Gardens Onsite and Offsite
Glenveagh National Park & Gardens
Situated just 24km north west of Letterkenny, the truly epic Glenveagh is the second largest of Ireland’s six national parks at 170 sq km. It is home to the country’s largest herd of red deer and site of a pretty 19th century castle and glorious ornamental gardens that sit in studied contrast to the breathtakingly craggy mountain landscape.
Grianan of Aileach
This round stone fort, with origins dating to 1700BC, sits on a high hill top just 20 minutes drive from here above Burt in Inishowen. It is one of only five Irish sites mentioned in the 2nd century Ptolemy’s World Map. The view, as you walk its top internal terrace, is magical and vast; taking in swathes of counties Donegal, Derry and Tyrone and soaking up the Swilly and Foyle.
Ards Forest Park
It’s just a 35minute drive from Letterkenny to Ards Forest Park, and it’s the perfect place to pass a long day. This is a forest by the sea – stepping out from under the trees on to the winding wooden boardwalk that brings you along to the golden beaches of the Sand Dune Trail is an experience you’ll not forget. There are marked trails of varying lengths and difficulty – take a few of them together and you could be walking for a full six hours! There’s an excellent children’s play area, plus a cafe in a wooden cabin that opens during high season, and plenty of picnicking spots. Don’t begrudge the €5 barrier fee as you enter (just be ready with the coins!) – you will be repaid many times over in enjoyment.