The ancient territory (The Land of the O Doherty’s), of County Donegal is the most northerly part of Ireland. Its northern shore is on the restless Atlantic Ocean with Lough Swilly forming its western boundary and Lough Foyle to the east.
Monuments of an earlier age grow from the landscape as castles, towers and ancient churches. The Celtic crosses and the pagan monuments come together in a colourful tapestry with these great houses of the last century. The Inishowen Peninsula possesses such a range of sights and attractions that is often referred to as Ireland in Miniature. This is the undiscovered Ireland, a world apart, a timeless place. The nature of the scenery, combined with outdoor sporting facilities, provide the ideal base for an activity holiday. This loop starts at a car park area at a World War 2 Lookout Tower atop Inishowen Head. On this wild and remote loop you pass the point from where St Columba left Ireland on his way to Iona (Portkill) and a viewing point from where, on some fine days, the west of Scotland is visible.
A-B. Starting from the car park at Inishowen Head, follow the purple arrow downhill. Straight ahead of you is the prominent Stroove lighthouse. Pass a laneway on your right and reach a 3-way junction with the R241 where you turn right.
B-C. Follow the R241 for approximately 500m (passing New Road on your right) to reach Carrowtrasna Road where you turn right and begin the ascent onto the shoulder of Crocknasmug via laneways and bog roads.
C-D. Follow the laneways and bog roads for over 1km to reach a T-junction where you turn right, continuing to ascend. After a further 1km, you reach the highest point of your walk on the shoulder of Crocknasmug.
D-E. Continue to follow the bog roads downhill and look ahead for the now disused farmstead of Johnny Glenanes perched on the side of Glenane Hill – it is the only sign of inhabitation on this most remote section of your walk. Pass two junctions with laneways – both on your left.
E-F. The loop now sweeps right (eastward) and takes you back towards the east coast of Inishowen Head. As you travel you are treated to wonderful coastal scenery and a view over Portkill (marked by a plaque on the left of the roadway).
F-A. Along the final 500m back to the trailhead, there is another opportunity to view the wonderful scenery from a viewing point atop the cliffs.
Length: 8km Time: 2hr 30min
Nearest Town: Greencastle
National Loop Walk