Around Inishowen 100
AROUND INISHOWEN 100
Drive the Famous Inishowen 100 Route and you will discover the hidden gems that lie within this magnificent location known as the Crown of Ireland.
GRIANAN OF AILEACH
This majestic circular stone fort commands it’s prominence on a hilltop, sitting 250m above sea level, offering 360 degree breath taking views of rolling country side. Origins of the circular site are believed to date from around 1700BC. Steeped in legend it was home to the ancient Irish High Kings, and has important connections with ancient monasteries in Donegal.
The fort or cashel was restored in the 1870’s and is the centrepiece of the site, 23m in internal diameter with walls measuring approximately 4m in thickness. It is thought that St Patrick visited the site in the 5th century and baptised the local chieftain, Eoghan from whom Inis Eoghan (Inishowen) gets its name. The fort has been chosen as one of the landmarks included on the new Irish passport.
ST. PATRICK'S HIGH CROSS & PILLAR STONES
The St. Patrick’s High Cross at Carndonagh is believed to be the oldest of its kind in Ireland and is likely to date from the 7th century. The interlace patterns on the top of the cross are similar to those on the Book of Durrow, dating from the same period. It has a carving of Christ on the east face. Standing beside the cross are two pillar stones. The one on the north shows David the Warrior and David the Harpist, while that on the south has, among other figures, a monk carrying a book, a crozier and a hand bell.
FORT DUNREE MILITARY MUSEUM
Fort Dunree, Dun Fhraoigh in Irish means, Fort of the Heather. Built on The fort is located on a rocky promontory , it was built as a defensive structure located above a steep cliff, originally built as part of a series of fortifications defending Lough Swilly during the Napoleonic wars. Dunree is situated opposite Knockalla Fort on the other side of the Swilly and further up the Swilly than Leenan Fort. Dunree is surrounded with stunning natural beauty and hosts walking pathways with breath taking views, after which you can relax in the café. Dunree is host to many exhibitions, wildlife talks, and a military museum.
INCH WILDFOWL RESERVE
Located in the shadow of Grianan Of Ailleach Fort you will find thousands of migratory birds including, swans, ducks, geese and other waders visit this wonderful place. During the summer months the reserve is alive with activity as a vast variety of birds make this their home rearing their young around the lake. The 8km looped pathways with seating around the reserve are suitable for outdoor recreational activity such as walking, running and cycling. There are excellent viewpoints of the Atlantic Ocean and a number of bird hides which are open to the public. Open all year round.
INISHOWEN MARITIME MUSEUM & PLANETARIUM
Inishowen Maritime Museum & New Planetarium is conveniently located in the old coastguard station, only 100 yards from the Lough Foyle ferry landing at Greencastle. Part of the WAW Route the museum has an extensive collection of artefacts, exhibitions and memorabilia of all things maritime. Theatre shows run daily as well as astronomy and prehistoric sea monsters shows, global climate and our kid’s favourite the Enchanted Reef! Children’s shows are suitable from 4yrs.
IOSAS CENTRE & CELTIC PRAYER GARDEN
The Celtic Prayer Garden is a six-acre site laid out in the shape of the island of Ireland which depicts the lives of all the major saints of Ireland’s Golden Age. You can tour the garden, enjoy its wonderful peace and natural beauty and learn more about our common Celtic Christian heritage. We also have a Café, gift shop and an organic vegetable farm.