The last part of my series of posts on a drive along the coast from Donegal Town to Muckross Head, and a little beyond to Kilcar and Croaghmuckros. I had skipped ahead in my previous post to the end of the drive, missing out this section as I felt Muckross Head deserved its own separate post.
Muckross Head is found at the end of a small peninsula, with a beach on either side of the narrow neck (see previous posts). After visiting the beaches, I took the short drive out to the end of the road, near the headland. Along the way I stopped beside the rocky shoreline to take in the impressive views towards Croaghmuckros, and further to Slieve League.
On the rocky shoreline of the peninsula, looking towards Croaghmuckros. It looked so attractive that I went there after leaving Muckross Head for a walk to the summit.
Fantastic, weathered rocks on the shore, with the beautiful Slieve League in the distance.
It wasn’t just the surrounding hills and mountains that attracted me to this spot, but also the rocks at my feet, shaped by the Atlantic into photogenic forms.
There was also some washed up flotsam which I couldn’t identify.
Does anyone know what this is? I’m at a loss.
A closer look at the honeycombed structure of the unidentified object.
Moving a little higher, closer to the headland, the shore took on a rocky character which made for some great foreground interest. This is a small area, so for the rest of my visit I’m afraid I ended up taking a lot of shots with similar backgrounds, mainly Slieve League, because I wanted to photograph the rocks in the foreground.
I found the rocky shore endlessly fascinating.
I was now approaching one of the most famous aspects of Muckross Head, the horizontal layers of sandstone and mudstone. These have eroded at different rates, leaving a banded structure, overhanging in parts. It is beloved of rock climbers who scale it from the flat tidal platform below.
It is possible to get around sometimes on to the platform below the overhang on the far side, but when I was visiting, the waves were crashing up over the platform in a high spray. My camera gear would definitely have been ruined if I had tried it, so I retreated and circled around to the top of the overhang instead where I could get views from above.
Waves crashing against the platform.
Time to turn back and try a different approach.
Up on the headland.
Views along the low cliffs.
From up on the headland there was a great view along the overhanging, layered cliff on top of the flat, tidal platform.
The cliff tops along here are another one of those locations that I’ve visited and mentioned in previous posts where “Eire” was carved into the ground in huge letters and filled in with white stones to let planes during World War II know that they were flying over neutral Ireland so that the country wouldn’t get bombed.
Moving on around the cliffs, the exposed rock provided endless fantastic rock forms to photograph.
Its a compact little area, full of interest, and I soon found myself back at the overhanging cliffs. The whole headland can be explored in a short walk.
Back at the car, it is a short drive back out to the Killybegs to Kilcar coast road, but I stopped a couple of more times in that short distance for quick shots.
Muckross Head is found on a stunning stretch of coastline, and would be easily overlooked, but it is well worth the short diversion for a visit. The only problem is that you might find it more difficult to leave again!