Glenveagh National Park
Glenveagh National Park is one of six national parks in Ireland. Situated in the Northwest of Co. Donegal, Glenveagh encompasses some 16,000 hectares in the heart of the Derryveagh Mountains. Such a great wilderness is the haunt of many interesting plants and animals. These lands were managed as a private deer forest before becoming a national park in 1975. With the completion of public facilities Glenveagh National Park was officially opened to the public in 1986.
The Glenveagh Visitor Centre is located on the northern end of Lough Veagh, near the edge of the National Park. Its award-winning design incorporates a living heather roof mimicking the surrounding landscape causing minimum disturbance. The extensive displays contained within provide an introduction to the parks natural and built history as well as providing information on walking trails, events etc. Guides on duty will also be happy to provide visitors with information about the park and surrounding area as well as tickets for the park buses.
The visitor centre provides the following facilities:
Baby changing facilities
Restaurant (Open from Easter to September)
Code of Conduct
Please stay on paths and tracks and away from cliffs and waterfalls.
Please do not pick flowers or damage plants. Leave them for others to enjoy.
Please remove all litter from the park or place it in the bins provided.
Please do not light fires. A fire is easily lit, but much harder to put out once it is out of control.
Please keep dogs firmly under control. Their scent will scare wildlife and reduce your chances of seeing animals.
The weather in Glenveagh can be extremely changeable and wet. Always bring suitable attire and strong footwear when out walking.
Remember to bring adequate food and water when out walking. Walks can sometimes take longer than planned… be prepared!
Glenveagh Castle is a 19th century castellated mansion and was built between 1867 and 1873. Its construction in a remote mountain setting was inspired by the Victorian idyll of a romantic highland retreat.Photo of The Castle
It was designed by John Townsend Trench, a cousin of its builder and first owner, John George Adair, with whom he had been raised in Co. Laois. The designer appears to have imitated the style of earlier Irish Tower-houses adding an air of antiquity to the castle. The building stone chose was granite, plentiful in Donegal but difficult to work and allowing for little detail.
The forbidding architecture of the castle is quickly forgotten amidst the varied comforts within. Henry McIlhenny, the last owner of the castle, served the Philadelphia Museum of Art as Curator of Decorative Arts and his expertise in this field is evident throughout the castle. Through time, each room acquired a different character, some roughly in keeping with the period of the house, others freely inventive.
Few of the great houses of Ireland are preserved in this condition, with their original furnishings, and in Glenveagh Castle one catches a glimpse of a lifestyle belonging to an earlier age.
Access to the castle is by guided tour which last approx 40 mins