Shear drops of over 300m!

In doing a spot of research for this post, I found so many more references to the Cliffs of Moher in County Clare than I did for the Slieve League (Grey Mountain), County Donegal.  However, it’s the quartzite cliffs of Slieve League that are actually the highest sea cliffs, not just in Ireland, but in all of Europe too with an almost shear drop of 601m (just under 2000 feet).

Map of the general area

My husband and I were based for a few nights at a little B&B outside Donegal.  Our first full day in Ireland, was actually spent in Northern Ireland, visiting the Giant’s Causeway.  The day before this particular geological foray was the day we arrived at Dublin airport and drove all the way up to Donegal.  Not content with that 3-4 hour journey alone, we dropped off our luggage and scooted off along the coastal road towards Carrick and then on to Teelin to visit the sea cliffs.  It was, after all, the most glorious weather – and we didn’t want to squander the sun. – The following day was drizzly and grey… A reminder to make sure that we seize the day!

Route of the coastal walk/track from lower to upper car park

After parking the car at the lower of the two car parks this tourist attraction has to offer (both are free), we walked up and down hills all along the coastal road for 1.5km until we reached the top car park and the main view-point for this spectacular site/sight.

The view back across the Bay of Donegal

The last 500m of this road is single-track and is not for the faint-hearted should you choose to drive instead of getting yourself some exercise!  The track is, in places, perilously close to the edge – with some impressive drops down to the sea.

View of the coastal track on the approach to Slieve League

Given that it was late afternoon, and we would have to walk the return 1.5km and drive back to Donegal, we did not walk up the steep pathway, appropriately named One Man’s Path that offers views from the top.  This section is not recommended on windy or misty days, for obvious reasons.

The glorious cliffs of Slieve League

Never having visited the more popular Cliffs of Moher, we can’t compare the two sites for their natural beauty.  What I can say is that visiting the Slieve League cliffs we encountered few other souls, and could enjoy the beauty of the setting far from any madding crowds whatsoever.

A strategically placed watchtower

Perhaps the best thing about these sea cliffs is the fact that it is still unspoilt because of the remote access.  Slieve League is out-of-the-way and definitely not the most straight-forward of destinations to reach..but that’s what I loved most about it ;)

A rare sighting indeed... proof I was there!

August, 2010

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