Scenic Walks in Urris, Mamore, Clonmany
and Ballyliffin Area
MAMORE/URRIS (30km. approx)
Starting from the picturesque village of Clonmany the walker will proceed to the Corner Cash Stores and take the road straight ahead. This is the townland of Ballyhellion, the next is Cloughfin. Climbing steadily with the scenery varying from forest plantation to the Urris Hills. The walker goes on to Tirhoran and Effishmore and up the steep incline called Pinchers Brae. The view from the top is breathtaking with vast stretches of bogland and interesting flora and fauna.
Carrying on downhill, take the right turn onto Mamore Gap which is one of the most scenic and steep passes in Ireland or Britain. There is a well near the summit where an annual pilgrimage takes place on the 15th August. Legend has it that St. Colmcille visited here and quenched his thirst on his way to Derry. Looking ahead from the car park there is a panoramic view of Lough Swilly and across to the Fanad Peninsula and Dunaff Head.
Going off the main Gap road one can take the cliff walk by Leenan Bay up to the three lakes hidden away in the beauty and stillness of the Mamore Hills. This is a strenuous and potentially hazardous walk and one should consult a good map. After leaving the Mamore Gap road the main Urrismana - Leenankeel road will take the walker on to lovely Leenan Bay where there is a thriving fishing industry .You might be lucky enough to buy a crab or lobster. The remains of the old Artillery Fort known as Fort Leenan is to be seen but access is difficult to the actual buildings. The locals will advise and give you a little local history. The Military Museum based at Dunree Fort, is on the Buncrana side of the Mamore Gap and is open to the public.
After leaving the Leenan Fort Road, take the left turn along the coast road to Dunaff and Roxtown Harbour. The raised beach at Roxtown is of interest to geologists. The walker will carry on to Crossconnell and Straid. Near the historic Glen House to the right there is the entrance to the beautiful Glen Waterfall. Care must be taken on this route (about 3km from main road) as there is a sheer drop to the chasm below.
Getting back to the main road again, there is the ruin of an old church to the left, its history and origins are colourful and interesting (see "Romantic lnishowen" by Swan), the walker will continue on this Straid Road back to Clonmany. (The meadow of the Monks).
There are two 'Watering Holes', three Guesthouses, and one Registered Caravan Park on the above route. Please see accommodation brochure from Inishowen Tourism Office or at any of the Information Centres throughout the Inishowen Peninsula. [or visit our Tourism page].
DOAGH ISLE WALK (24 km. approx. 5.5 hours)
Almost all this walk is on flat land with surprising views at every bend - lots of wild flowers, birds and insects, rock formation and stones, clean beaches.
Start at Ballyliffin, go along the main Carndonagh road, to the right there is the whin and heather covered Crock Aughrim and Rasheney Hills. To the left are patchwork fields, an 18 hole golf course with sand dunes in the background (which are said to be the highest sand dunes in Europe).
On to the signpost "Doagh Isle" (which is a peninsula) 2 km. from Ballyliffin. Turn left, the road will bring you to the townland of Magheranaul where St. Brigid's Well is sited. This well was frequented by pilgrims up until 1900. The first road on your right will bring you to Belure where there is an ancient burial ground. On along the road to Ballymagehan. To the right there is a place of worship (some 2,000 years old). The next townland is Figgart. There is a panoramic view of Carndonagh and Malin along Trawbreaga Bay, which is a bird sanctuary .On to Doaghmore where there is a calm bay (see fishing) to Claragh and take signpost "Pollan Bay" road onto Lagahurry and Doagh Strand where there is rock fishing - sea trout.
The road will take you to Ballindabo, a place of great natural beauty, variagate heath grasses and wild flowers. View the Atlantic waves 100 feet below flowing into Trawbreaga Bay. Across the narrow inlet you see Lagg Chapel which is the oldest Roman Catholic Chapel in this part of Ireland. You will also see the Five Fingers Strand and Knockamany Bens on the Malin side.
Views from Carrickabraghy Castle (O'Doherty) include Glashedy Isle, Malin Head, Pollan Bay. Take the path to the left with the rocky beach to the right and sand rocks to the left. There is a bird sanctuary here. On along Pollan Strand with "Durling" (local word for mound of round stones) on your left or along sandbanks. Tory Isle, away on the western horizon, with Dunaff Head peeping in between Pollan Bay and Glasheady Island. As you go along the beach there are breathtaking views of Binion, Bulaba and Crock Aughrim. A car park and play area bring you to the end of the long 3.5km. stretch of curved sandy beach. Take the road to the left for 200 yards. Turn right to Ardagh, Mullagh. Stop on the way and observe scenery on all sides. Malin Head in the distance, Pollan Green with Trawbreaga Bay in the background and Ballyliffin Village.
Further on to Annaugh where there are spectacular views of Binion, Bulaba, Raghtan, Coolcross and Slieve Sneacht Hills. Turn left at Crossroads and back Ballyliffin. There are Hotels, Bed and Breakfast accommodation, Irish nights, modern and old time entertainment.
ENJOY YOUR WALKING!