Glencolmcille Tower Walk Part 1

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The Napoleonic watch tower on the headland overlooking Glencolmcille.

 

Back in June, and for my birthday, my wife organised a trip for the family to Glencolmcille in Co. Donegal.  I have posted on the area before, mainly around the village itself and from Silver Strand beach at Malin Beg.  On this trip as we were staying down for a few days, we would be able to explore further, and do a bit more walking.  We arrived early on the first day, and after checking in to our accommodation, started out straight away on our first walk.  There are a couple of waymarked routes up to the headland of Glen Head north of the village – the Tower Loop and The Drum Loop.  We decided to partially follow the Tower Loop, taking our own route to suit what we wanted to see and avoid exhausting our son.  Our route started at St Columba’s Church, and followed the road initially, then a track ascending the headland up to the watch tower at the top of Glen Head.

 

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Approaching Glencolmcille, we could see Glen Head, with the watch tower just visible, in the distance.

 

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The old carved cross pillar at St Columba’s Church as we started the walk.  The headland we were making for  is in the background.  The pillar dates from around 700 – 800 AD.

 

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Yellow Iris growing in many spots along the roadside on the initial part of the walk.

 

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Off the road now, and following the track up the hillside to the headland.

 

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Looking over to Rossan Point.

 

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The track winding its way up the hillside.

 

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Coming up to the top of headland here.

 

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The watch tower becomes visible as we ascend over the lip of the hill.  The tower was built around 1805 by the British to guard against French invasion.  There are several of these dotted around the Irish coast.

 

Despite the increasing cloud and wind, making the day chillier, it seemed like a good spot to stop for lunch – a picnic on the cliff top overlooking the Atlantic.

 

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A long, steep drop to the sea.

 

At this point we veered off the Tower Loop walk, which circles back inland, instead electing to continue along the coastal cliffs to the magnificent Sturrall Head.

 

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Sturrall Head, a little further along the coast.

 

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Continues to Sturrall Head in Part 2.

Previous post on Glencolmcille – https://aidymcglynn.wordpress.com/2015/05/21/glencolmcille/

 

2 thoughts on “Glencolmcille Tower Walk Part 1

  1. Great shots mate,
    The tower is quite interesting, many of the Napoleonic Towers especially up near Dublin were known as Martello’s and where circular in design. Much of this tower house seems to have medieval castle designs such as the Machicolations.

    1. Cheers Ed. There are a few of the circular type up this direction too – in Magilligan in Derry, and one in Inishowen that I know of. This type are more common in Donegal though, although they are still sometimes referred to as Martellos I think.

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