As befits any true scion of the Irish literary tradition, Brendan Lehane spins a good yarn. 'Places to stay are plentiful but distant,' he writes of the Sperrin Mountains - a distinct improvement on the 1930s when the naturalist Robert Praeger and a colleague 'had to share a five-foot bed, both of them over six foot, with their feet sticking out of the window, in the only cottage with rooms to hire. In the morning hens were roosting on their toes'. He has plenty of other tales, drawn from folklore and fact, and an abiding love of the unchanged Irish countryside which informs every paragraph of this witty and readable book. Wild places still exist in abundance in Ireland. As he nicely points out, you can climb a mountain, bathe in the sea, watch thousands of birds co-existing on off-shore stacks, fish for salmon with a good chance of catching one and hear the dusk calls of the corncrake at a river's mouth all in a day. Wild Ireland offers something different from the general run of guide-books.
It takes you far beyond Dublin and the other popular tourist destinations such as Cork, Galway and County Kerry, spiriting you away to the remotest sea cliffs, secret valleys and mountain lakes, in Northern Ireland as well as the Republic. If you want to be an armchair traveller, Wild Ireland will entertain and entrance you for hours with word pictures and colour photographs. If you like the sound of a place, look in the accompanying fact-pack and you will find everything you need to plan a journey, arrange a fishing holiday, fix up accommodation or work out the stages for a long-distance walk. Specially drawn maps will enable you to find all the author's favourite spots. In this edition the fact-packs have been packed with more facts than ever: more telephone and fax numbers, more contact names and more outdoor activities together with e-mail and web-site addresses, in short everything necessary to bring this popular and successful guide-book fully up to date.