Lough Derg: the spirit of a holy place

IMAGE Wednesday, 04 April 2012
A small island in a lake called Lough Derg is one of the most famous of Ireland's places of pilgrimage. About 35,000 pilgrims come to it each year intent on doing penance for their sins or seeking divine intervention in their lives. Read More...

Nantes-Brest Canal, Brittany's popular leisure waterway

IMAGE Friday, 07 October 2011
The Nantes-Brest Canal is a 364 km long waterway connecting the city of Brest, on the west of Brittany, to the city of Nantes in the south east. Read More...

The shrine of the Cailleach at Glen Lyon

IMAGE Wednesday, 07 September 2011
Each year, in one of the most remote areas of Scotland, a family of stones are brought out of the house in the spring and returned to the house for the winter. The tradition stretches back thousands of years and the site is believed to be the only surviving shrine to the Celtic goddess Cailleach. Read More...

Newport Celtic Festival and Highland Games, Oregon

IMAGE Tuesday, 17 May 2011
A cultural celebration of the seven Celtic nations, the new festival on the Oregon coast features Celtic music, dance, food, drink, crafts, vendors, kids events, family histories and Highland Games. Read More...

World's largest tidal power project

IMAGE Thursday, 07 April 2011
The world's largest tidal stream energy array will be built in the Sound of Islay on Scotland's west coast. Read More...

Wales' new devolution settlement

IMAGE Thursday, 03 March 2011
Following the 'Yes' victory in the 3 March 2011 Referendum, Wales will now be able to pass its own laws in twenty policy fields. Read More...

The Giant's Causeway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site

IMAGE Thursday, 03 March 2011
The Causeway Coast in Northern Ireland has an unparalleled display of polygonal columns of basalt rock resulting from a volcanic eruption 60 million years ago. Read More...

Ireland, Scotland and Wales affected by wildfires

Warmest and driest April on record leaves thousands of hectares ravaged by fire across parts of Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Warmest and driest April on record leaves thousands of hectares ravaged by fire across parts of Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Walkers and visitors to the countryside were warned not to light campfires as blazes destroyed thousands of hectares of land and put homes and livestock in danger.

Environmentalists said the fires could not have come at a worse time, affecting nesting birds and breeding mammals.

In Wales, grass fires burning in the Brecon Beacons National Park were described as the worst seen in 30 years. Military assistance had to be requested to help tackle the fire which burnt for three days and left nearly 2,000 acres of the National Park scorched.

The outbreak of wild fires in Ireland was said to be unprecedented. Army troops and helicopters were called to tackle wildfires in Donegal as thousands of acres were burning in other parts of the country.

In Scotland, hundreds of firefighters battled wild fires across the Highlands and the Western Isles. A number of fires led to the evacuation of homes and the airlifting of hillwalkers to safety.

The National Trust for Scotland said the fires devastated key areas of Scottish native woodland. The largest fire, in Torridon, Wester Ross, destroyed about 10 square miles of vegetation.

April was the driest and warmest on record in Ireland with temperatures around 3 degrees above normal for the time of year.

Coastal resorts in West Wales reported record numbers of visitors over the Easter Bank Holiday when temperatures peaked at 24°C in parts of Wales, the hottest for more than 25 years.

In Scotland, the UK Met Office said April was the warmest and sunniest in the south of Scotland since records began 100 years ago.

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Celtic Countries is the online magazine for people who enjoy the Celtic nations, their natural splendour, culture, and lifestyles.

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