 30 countries, she has fallen in love with the rich Irish culture, intriguing history, ancient castles, cheery locals and sweeping landscapes of Ireland.

Read more articles by Dawn

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