Bundoran’s Hidden Gem
The Fairy Bridges and the Wishing Chair
Tullan Strand, Bundoran, Co Donegal
Coming from South to North on the Wild Atlantic Way, Bundoran’s Tullan Strand is proud to be the first Discovery Point you will meet in County Donegal and what a place to start!
With scenic views for 360 degrees you can see back into Mullaghmore, County Sligo and across Donegal Bay to the magical Slieve League Cliffs.
As you begin the Roguey Walk Experience, you will arrive at the stunning Fairy Bridges – sea stacks hundreds of years old and Bundoran’s original tourist attraction back in the 1800s. However, it is believed that as far back as the 1700s locals thought these to be haunted by the fairies with the result of the name “The Fairy Bridges”.
While you’re there, take a seat on Bundoran’s own Wishing Chair. It is said that many of the town’s famous visitors over the years have sat here overlooking the wild Atlantic Ocean – from poet William Allingham to golfer Christy O’Connor Jr to Viscount Enniskillen to 10 times world champion surfer Kelly Slater – they’re all believed to have sat in Bundoran’s famous Wishing Chair located at the Fairy Bridges at Tullan Strand.
Legend says it is advised to approach the chair with caution lest the powers of the chair be disrupted. Wishers are advised to sit down slowly holding on to both “arms” of the chair and then pause for at least 15 seconds to take in the stunning scenery that surrounds them – Donegal Bay to their left, Tullan Strand straight ahead and the Dartry Mountains to the right. It is useful to contemplate the figures, possible heroes and heroines who may have sat in the chair in the years and the centuries ahead of them, before making their wish which must be done in silence and kept private to the wisher in order to increase the chances of it coming true. Finally it is believed that tapping the seat twice as you get up will give your final commitment that your wish is a genuine one.
The Fairy Bridges has seen its fair share of history including, in 1944, the crash of a Halifax plane heading for the Donegal Corridor. Read more about it here
This extract taken from a poem simply titled “Bundoran” which appears in the 1944 Bundoran Visitor’s Guide,
written by former Town Clerk Edward Daly
The Fairy Bridges where the sprits,
In moon-lit splendour sport and play,
Span chasms dark and lowering where
The Iashing waters dash and spray.
And then the dear old Wishing Chair,
Where heart sick maids petitions lay,
Where thousands found each wish come true,
And ever bless the “happy day”.