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Nephin in Co. Mayo. Photo: Walsh Photos.

North Mayo Looks Splendid in Hollywood Movie

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The reviews weren't exactly kind but if you can put aside the botched-up job on the Irish accents, the Hollywood movie “Wild Mountain Thyme” captures the North Mayo area perfectly.

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Most of the romantic comedy, which has been released on streaming, was shot around the town of Crossmolina and Ballina, President Joe Biden’s ancestral home.

The film, which was released in American movie theaters in December 2020, stars Emily Blunt, Jamie Dornan, Christopher Walken, and Jon Hamm.

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It is available for streaming on Amazon Prime Video, iTunes, Google Play, Hulu, Vudu, and Apple TV.

About Wild Mountain Thyme

The story centers around a star-crossed couple (played by Blunt and Dornan) whose families are caught up in a feud over a patch of land that separates their two farms

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The film is an adaptation of John Patrick Shanley’s stage play, “Outside Mullingar.”

An aerial view of Crossmolina with Nephin in the distance. Photo: Mike Kinsella – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=70130188

Wild Mountain Thyme was filmed before the pandemic (in 2019) and also features Irish actors Derabhla Molloy, Danielle Ryan, and Barry McGovern.

Martina Niland, a film and TV producer from County Mayo, was also involved in the production.

Some of the establishments that you’ll spot in the movie include The Thatch Inn and Hiney’s Bar, both in Crossmolina.

The Mount Falcon Estate located between Foxford and Ballina is where the crew also filmed scenes for what was supposed to be a New York Bar.

The crew also stayed at the 4-star hotel while shooting in North Mayo.

The movie is a great advertisement for North Mayo’s tourism industry, with attractions such as Mount Nephin, the second-highest peak in the West of Ireland, featured in the film.

The disputed piece of land that is the highlight of the movie lies underneath the mountain, which can be reached by taking the 4.9-mile (7.8 km) Nephin Mountain Trail.

A trigonometrical pillar marks the summit of Nephin, with fabulous views from the top of the surrounding County Mayo countryside. Photo: https://www.flickr.com/photos/melfoody/ https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/

The farm where much of the film was shot belongs to local residents Billy and Deirdre Connor.

What to See Around Crossmolina

Other attractions near Crossmolina include Lough Conn, which is known for its plentiful supply of trout and salmon and is a popular destination for anglers.

In Gaelic, the name means “Lake of the Hound.”

Irish mythology suggests that Lough Conn was created when the great warrior Finn McCool was out hunting with his hounds when they came across a wild boar.

Finn and his hounds attempted to chase it. However, the boar ran ahead, with water pouring from its feet. One of the hounds chased the boar until a lake appeared.

Lough Conn with Mount Nephin in the distance. Photo: Liz McCabe, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2423243

There’s lots more to see in and around Crossmolina, including Crossmolina Castle and Deel Castle, built in the 16th century by the powerful Bourke family (de Burgh) on the northern end of Lough Conn.

It was later renamed Castle Gore after the family that acquired it

Deel Castle near Crossmolina in North Mayo. Photo: Mike Searle, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=98893120

Errew Abbey, a former 13th-century Augustinian abbey, stands on a tiny peninsula on the banks of Lough Conn. It was destroyed by Cromwell’s Army in the mid-1500s.

old walls with a mountain and lake in background North Mayo
Errew Abbey is close to where Wild Mountain Thyme was filmed. Photo: Elisa.rolle – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=57787509

The Titanic Memorial Park is where you’ll find a memorial garden in the form of sculptures dedicated to the 14 victims of the Titanic sinking on April 15, 1912.

All of them were from the parish of Addergoole, which is located in Laherdane (Laherdaun) situated next to Lough Conn.

a group of sculptures North Mayo
The Titanic Memorial in Laherdane, Co. Mayo. Photo: Pamela Norrington, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=77596184

The “Addergoole Fourteen” boarded the ship at Queenstown (now known as Cobh in County Cork). Three people from the parish survived.

The Mayo Dark Sky Park is another nearby attraction for those who want to experience the beautiful dark skies of North Mayo.

a boardwalk through a field North Mayo
One of the boardwalk trails at the Wild Nephin Ballycroy National Park in Co. Mayo. Photo courtesy of Hugh Sweeney for Failte Ireland.

The park extends across an area of 150 square kilometers (57 square miles) and encompasses Ballycroy National Park and Wild Nephin.

On a clear night, you can see over 4,500 twinkling stars as well as other planets in the solar system. The Milky Way and even meteor showers can be seen with the naked eye from this remote spot.

Discover more about the Crossmolina area here.

Locals are hoping this movie will have the same knock-on tourism effect as that of “The Quiet Man,” which was filmed in Cong in 1952.

Places to stay in the area include the popular Enniscoe House, a country house built between 1790 and 1798 and sometimes described as “the last great house of North Mayo.”

Read More: The 18 Best Irish Movies that Highlight the Country's Scenery and Heritage

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