County Donegal

Donegal Town

Gotta love a restaurant called the "Krusty Kitchen" 
(breakfast there was quite good, actually)

The River Eske runs through Donegal Town

The city courts are near Donegal Castle - note the barristers in their gowns and wigs conferring on the corner. 

Donegal Castle, 15th Century stronghold of the O'Donnells 

The basement of the Castle would have been used for storage of supplies against a siege.

The Great Hall of Donegal Castle


Bundoran is a resort town, south and west of Donegal Town. I stayed overnight, and spent some time wandering along the seafront. 

Bloody Foreland and Slieve League

Bloody Foreland

The Slieve League cliffs, west of Donegal Town, are among the highest in Europe. 

A coastal lookout tower. Watchtowers were built around the coast of western Ireland to watch for Napoleon's invasion fleet - like the Martello Towers in eastern Ireland, England and the Channel Islands, they were placed so that each tower could see (and signal to) the next along the coast. Unlike the round Martello towers, though, these are all square two-story houses. There's a picture of another at Mullet Peninsula in County Mayo and one on Inisheer on this site. 

Slieve League cliffs

Pied Wagtail

Sure-footed Sheep on the Slieve League cliffs

Arranmore Island

Leabgarrow Harbour - The view from my B&B window

Arranmore is the only island I visited which had a car ferry - two of them, actually, using identical boats painted red or blue. Make sure you get on the right color boat coming back, or you could wind up paying twice. The boats are like WWII landing craft, with up to about six cars backing into the well when the ramp is dropped and driving straight out on arrival. 

Goldfinch - like the robin, this isn't the same as our American goldfinches. A very colorful bird, indeed. 

Arranmore Lighthouse on the west coast of the island. By the time I got here, the weather had deteriorated and the wind picked up to the point that it ripped the car door out of my hands. Needless to say, my visit to the light was scenic, but brief. 

Peat bog, with cut turfs waiting for the rain to stop so they can dry

The Coast Guard station is next to the lighthouse. It was burned during the Civil War in 1923, and is in ruins. 

Inishowen Peninsula

The Inishowen Peninsula lies on the easternmost extent of Donegal, adjoining Londonderry in Northern Ireland. Lough Swilly, on the west, was used as a Royal Navy harbour through the First World War (Ireland was independent, and neutral, by the time of WWII). Lough Foyle, on the east, separates Donegal and Londonderry. 


Riding on the beach

The River Crana runs past the B&B I stayed at in Buncrana. 

Inishowen Famine Village - the owner of the museum grew up in the thatched house on the left at the end of the street. It was abandoned in the early 1980's, and lay empty until he returned to turn it (and some other buildings he built or moved in) into a tourist attraction.  

In addition to the exhibits on Irish life around the time of the famine, the Village has a section on the Troubles, with a Loyalist Hall and a Republican Safe House - complete with secret doors to get from room to room.

The interior of the thatched cottage which formed the basis of the Famine Village. The red box next to the fireplace was the Kitchen Bed, an enclosed bed near the warmth of the fire. 

Fort Dunree - a former Royal Army and, later, Irish, fort, now a Military Museum. The fort stands on an imposing location overlooking the entrance to Lough Swilly.

Inishowen from Fort Dunree

Lough Swilly from Fort Dunree

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All pictures Copyright 2011 Mike Brown