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Ten Things to See in the Northwest of Ireland

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The scenery in the northwest of Ireland is wild, rugged and unlike anything in the rest of the country. Explore the dramatic headlands of Donegal, which stretch into the turbulent Atlantic Ocean, hike through Glenveagh National Park to spot eagles or red deer, or spend time in County Sligo, with its iconic mountain backdrops, lakes and waterfalls. This part of Ireland’s northwest inspired the poet William Butler Yeats, who spent much of his childhood in the area.
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Take a leisurely day trip (or a couple of days) to drive around Inishowen, the largest of Donegal’s peninsulas and enjoy the rugged scenery, with remote beaches, stone forts, castle ruins and a military museum at Dunree Head to explore. The total...
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Church Hill, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal, Ireland
Glenveagh National Park is one of the highlights of the northwest of Ireland. A number of walking trails traverse the 62 square miles of rugged mountains, lakes, remote bogs, and woodlands, where wildlife such as red deer and golden eagles...
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Slieve League, Shanbally, Co. Donegal, Ireland
You will need a head for heights to visit Slieve League; at 600 meters (2,000 feet), these are the fifth-tallest sea cliffs in Europe. What makes them so special is that they are also some of the most accessible ones. Nearly three times higher...
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A drive through the magnificent Glengesh Pass will bring you to Glencolmcille (Geann Cholm Cille in Irish), a small village on one of the most westerly points of Donegal, which was hard hit by emigration in the 1950s. It feels like one of the most...
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Horn Head, Largatreany, Co. Donegal, Ireland
This short 13km drive is worth taking for the panoramic views of the northwest coast, stretching from the Rosguill Peninsula to the Bloody Foreland, and out to Tory Island to the north. There’s plenty of seabird life on the cliff ledges, with...
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Tory Island, Co. Donegal, Ireland
Hop on a ferry and take off for a few days to this windswept island off Donegal’s northern coast, which has a thriving community of artists, an Irish-speaking community, and even its own king, who will welcome you off the boat. There are plenty of...
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Sligo, Ireland
As a child, William Butler Yeats spent his summer holidays in County Sligo, and the lakes and hills inspired many of his most famous poems, such as The Lake Isle of Innisfree. Take a leisurely day and follow the Yeats...
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Formoyle, Glencar, Co. Leitrim, Ireland
Definitely worth a visit when in Sligo. An easy drive down the N16 - it is a beautiful drive. The waterfall is an easy walk from the parking lot. There is also a hike up the mountain, but I didn't have time to check it out. If driving back to...
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Main St, Magheracar, Bundoran, Co. Donegal, Ireland
Drive down a country road in County Donegal toward the sea, and you’re likely to find miles of unspoiled golden beach – and if there are waves, the water might be filled with surfers. Pounded by the big swells of the Atlantic Ocean, the northwest...
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Carrowmore Visitor Centre, Carrowmore, Co. Sligo, F91 E638, Ireland
Very close to Sligo, and worth a stop. Be sure to talk to one of the guides, who will enhance your visit a lot with the story of these areas.