Ireland Day 14 - Wild Atlantic Way in Donegal

Friday, 22 September 2023 20:30

After a very pleasant stay in Annagry at the best hotel so far, the Caisleain Oir, I continued on along the descriptively named “Around the Mountains of Donegal” road which essentially follows the coast forming part of the Wild Atlantic Way. I keep mentioning the weather but only for interest not an issue. The wind continues to blow though more from the north now with the result that heavy showers are still separated by pleasant sunny periods. Good enough for me. My initial target was Fanad Head and its attractive lighthouse. I had been thinking of quite a long travel day but decided to take more time at Fanad with the excellent lighthouse tour. There was a mixture on the tour including guests from New Zealand and the US. A small select group entertained by a fine local guide. This coincided with a sunny spell although I did get a bit wet just before I got in the car. It was then back down the very nice Fanad peninsula to the horrors of Letterkenny traffic, where I had chosen to charge the car. Although the car charged quickly I spent about 25 minutes getting through the town, covering less then 5 km. Although not scientific my assessment is that traffic is a problem in small towns here, partly because they are generally on a river with restricted crossing points and only a rare sight of a bus, except tourist coaches, and no bikes! Job done I went north again along the east side of Lough Wissy to Dunree where I expected to enjoy another, although much quainter, lighthouse. In my original plan I would have carried on to Malin Head but not today. The lighthouse was not accessible as a result of locked gates. Since these lighthouses have become self catering locations I suspect this was the reason as it is only a tiny site. There is a fort at Dunree which defended Lough Wissy, a deep water harbour that was used by the Royal Navy in WW1. There are a few coastal walks and I took the easiest one as my leg continues to improve. Very nice and very quiet with beautiful purple heather. I came back south to my overnight near Derry in an unassuming roadside hotel, the Frontier Hotel. It is very well appointed and the bar was buzzing with families and after work drinkers and they served a decent steak. The headline picture is from Fanad Head and I will continue to caption as I go along.

Here are a couple of photos this morning in Annagry.

As I was passing Portnablagh I noticed the waves crashing in so pulled in for a couple of pictures. It was still quite early ensuring pleasant soft light on the hills

Before crossing the Harry Blaney Bridge to Fanad I passed Doe Castle in its lovely setting.

Now a few photos from Fanad Head Lighthouse. 

Powering the light is a tiny powerful LED array.

Our New Zealand guest found the stairs a challenge but nobody feell, even me.

These are said to be the only complete original set of signal flags

The land at the far left on the horizon is close to Malin Head, the most northerly point on the island of Ireland

Lough Wissy

More powerful waves

At Lisfanan, on the way to Dunree, I saw what appeared to be an empty beach. Not so

At Dunree you can look up Lough Wissy to Fanad Head and for a brief moment the lighthouse was standing out clearly 5km away.

The fort at Dunree is a military museum with lots of hardware around like coastal guns

The coastal walk was enhanced by some still blooming heather. Always a treat.

Paint them red and I could be in Canada. :-)

The Elephants were a surprise

A glimpse of the lighthouse and a look back at Dunree Fort finishes today’s photos.