The Inishowen Gateway Buncrana Hotel is one of the most conveniently located hotels Co. Donegal, perfect for activity breaks Ireland.
Burt Castle This castle which is oneof the Clan O'Dochertaigh's strongholds in Inishowen, is one of all our castles lying as it does near the main Derry to Letterkenny road. While you can get quite close to this ancient fortress by taking one of the side roads of the main road, it in fact lies on private land.
Knockamaney Bens The Lagg road to Malin Head takes the visitor along the shores of Trawbreaga Bay. The Bay is an area of regional ornithological importance and has been declared a wildlife santaury. The road rises sharply following the coastlinearound the Knockamany Bens with magnificent views of TrawbreagaBay from the car park. On a clear day Tory Island can be seen from the west.
Inishowen 100 It may sound like a formula 1 race, but it gets it name from the approximate distance in miles of the sign-posted drive, which offically starts in newtoncunningham on the Inishowen Pennisula. You will certainaly not wish to break any speed records as you linger and savour the many historical gems in Inishowen, Irelands largest Pennisulaa, has to offer.
Europe's Largest Sand Dunes To the north lies the fine sandy beach known as the "Five Fingers" backed by some of the highest sand dunes in
Europe. The sand dunes probably began to form in their present position about 5000 years ago. The tough marram grass grows best when sand is blown on top of it and here great sandhills up to 30 metres high have been built up by the action and wind blowing sand from the beach and into the marram.
Northburg Castle Travelling in a north-eastern direction is the village of Greencastle, with the much ruined but still impressive structure “Northburg Castle”. Built by Richard de Burgh, the Red Earl of Ulster in 1305 on a prominent rock, close to the shore, this awesome building utilised the advanced construction techniques of the Normans and the remarkable use of the natural rock to build a fortress intended to prevent attacks from Scotland and to act as a staging post for the final assault on the heartlands of Gaelic Ulster.
The Fennel Shed Patchwork Quilt making, tuition packages and programmes can be arranged for individuals or any size of group. Materials, patterns etc. available for purchase. Full range of colourful quilts etc available to buy, 2 minute walk from the hotel entrance, 00353879499070, www.thefennelshed.com
Inch Wildlife Reserve Ireland's Premier wetland site, Inch Wildfowl Reserve is an internationally signicant destination and staging ground for migrating birds from three continents. It is a special protected area (spa) under the EU birds directive.
Glenevin Waterfall This stunning waterfall, wedge in shape, cascades fresh mountain water descending over black rock from an astounding height of 30 feet. Designated car park, walkway and picnic area are provided.
St. Mura's Cross The site of the ancient Abbey of St. Mura lies in Fahan Village. This monastery flourished during seventh century. The most interesting object from this
period is the cross of St. Mura which is supposed to mark his grave 654A.D.
Bocan Stone Circle This is an impressive and evocative monument situated on pasture land near St. Mary's Church Bocan just outside Culdaff. With a diameter of 65- 75 feet, consisting possibly of 30 stones originally, the surviving orthostats are fine specimens up to six feet high.
The Temple of Deen A fine and well preserved megalithic monument, sometimes called the Laraghill Cairn lies on the opposite side of the road to the Bocan Stone Circle at the top Hill of Deen. There are twenty large stones remaining at the forecourt and the first chambers are well preserved.
La Trinidad Valencera It was just off Kinnego Bay in 1970/7 that divers found the Spanish Armed Transporter, La Trinidad Valencera, a 1,100 ton wooden ship, which, badly damaged in a storm, had limped into anchor offshore on September 14th 1588 and sank two days later. Many artefacts have been recovered from this vessel and can be seen in the Tower Museum in Derry.
Glenveagh National Park Via Letterkenny, built 1870 by landlord John George Adair, renowned for evicting 244 tenants in 1861. In 1975 the lands were purchased by the Irish state and in 1981 the then owner Mr Mc Ilhenny presented Glenveagh Castle and the gardens to the Irish nation. The Castle and the gardens usually open from Easter to the end of October each year. Guided tours of the Castle take place regularly each day and the gardens are available for walking and exploring. Very worthwhile with wildlife including herds of Red deer and is home to the Golden Eagle. Most of the park is mountainous and suitable for properly prepared hikers. There are paths and guided walks are held weekly in June, July and August.
Theatres An Grianan Theatre, Letterkenny offer a varied programme of events with national and international productions throughout the year. The Millennium Theatre, Derry, offer a varied programme of events with national and international productions throughout the year.
Giants Causeway Approx 1 hours drive from Buncrana, considered from the 1700's to being the 8th wonder of the world, 40,000 basalt columns with theories on its formation varying from natural occurrence to the giant Finn Mac Cool.
Mussenden Temple Near Castlerock in Co Derry, built in 1785, it perches dramatically on a 120 ft cliff top, high above the Atlantic on the North West Coast with fantastic views of Downhill Strand, Magillian Point, Donegal, Portstewart, Portrush and Fair Head. The Temple and the surrounding views are among the most photographed scenes in Ireland. The Temple had stabilisation work completed in 1997 to prevent its erosion and loss to the sea.
Bushmills Distillery Close in proximity to Giants Causeway, Ireland's oldest whiskey distillery, legally producing Irish Malt Whiskey since 1608, local folklore would indicate its illegal production from the 1400's. Daily guided tours of the distillery available including a complimentary glass of the final product, tours run every 30 minutes, (children under 8 are not permitted to join the tours) A restaurant is available on site.
Derry's Walls Derry City Walking Tour – tells the history of the City of Derry, available everyday leaving from 11 Carlisle Road at 10am, 12 noon and 2pm, duration 1 hour can be shorter or longer depending on needs of the group or individual. Price £4 stg. Group rates available. Contact Martin Mc Crossan, 04871271996 or www.derrycitytours.com Bus Tours of the city are available with this company.
Transport Links Local buses to Derry and Letterkenny, Taxi's, Sea Ferry from Greencastle to Magillian and on a seasonal basis from Buncrana to Rathmullan.
Moville Pottery Full range of pottery available for purchase, tour of pottery and painting your own piece of pottery can be arranged for groups of 2 people or for up to 30 to 40 people. Price to purchase and paint own piece of pottery €12 to €16, chosen piece will then be fired in kiln and available for collection 1 to 2 days later (postage can be arranged) Open Mon to Fri 9.30am to 5pm and Sat 12 noon to 5pm. For further details contact 0749382053
Glendowen Craft Shop and Studio Specialising in unique tweed garments and accessories. 0749376265 or www.glendowen.com leaflet available at Reception.
For the visitor seeking a more active attraction Kayaking, Open boating, Orienteering, Archery, Team Building, Sea Kayaking, Snorkelling, Camp Craft and Fishing (catch, cook and eat!) – Available at Justkayak, Moville, approx. 20miles east of Buncrana. They are running weeklong summer camps for kayaking in June, July and August. The course will run from Mon to Fri 10am to 4.30pm at their centre in Moville. They have other exciting activities to choose from. All equipment provided, just bring your own lunch, they will have a barbecue one afternoon per week. All this for just €160 for 5 days and €120 for 3 days. They also offer family trips in open canoes, lunch can be had enroute with many stops on the way to look at archaeology, wildlife and botanical wonders along the Foyle. To book contact 00353749385903 / 0872202577 or www.justkayak.ie