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Glengesh Pass and County Donegal/Adara

Glengesh Pass and County Donegal/Adara

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Posted Sat 30 Dec 2017 7:43 PM
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Need advice for touring the scenic area of county Donegal and cannot locate the actual map/route for the Glengesh Pass.  Are the waterfalls near the pass (Assaranca, Owenwee River Waterfalls).

Question- what is the start -end of the Glengesh Pass and how long does it take ( I have seen it is 15 miles, but does this equate to an hour or more?

 We will be coming from Castlebar and plan to spend the night in either Adara or Dungloe.  Then visiting the Glenveagh Park the next day before going to Northern Ireland.

Appreciate any recommendations - we are visiting in mid April 2018
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Posted Sun 31 Dec 2017 12:02 PM
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Hello Patricia,

County Donegal is a beautiful part of the country to spend some time and the Glengesh Pass is a spectacular drive indeed!

As you will be coming up from Castlebar, the best start point would be Glencolumbkille. The R230 is the number of the actual road which takes you up to and through the Glengesh Pass and on towards Ardara.The distance is about 15 miles (26km) and will take approximately 35 to 40 minutes to drive. There will be plenty of times that you will wish to stop and take a look at the views, so I would allow a little more time.

The drive around from Castlebar towards Glencolumbkille will also take you close to Slieve League, the highest cliffs in Europe. This would also be a fantastic place to stop for a photo or even a wee walk along the cliff tops!

The Assaranca waterfall is not too far away, once you have reached the end of your journey over the pass. On reaching the N56 turn left towards Ardara, but take a small road not too far along the road towards Killystewart, there will be a brown Tourist Information sign for the falls. 

Ardara and Dungloe would both be suitable for the evening stop, depending on how your time goes the day before. Dungloe is closer to Glenveagh National Park giving you more time at the park and gardens before making your way on to Northern Ireland.

We hope that this helps with your plans for your time in County Donegal. Where have you planned to see during your time in Northern Ireland?

Speak soon,

Martin





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Posted Sun 31 Dec 2017 1:45 PM
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Martin - thank you so much for the prompt response.  We have a whirlwind 2 week driving trip around Ireland round trip from Shannon.  There truly is not enough time to see it all.  For the Donegal area portion my thoughts are below, though quite ambitious
Castlebar in the morning drive through Sligo (~1-1.5 hrs, the Abbey does not open until 10am so this likely would not be an option)
Castebar to Donegal (1-2.5 hrs)  Donegal  (see Donegal Castle exterior, lunch and/or pick up picnic/snacks?)
Donegal to Glencolumbkille 1-2+hrs
  •       likely don't have time for the hike to Slieve League (thoughts, we will have hopefully seen the Cliffs of Moher)
  •       possible stop at the Silver Strand, lunch at  The Village Shop & Coffee House, Malin Beg
Glencolumbkille to Adara  scenic drive 1-2+ hr
  •     possible stops to Caves of Maghera & Assurance waterfall at the end of the pass before heading into Adara
Option- eat dinner in Ardara and sleep in Dungloe? thoughts 
The above shows about 5+ hrs of driving only - if we start at 8am  and plan to arrive at Dungloe by sunset (20:30 pm), this is busy but doable and allows some flexibility and if we enjoy an area, some stops will need to be omitted
For Northern Ireland we have 2 nights schedule and plan to drive the coast road, see Giant's Causeway, hopefully get tickets first thing in the am for the Carrick a Rede rope bridge.  We are actually skipping the Belfast and Dublin for my 2 week portion of the trip.  My husband is in England for extended business and he'll have time for Dublin at the end of our time together though.
Many thanks!!!


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Posted Sun 31 Dec 2017 5:04 PM
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Sounds like a wonderful plan for the day, and certainly a full day at that!

With the schools back after the Easter break, the morning traffic in and around Sligo and Donegal may impact on your travel time. That said, a stop at Silver Strand and a lunch break in Malin Beg sounds like a wonderful way to fill your time.

As you drive along you will be able to take in the stunning views that Slieve League allows, even if you have to miss the opportunity to stop.

The Caves of Maghera would be a wonderful addition to the visit to Assaranca Waterfall, with an early dinner in Ardara before finishing for the night in Dungloe.

The Causeway Coastal route is a stunning drive as well, joining some of the beautiful beaches of Portsalon and Portrush, Old Bushmills Distillery and Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge as well as the Giant's Causeway. 

I am sure other members will have great suggestions too. 

Best wishes and please keep us up to date as your plans develop,

Martin
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Posted Tue 9 Jan 2018 11:22 AM
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Hi Patricia,

I wonder how your plans for your trip to Ireland are progressing.  I expect you are looking forward to it.

May I endorse what Martin has already said regarding the scenic Causeway Coastal Route, known as one of the world’s great road journeys.  After spending the night in Dungloe, you could visit Glenveagh National Park before heading towards Derry/Londonderry where you can pick up the A2 coastal route. http://www.visitcausewaycoastandglens.com/Portals/0/downloads/CCRMap2016.pdf

Depending on time and your priorities, you might like to explore the Walled City or you may want to head towards Downhill Demesne and the Mussenden Temple, before continuing across the River Bann at Coleraine and out along the coast again. It might be convenient to stay around Bushmills or the Giant’s Causeway, giving you time to explore the famous hexagonal stones the next morning as well as Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge.  Then you can continue towards Ballycastle and the Glens of Antrim.

I do hope you have a lovely trip and that you return home with many great memories.

Kind regards,

Mary.



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