Stories Inspired From The Wild Atlantic Way

As a country, we have produced many great poets, playwrights, authors and literary giants. Oscar Wilde, Samuel Beckett, Roddy Doyle, James Joyce, Bram Stoker, C.S. Lewis, W.B. Yeats, Seamus Heaney….the list goes on.

While their works have entertained and enthralled the masses in various forms throughout the years, shaping the culture of this island and beyond, it is fascinating to consider what gave birth to these geniuses. Many grew up in dire circumstances, suffering persecution or surrounded by poverty and disease, most notably during the famine years. Their ability to divine something from somewhere despite their environment was remarkable. Elevating themselves and subsequently their works to unimaginable heights that would long outlive their own short time on Earth.

Mass migration in the last three centuries has seen the creative seed of Ireland’s sons and daughters dispersed across the globe. Look close enough, however, and you’ll see their stories still have traces of the old country. The creator’s blank page – a rural, rare and majestic landscape that prompted the pen to quicken, capturing the words on paper, lest they be lost forever to antiquity. 

A memory. A Face. A Smile. A conversation. In a word – home.

Take The Trail

The Wild Atlantic Way is one of the most stunning trails that Ireland has to offer. You would be forgiven for thinking, if viewed through the right lens, at just the right time, that there is almost an ethereal quality to many of the sights. Something divine. 

Those same sights that would have greeted Yeats, Heaney or Joyce in yesteryear can still be enjoyed by all today, in their raw, natural beauty. Who knows what ideas will spawn while gazing at the towering coastal Cliffs of Moher? Cycling the quaint country lanes of one of the remote Aran Islands? 

Inspiration can be found anywhere along the trail, and the following is a short list of several creatives who brought something back from that special place.

  • Tim Robinson – A cartographer, writer, and artist, Tim Robinson has produced several works inspired by the landscapes of the west of Ireland, including the Connemara and Aran Islands regions.
  • Seamus Heaney – Although not exclusively focused on the Wild Atlantic Way, Heaney’s work often draws from the landscapes, culture, and history of rural Ireland, including regions along the west coast.
  • Brian Friel – Friel was an Irish playwright known for works such as “Dancing at Lughnasa” and “Translations,” which often depict the landscapes and lives of rural Ireland, including areas along the Wild Atlantic Way.
  • John Millington Synge – An influential playwright and key figure in the Irish Literary Revival, Synge wrote plays such as “The Playboy of the Western World” that are set in the rural west of Ireland, providing insight into the culture and traditions of the region.
  • Eamon Morrissey – A playwright and actor, Morrissey has performed one-man shows such as “Maeve’s House,” which draw from the landscapes and stories of the west of Ireland, including areas along the Wild Atlantic Way.
  • W.B. Yeats – While primarily associated with County Sligo and the Yeats Country region, the renowned poet W.B. Yeats’s work often explores themes of Irish mythology, folklore, and landscape, which are also found along the Wild Atlantic Way.


These authors and creative individuals, among others, have drawn inspiration from the landscapes, culture, and heritage of the regions encompassed by the Wild Atlantic Way, contributing to the rich tapestry of literature and art associated with this iconic coastal trail.

At Galway Tour Company, we operate a number of daily tours that explore the region. Our bus tours include knowledge drivers that eagerly offer anecdotes, stories and cultural insights to ensure you make treasured memories that last a lifetime.

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