St Patrick’s Day for the family was spent in Glenveagh National Park in Co. Donegal, surely one of the most beautiful places in Ireland. Although the light wasn’t great on this occasion, its not the sort of place I can visit without taking the camera out. On arrival, straight away almost, we were greeted with magnificent views along Lough Beagh, with dramatic mountains rising vertically from the shores.
There is car parking and a visitor centre at the entrance to the park, and shuttle buses which take you the 2.5km to the castle, but I would recommend walking instead, as there are great views along the way, including those below towards Muckish Mountain.
Another view along the lough.
Some of the smaller scale views were also hard to resist.
Close-up of the exposed wood in a fallen tree.
The castle is approached via the gardens, which are full of interest, one of the most impressive features being a pair of stone statues from Bali, created there to ward off evil spirits.
The gardens would bear repeated visits to appreciate the differnet seasons. At this time of year, snowdrops were visible – a classic sign of the arrival of spring.
And also this appropriate looking plant on St Patrick’s day.
A view from inside of one of the castle’s towers.
Some views of the castle and its grounds.
The park has many trails – too many to walk on one trip, so we opted for the walk to the viewpoint high above the castle. As we gained height, there were increasingly impressive views over the lough, nearby mountains, and down on the castle, although rain had moved in at this stage making clear photographs difficult.
Time for the walk back to the car park, and some more detail shots on the way.
And a few more wider views of the lough and mountains.
We had only been able to explore a fraction of what the park has to offer, and you could spend a lifetime here without getting bored. We fully intend to return to investigate further, and experience it in different seasons. There may be the chance to see red deer, or a golden eagle, and hopefully even some better weather! If you get a chance to visit, don’t miss it.