A Student of History

May 6, 2007

Trip to Ireland Coming Up

Filed under: Ireland — John Maass @ 8:11 pm

As I get closer to my trip to Ireland I am trying to get an itinerary worked out.  I am hoping to see the Inishowen Peninsula of Co. Donegal, if the weather is nice. 

Inishowen, Co Donegal

This ancient territory (The Land of the O’ Dohertys), in County Donegal is 26 miles in length and its greatest breadth is about 26 miles across. It is the most northerly part of Ireland and it comprises an area of about 309 sq miles. Its northern shore is on the restless Atlantic Ocean. Lough Swilly forms its western boundary and Lough Foyle its eastern boundary. It is connected with the mainland on the south and is not as its name implies, an island, but a magnificent peninsula. Monuments of an earlier age grow from the landscape as castles, towers and ancient churches shimmer in the sunshine. The Celtic crosses and the pagan monuments come together in a colourful tapestry with these great houses of the last century, to leave more lasting memories for the visitor.

Inishowen is well known as one of the most scenic parts of Ireland but the nature of that scenery combines with the up to date outdoor sporting facilities to provide the ideal base for an activity holiday. The ocean and lakes are perfect for fishing, wind surfing, swimming, canoeing, water-skiing and sailing. The fishing enthusiast will be well catered for in Inishowen with sea, shore, river and lake fishing. Sea-Angling Festivals are held annually at Moville/Greencastle, Malin/Glengad, Leenan, Fahan and Culdaff. Inishowen is a golfer’s paradise with five magnificent golf links to choose from. The more energetic golfer will find sufficient challenge in the 18-hole links while those with a more leisurely approach will find the 9-hole links equally enjoyable. The hills and cliffs of Inishowen are still relatively unfrequented and little restraint is put on walkers. There are walks to suit all ages and all interest. The Sunday afternoon will find unspoiled beaches, forest walks, quiet country roads and a wealth of historical sites to explore. The more energetic hiker will find out the more inaccessible spots; the dramatic cliff walks, the remote hills, glens and lakes which the driver misses. If bad weather prevails indoor leisure facilities are available at Buncrana Leisure Centre and The Redcastle Hotel.

Our heritage trail begins at Grianan an Aileach – the ancient Temple of the Sun christianised by St. Patrick. Founded by the Druids, this ring fort dates back to some 2000 years B.C. . The panoramic view from the walls of this ancient palace is truly magnificent, 7 counties can be seen on a clear day. The legends and history behind Grianan is interpreted at the Grianan Aileach Centre, 2km from the fort.

Onwards to Buncrana and the Tullyarvan Mill – a tastefully restored corn mill dating from the nineteenth century and today developed as a local craft centre and tourist amenity. Textile industry has long been a tradition in Buncrana and the museum recreates some 250 years of textile production. The Centre also houses aspects of flora and fauna that exists in Inishowen.

The coast road heading left at Buncrana leads to Dunree Head, here stands Fort Dunree constructed in 1798 by the English with the fear of Napoleonic invasion. This fort remained the property of the British until 3rd October 1938 when the Union Jack was lowered for the last time and was handed over to the Irish Government. This fort is today the first and only permanent and professionally-designed military museum in Ireland.

East of the peninsula on the shores of Lough Foyle is Greencastle is one of Ireland’s important fishing village boasting a long seafaring history. were the Inishowen Maritime Museum and Planetarium is located, the museum is housed in the old coastguard station overlooking the harbour, where the local history and seafaring traditions are interpreted through photographs, exhibitions, artefacts and models. Close by is the recently erected maritime memorial recording the names and dates of people lost at sea from the area.


1 Comment »

  1. hello John!

    I hope to visit Ireland next Summer. I was lucky to find your plans for an itinerary. I haven’t started yet. I only bought a small guide. I hope you can share some tips with me. You seem to have more time to plan than I really do. I hope to hear from you soon. Bye Manuela

    Comment by manuela jorge — May 14, 2007 @ 1:25 pm | Reply

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