Bundoran is blessed with so many great things to do in the local area – some of these are in the town and some are within a short driving distance. If you’re here for a few days then there’s no better base for going to explore the region – Check out some of our favourite top attractions in the locality below!
The Gleniff Horseshoe
One of the hidden gems of the area and guaranteed to make you go “Wow”, the Gleniff Horseshoe is located in north County Sligo and is 15km from Bundoran via the N15 Sligo Road. The “horseshoe” is a 9km (5.6 miles) looped drive within a valley surrounded by the Dartry Mountains, the rear of Benbulben, Tievebaun and Truskmore. There are convenient parking facilities at the start of the loop with picnic tables and some nice forest walks.
As you begin your walk or drive, you can’t help but to notice the wide landscape of forestry and mountainous terrain but don’t forget to glance behind you to see wonderful panoramic views of Mullaghmore and Donegal Bay. As you get half way round you’ll see a cave nestled high in the cliff face. Known as Diarmuid & Grainne’s cave, the story dates back to Irish mythology one of the best warriors of the legendary Fionn McCumhaill.
Diarmuid decided to run off with Fionn’s fiance Grainne, hotly pursued around the country by Fionn and his men, eventually cornering them on Benbulben but not before Diarmuid met a grisly end courtesy of a wild boar – said to be the only creature who could harm him. Legend has it that they were found in the cave. Read more on the story here and here. Directions via Google Maps here
Another spectacular attraction just a 35 minute drive from Bundoran (via Manorhamilton, 40 mins via Grange). Glencar Waterfall is 50ft high and is situated at Glencar Lough. The lake, waterfall and its surrounding served as an inspiration to the William Butler Yeats and features in his poem ‘The Stolen Child’
‘Where the wandering water gushes
From the hills above Glen-Car,
In pools among the rushes
That scarce could bathe a star,’
The attraction is free of charge to visit and there is also free parking. A cafe added in recent years serves tea, coffee and snacks as well as selling souvenirs. Nearby you can also check out Ireland’s Tallest Waterfall – the Devil’s Chimney. The waterfall is unique in that during stormy weather, the water flows upwards!!! Directions via Google Maps here
On the other side of Donegal Bay, where the mountains sweep down to the sea, lies Sliabh Liag – the highest accessible sea cliffs in Europe reaching 3 times higher than the Cliffs of Moher! Sliabh Liag is a walker’s paradise and offers various trails for different skill and fitness levels. The famous One Man’s Path loops around onto the Pilgrim’s Path and is not for the faint hearted. Brave the One Man’s Path and experienced walkers will reach the summit of the majestic cliffs, where they can gaze over the sea from a high vantage point and soak up the terrific panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean, the Sligo Mountains and Donegal Bay. Google Maps to the Car Park
One of the 15 signature discovery points on the Wild Atlantic Way, historic Mullaghmore Head offers views of Donegal Bay, Benbulben and the Dartry mountains. Also visible as you drive around the head is Classiebawn Castle, once the home of Lord Louis Mountbatton until his death in 1979.
The legendary Irish poet William Butler Yeats is buried in Drumcliffe Churchyard at St Columba’s Church “under bare Benbulben’s head”. Thousands of visitors flock to this site annually to pay their respects. A tearoom beside the church serves lots of nice goodies and sells crafts and souvenirs. You’ll find the grave on the main N15 Bundoran to Sligo Road. Google Maps here
Top local attractions in the area
Donegal Bay Waterbus
Take a cruise on Donegal Bay with the magnificent Waterbus. Departing from the pier at Donegal Town, the Waterbus will bring you on a 70 minute cruise into the bay with entertainment and craic. Sailing times vary due to tides so please check their Facebook page for the next sailing time.
Donegal Railway Centre
The Donegal Railway Heritage Centre is housed in the former Donegal Town Railway Station and offers a wonderful museum of all things to do with the railways. For more on the museum abd railway centre, check out their website here. Get Directions via Google Maps here
The Paupers’ Graveyard, also known as the Famine Graveyard, was used as a burial place for people from the Ballyshannon Workhouse, before, during and after the Irish famine. Find out more information here. Directions via Google Maps here.
Just 13km from Bundoran is the world famous Belleek Pottery. Known across the globe this working factory offers a tour and shop to purchase all ranges of the pottery and has been in business since 1857. Check their website here and get directions via Google Maps here
Magho Viewpoint & Blackslee Waterfall
Just over 30 minutes drive from Bundoran are the magnificent Cliffs of Magho in County Fermanagh situated in Lough Navar Forest. Take in the sights overlooking Lough Erne and enjoy some of the trail walks. Nearby Lough Achork offers a nice walk around the lake. En route to the viewing point the Blackslee Waterfall walk can also be found. Directions via Google Maps here
Oakfield Park, Raphoe
Oakfield Park is an eighteenth century Georgian Deanery, which has won several National awards for the restoration of its gardens and buildings. Sitting in a lush landscape of parklands and mature woodlands, overlooking the distant Croaghan Mountain, the grounds include a traditional walled garden and kitchen garden. Find info on their website here. Directions via Google Maps here
Glenveagh National Park
This is the second largest national park in the country and located in the heart of the Derryveagh mountains. Glenveagh is steeped in history. It comprises pristine lakes, tumbling waterfalls, rugged mountains and enchanted native oak woodland. At the centre of the park lies Glenveagh Castle. It was built in the late 19th century as a hunting lodge.
In 1983 the castle was bestowed unto the Irish state along with the gardens and many of the contents. The national park opened to visitors in 1984. If you are a walker there are many trails to take. Indeed you could spend a whole day exploring this wonderful amenity which sits in the north west of the county. Some restrictions are in place due to Covid-19 – read the details on their website here. Directions via Google Maps here.
A little bit further than the previous attractions, the park is 95km away via Letterkenny but well worth the trip. If time permits after your visit to the park, then you should take the chance to visit the ruined church at Dunlewey and Errigal mountain.
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