Smith's Self Catering Holiday Cottage, Donegal Ireland
 

The perfect holiday retreat to explore Donegal on foot...

Being the most Northerly County of Ireland with Malin Head as the most Northerly Point of Ireland, Donegal is a walker's paradise. Nature has equipped this region with an abundance of beautiful scenery, a magnificent coastline of secluded coves and sandy beaches and a hinterland of mountains, moors, lakes and rivers. It contains many interesting walks and strolls which will suit every level of walker, from lovely unspoiled country walking to walking trails along the valleys through the mountains and along breathtaking coastline. This undiscovered part of Ireland is a tapestry of beauty. Walking in Donegal gives a great variety of landscapes and is a real pleasure. In the hills of Donegal, there are no strangers only friends that have not met...

Drumonaghan Wood Walk – is an ancient woodland that is regenerating. It was the site of a battle in the 15th Century between the O Donnells and the O Neills. The path winds through a variety of woodland habitats, the undergrowth is a thick carpet of of mosses and wildflowers. There are outstanding views over Lough Swilly, the salmon weir at Drumonaghan Bridge and the historic town of Ramelton.

Ballyare Wood Walk – is an ancient woodland of approx. 60 acres dominated by Oak, Holly and Ash. A path leads you in to the center of the wood where you will find a great variety of wild flowers, which includes the Early Purple Orchids, which appear in the springtime.

Bridal Path (Glenveagh National Park) – This walk begins from the Churchill/Doochary road a gravel path which winds and takes you through this Glassier Valley with its high mountainside, winding rocky rivers and beautiful waterfalls. At the midway point of the walk you will see outstanding views of the Castle and Lough Veagh and if you are lucky may sight the beautiful, majestic and rare Golden Eagle.

Fanad Walks – Take a guided walk from a Fanad native with plenty of local knowledge across the spectacular Fanad Peninsula in county Donegal. All walks take in breathtaking, coastal scenery including Fanad Lighthouse, Portsalon, The Seven Arches, Knockalla and Murrin Hill to name but a few. Walks are suitable for all ages and are adapted to suit your ability. Call Mary Doherty on 087 622 8425 or visit her website for more information – www.fanadwalksdonegal.com

Mevagh Ramblers Walking Club – Based in the parish of Mevagh in North West Donegal, incorporating the seaside towns/villages of Carrigart, Downings and Glen. Many of their walks are held in this unspoilt area including Ards Forest Park, Glenveagh National Park and McSwynne Loop walk in Horn Head. The Club walk on a biweekly basis and normally alternate between a Saturday and a Sunday. Walks vary between 2 and 4 hours duration but do not include extremely difficult mountain climbs. Contact Myles on 086 8347 708 for further information.

Mountain and Hillwalks

Donegals highest mountain Errigal – over two thousand five hundred feet, Muckish mountain, Sliabh Sneacht, Lough Salt and Knockalla are just some of the hill walks within 30 minute drive of the cottages.

If mountain walking does not appeal to you there are a great variety of other walks in this area. Nearby Ards Forest Park has miles of walks through beautiful sandy beaches, mature trees, flora and fauna. Horn Head with its sea cliffs reaching 700 feet with spectacular walks and many hidden attractions is home to many sea birds that can be spotted off the cliffs. Tramore walk which begins at the bridge at Hornhead takes you along sand dunes, this special habitat is home to a variety of wild flowers, birds and butterflies, here you might get a glimpse of the rear Chouch a member of the crow family with its red legs and beak. Eventually you reach the beach with its two mile stretch of golden sands, and observe the silent peaks of Errigal and Muckish in the distance.

Other walks include the old railway walk from Creeslough to Falcarragh Station, the Poisoned Glen and around Rinmore Point.

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Not to be missed...

  • Knockalla – This hillwalk on the Fanad Peninsula is a very scenic walk. The mountain ridge above the beautiful Ballymacstoker Bay and the bustling village of Portsalon. The walk is across the open hillside, bog and heather and weather permitting you will have excellent views of Lough Swilly and Malin Head.
  • Ards Forest Park – A visit to Ards Forest Park will reward everyone at any time of the year. The park covers approximately 480 hectares, yet the sea is one of the real treasures of this park. There are several trails which offer the hiker an opportunity to experience it in all. For those interested in human history, there are a number of historical and archaeological features. There are the remains of four ring forts together with a holy well and a mass rock.