The North West of Ireland is known for its rugged, unspoiled natural beauty, with stunning coastal landscapes, rolling hills, and lush green countryside. From the North Atlantic waves crashing against the cliff faces, the spectacular views from the region’s mountains to the magnificent sandy beaches scattered all around the vast coastline.
The history of the peoples of the region goes back thousands of years and due to its remoteness, the evidence of these peoples can still be seen to this very day in numerous locations throughout the area.
From the rock art and stone circles of pre-history to the early medieval high crosses marking the sites of the numerous monasteries that were built in the area, The northwest must of been thriving during this period of history. You also have the late middle-age castles and forts of the various clans scattered throughout the area.
The North West of Ireland encompasses the northernmost part of the famous Wild Atlantic Way and the Causeway Coastal Route. It also includes the most northerly point on the island at Malin Head on the Inishowen Peninsula.
The North West is home to a significant portion of the Wild Atlantic Way, a 2,500 km coastal route that stretches along Ireland’s western seaboard. Here are some of the features of the Wild Atlantic Way in Donegal and Sligo.
- Slieve League Cliffs: The Slieve League Cliffs are some of the highest sea cliffs in Europe and offer stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean.
- Fanad Head Lighthouse: The Fanad Head Lighthouse is an iconic landmark that offers stunning views of the coastline. Visitors can take a tour of the lighthouse and learn about its history and the role it played in guiding ships along the coast.
- Glenveagh National Park: Glenveagh National Park is a wilderness area that covers over 16,000 hectares of stunning scenery, including mountains, lakes, and forests. It is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including red deer, golden eagles, and peregrine falcons.
- Horn Head: Horn Head is a rugged headland that offers stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean. Visitors can stop off and take in the spectacular scenery.
- Inishowen Peninsula: The Inishowen Peninsula is a stunningly beautiful area that offers visitors the chance to explore unspoiled beaches, historic landmarks, and rugged countryside.
- Donegal Town: Donegal Town is a historic town that is located on the coast of Donegal Bay. It also has a wide variety of shops, pubs, and restaurants.
- Mullaghmore Head: Mullaghmore Head is a scenic headland that juts out into the Atlantic Ocean. It has stunning views of the ocean and surrounding coastline, as well as the opportunity to enjoy water sports such as surfing and kayaking.
- Benbulben: Benbulben is a dramatic tabletop mountain that is visible from miles around. It is a popular destination for hikers and offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside.
- Glencar Waterfall: Glencar Waterfall is a picturesque waterfall that is located in the heart of the Sligo countryside. It is a popular destination for hikers and visitors who want to experience the natural beauty of the area.
- Strandhill Beach: Strandhill Beach is a popular destination for surfers and beach-goers. It is located just a few miles from Sligo Town.
The Causeway Coast is a stunningly beautiful stretch of coastline in Northern Ireland that is known for its dramatic seascapes, rugged cliffs, and historic landmarks.
- Giant’s Causeway: The Giant’s Causeway is a natural wonder that attracts visitors from around the world. It is made up of over 40,000 interlocking basalt columns that were formed by volcanic activity millions of years ago. The columns form a series of stepping stones that lead into the sea, and they are a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge: The Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge is a popular attraction that offers visitors the chance to cross a narrow rope bridge that spans a 30-meter chasm. The bridge leads to a small island that is home to a fisherman’s cottage, and it offers stunning views of the surrounding coastline.
- Dunluce Castle: Dunluce Castle is a 16th-century castle that sits on a cliff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. It was once the home of the MacDonnell clan, and it is said to have inspired C.S. Lewis’s description of Cair Paravel in The Chronicles of Narnia.
- Whiterocks Beach: Whiterocks Beach is a beautiful sandy beach that is popular with surfers and sunbathers alike. It is known for its distinctive limestone cliffs, which are home to a variety of seabirds.