21
Jul
08

Glenveagh, Co. Donegal

I’m still trying to get some blogging done about our break in Donegal, but work is getting in the way of things!

Whilst away, we spent a couple of afternoons in Glenveagh National Park in Donegal. It’s a place of spectacular natural beauty- and few sunny days- but somehow the mist and murk often only serves to enhance it.

On our first trip, we took the kids round the visitor’s centre, which mainly concentrates on the wildlife in the area. Unfortunately, the exhibits included a massive scale model of a horsefly, which terrified Ricky and gave him nightmares for days! They are nasty little buggers, but he now thinks that every bluebottle in sight is a horsefly!

The visitor’s centre is a useful place, with helpful people at the desk, a nice variety of displays which are interesting to both the kids and the grown ups, and a good cafe (especially for puds- YUM!). Outside is a children’s playground and a variety of nature walks, both through the glen and around the lake.

A mile or so away, by mini bus, is Glenveagh Castle. Before the place was owned by the National Trust, I was taken there by my parents and some family friends on a special invite to see the famous gardens. We were warned that the eccentric owner at the time did not like children and that we were to be on our best behaviour! I remember meeting him, and he was perfectly nice to all five of the children who were present that day (we were all under ten years of age). Henry McIlhenny donated the estate to the national trust shortly after our visit- I wonder if we drove him to it!! Here is a link if you are interested. The castle can now be toured and is an interesting place to visit.

http://www.glenveaghnationalpark.ie/

The gardens in the place are legendary, and I have included pics below-

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The Gardener’s cottage- what I would not give…

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There are also stunning walks up the glen, with beautiful views of the mountains and lakes. The chief draw of these walks for Ian and I, however, is the reintroduction of Golden Eagles to Ireland in this locale. We’ve spent basically every visit for the last four or five years scouring Donegal for these beautiful birds- and we have seen them on a number of occasions. They always appear when you least expect it, and NEVER appear when you most want them to!! It’s a very worthwhile project- if you want to read more, here is the link-

http://www.goldeneagle.ie/

Here is a pic of the glen, taken during our all too brief walk before Ricky announced that “his legs were sore” and he refused to go any further! Growing up is hard to do, apparently!

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There’s also a wonderful and little known drive you can take around the back of the glen. From Dungloe, you take the road towards Glenties, from there turn off towards Duchary, and then just as you reach the village, take the sharp turn round to the left at the base of the hill. This little road leads you past the river up to the mountains and is a hidden treasure and a delight. It is also part of the Glenveagh National Park.

You eventually come to another lake, where we recently saw some red throated divers. Here are a few pics-

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One of my favourite pics of the moment!

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A view from the top of the glen- not the best pic I’m afraid!

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Some of the nicest places you could ever visit. 🙂

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2 Responses to “Glenveagh, Co. Donegal”


  1. July 22, 2008 at 1:13 am

    So much greenery…breathtaking.

  2. July 22, 2008 at 6:35 am

    OK – so I’m a little homesick after looking at these pictures!!

    Itching to get out on the road again. We’re taking a trans-alpine train journey through the southern alps this weekend though and I can’t wait to be amongst the vast snowy peaks…

    Getting back to Donegal – those are some fantastic pictures 🙂


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