Bundoran is the jewel in the crown of the North West with something for everybody – splendid beaches, thrilling outdoor adventure and a wealth of family friendly activities
A well-known surfing paradise Bundoran was named in the World’s top 20 surfing resorts by National Geographic in 2012. There are a number of surf schools offering surf and stay packages and courses for novices dreaming of chasing their first wave and the more experienced surfer looking to take on some challenges.
However, Bundoran is not just a surfers paradise – it is also a Family Friendly Designated area and the kids will be kept busy with an indoor aqua centre, a cinema, a selection of playgrounds (both indoor and outdoor), a bowling alley and pitch & putt course.
Bundoran is also a great base for the lovers of the outdoors. It’s the perfect stop off for cyclists taking on the 326km North West Cycle Trail which weaves its way through counties Donegal, Sligo, Fermanagh, Tyrone and Leitrim.
If you are a festival fan, Bundoran won’t disappoint. The Sea Sessions music festival in June attracts top Irish and international bands. There is also a regular country music circuit with top acts playing in one of Bundoran’s many top venues.
It is believed that locals thought the Fairy Bridges to be haunted by the fairies, which resulted in them being named “The Fairy Bridges”. Due to the peculiar rock formations in the area, a series of natural “blow” or “puffing” holes exist. This causes the seawater, when tidal conditions dictate, to crash through and blow water upwards. Early travellers to the area were thought to be more interested in coming to see the Fairy Bridges than to experience the natural health benefits of the area’s golden beaches and proximity to the wild Atlantic Ocean. Indeed, the natural rock formation was one of the main things to see in Bundoran at the time.
The Wishing Chair gives visitors the opportunity to take advantage of the "magical powers" of the natural stone chair located adjacent to the Fairy Bridges. Having gone through the official ritual (sitting slowly, contemplating the stunning surroundings, and then tapping the chair twice), wishers are advised to keep their dreams a secret in the hope that they will become true.
Bundoran Golf Club,
One of the oldest golf clubs in Ireland is situated overlooking Donegal Bay on the Wild Atlantic Way. There golfer friendly Course with panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean on one side and with a backdrop of the magnificent Dartry Mountains, presents a challenge to all golfers.
Bundoran, a challenging Par 70, is a clifftop links on a headland jutting out into the bay. As you wind your way around the Course you may see surfers, seals and many visitors enjoying the famous Roguey Walk.
Mullaghmore is a small fishing village that should be on any outdoor enthusiast’s itinerary. The sandy beach here stretches as far as the eye can see and is ideal for a spot of swimming or windsurfing. You can also venture out into the Atlantic for an excursion to Inishmurray Island or a sea angling trip. If you’re more of a landlubber, there’s plenty here for you too. Go for a leisurely stroll and take in panoramic views of Sliabh Liag or watch the waves crash under Classiebawn Castle. You can also enjoy surfing as a spectator sport, remaining on the beach while watching top international surfers ride some of Europe’s best waves. Many come for Prowlers – a famous spot where swells can reach up to 30m – and practice the towing technique involving jet skis. These skilled big wave surfers are exciting to watch, but the waves tend to be best in the winter months, so you’ll no doubt want to hurry back into a cosy pub where you can warm up by the fire.
SLIABH LIAG CLIFFS (SLIEVE LEAGUE)Donegal
These stunning cliffs are some of the finest marine cliffs in Europe. Accessible all year round and standing 600m tall, the sheer drop down into the crashing Atlantic swells below is quite the sight. We advise you ditch the car and walk the few miles from the car park to the cliffs. Experienced walkers should venture beyond the viewing point onto One Man’s Pass, which loops around onto the Pilgrim’s Path. Stand on the edge and breathe in deep – guaranteed to blow away the cobwebs!
Benbulbin and Kings Mtn Loop Walk.Sligo
Benbulben is known as County Sligo’s 'Table Mountain' and is part of the Dartry Mountains. Benbulben was formed as a result of the different responses to erosion of the limestone and shale of which the mountain is formed. A hard and resistant limestone forms the upper cliffs and precipices. Benbulben was formed during the Ice age, when large parts of the earth were under glaciers. It was originally merely a large ridge, however the moving glaciers cut into the earth, leaving a distinct formation, now called Benbulben.
The steeper sides of Benbulben are composed of large amounts of Dartry limestone on top of smaller amounts of Glencar limestone. The smoother sides are composed of Benbulben shale. These rocks formed in the area approximately 320 million years ago. Barytes was mined at Glencarbury on the Benbulben range between 1894 and 1979.
Benbulben hosts a unique variety of plants, possessing some organisms found nowhere else in Ireland. Many are artic alpine plants, due to the mountain's height, which allows for cooler temperatures than is normal. These plants were deposited when the glaciers that created Benbulben melted. Insects, hares and foxes inhabit Benbulben.
It is possible to climb Benbulben as there is a looped access trail but it is strongly advised that you have a guide to hike Benbulben
Creevykeel Court Tomb
Hear whispers from the past at this Neolithic tomb, one of the finest examples of a full court tomb in Ireland. First excavated in 1935 and shortly thereafter restored, Creevykeel Court Tomb, which dates from between 4000 – 2500 BC was once brimming with ancient treasures. The structure consists of a long, trapeze-shaped cairn enclosing an oval court where ceremonies were performed, and a burial chamber of two compartments. Inside, decorated and undecorated Neolithic pottery, flint arrowheads, polished stone axes and other artifacts, including a chalk ball, have been found, along with evidence of four cremation burials. Step back in time to the Ireland of long ago, where rites and rituals reigned.