Narin / Portnoo Beach

Narin is a sheltered cove beach approximately 2km long on the Atlantic coast of Ireland. Approximately 2km from Portnoo, 8km from Ardara or 10km from Glenties this impressive Blue Flag beach has safe waters for bathing and is attended by a lifeguard during the summer months. There are toilet facilities near the beach with ample parking also available. Local shops, bars and restaurants are within walking distance and there are three well-maintained caravan sites close to the strand area.

An extensive sandy beach in a rural environment. The beach is backed by an extensive and majestic sand dune system with a well defined primary dune ridge. The coastal area here is a designated NHA exhibiting a highly diverse range of both coastal and terrestrial habitats.

The beach at Narin can be found by travelling north on the R261 from Ardara and heading towards the village of Narin.

Lifeguard

Lifeguards are on duty in July and August everyday between 12.00 noon and 6.30pm.

First Aid

A First Aid kit is available at the Beach Lifeguard Hut-12.00 and 6.30pm or Cunninghams Pub

Although the village faces north into the Atlantic the hills to the west on Dunmore Head offer very welcome protection. The rocks on the shore near the pier tell the story of how this part of Donegal was formed, millions of years ago: you can see slates run through with veins of granite, and black crystalline limestone showing the effects of millennia of erosion by rain and sea spray.

Looking out to sea the first sight is the island of Inishkeel, Inis Caoil in Gaelic, which gives its name to the local parish, including the town of Glenties. Beyond Inishkeel one can see the estuary of the Gweebarra River and the southern edge of the Rosses. When the tide is low one can walk from Narin out to the island which is named after Conall Caol, the sixth century saint who is associated with many other places in the southwest of the county. The tide allows you around an hour to visit the sites, before walking back again. It is well worth a visit, with its early Christian churches, holy wells and beautifully decorated stone slabs.

Famine Graveyard

Directly behind Ard Patrick housing estate is the site of the Famine Graveyard. To enter the graveyard, one must drive up into the housing estate an d there you will find and entrance between the first phase of houses built and the new houses (which have a porch). In 1997 the grounds of the graveyard was repaired and a headstone was erected in commemoration of these people who died during the Great Famine (1846-1849). The Comprehensive school is situated on the grounds of the ‘Old Hospital’ and the ‘Workhouse’ was situated where the first phase of houses are built.

During the time of the Famine, this Workhouse was a very important place in our town.The Famine was due to the failure of the potato crop, by a disease called “Blight”. At that time the main food taken was potatoes, and bread if the flour was available. This also became a problem as the flour got scarce.

In 1847 the famine had got so bad and that there were men roaming the countryside begging for food. The “Workhouse” became so overcrowded, which made the living conditions dreadful, causing a fever to spread rapidly. There was no ventilation,no food, not enough straw to make beds on the floor, and because the “Workhouse” was built on low ground it sometimes used to flood, causing a dreadful smell. This led to the death rate being one of the highest in the country. When these people died they were buried in the “Famine Graveyard”.

Narin & Portnoo Golf Club

For over 100 years, golfers have enjoyed the superb links terrain adjacent to the magnificent Blue Flag beach at Narin in West Donegal. The view from the beach-hugging fifteenth hole encapsulates all that is magical about this most scenic of areas, with the arc of Narin Strand, Inniskeel Island, Portnoo, Dunmore Head, Arranmore Island and the majestic Atlantic Ocean filling the senses. The new clubhouse offers the ultimate in style and comfort, with fine cuisine and a convivial atmosphere.

A warm welcome awaits visitors and societies to the club. It has been selected by The Irish Times as one of the Top Ten Value-for-Money golf courses in Ireland. Green Fees and Societies are welcome seven days a week. Every men’s Sunday competition is open, except during Captain’s Weekend. Every Wednesday singles competition is open to both ladies and gents. The ladies branch host special reduced-fee open days during the summer.

The facilities include the newly-refurbished clubhouse, professional shop, professional lessons, practice area, practice net, locker rooms, putting green, shop, buggies, trolleys and club hire. A full menu is available from the caterers seven days a week.

The course lies six miles northwest of Glenties, eight miles north of Ardara, through the village of Narin. Donegal International Airport at Carrickfinn is just 45 minutes away. Both Ardara and Glenties are within seven miles of the club and rarely a weekend goes by without some festival or other visitor attraction being organised. The Dolmen Centre in nearby Kilclooney is a hub of activity for all interest groups. Those with a taste for archaeology, botany, fishing, traditional music, hill-walking, bird-watching, water sports and more are well catered for in the local area.

The club has always been renowned for its hospitality, while the course itself has tantalised golfers of all handicaps with the variety of shots required to manoeuvre the ball to a respectable score. The par is 73 and the course from the back tees measures some 6,854 yards. Visitor tees are available to those who desire a shorter, though still challenging test. The jewels in the crown are the pair of snaking par fives that will beguile the enthusiast on the homeward journey.

Once ensconced in the cosiest and friendliest of nineteenth holes, the golfer will be hard-pressed to name a favourite hole, as there are so many contenders for the moniker of “Signature”. Some say the par five fifteenth, while others prefer the short, but treacherous, chasm-crossing, par three seventh.

The club hosts a popular Pro-Am each summer which attracts some of the best professional golfers in Ireland. Former Ryder Cup star, Philip Walton was runner-up to two-time winner, Damian Mooney in 2008.

You’ll be counting the days till the next time, once you’ve experienced this gem’s delights!

Head out to sea with Tor Mór charter boat

Kingfisher 31′ Sport, 500HP, custom built charter boat.

Located at Rosebg & Portnoo, south-west county Donegal, the Tor Mór charter boat has a P5 license to carry 12 passengers. The Tor Mór charter provides the perfect opportunity to explore the wealth of marine and coastal attractions in the clean, clear waters of South West Donegal.

Now available for full, half-day & evening mackerel charters.

Sea Angling

With a spacious aft deck Tor Mór is ideal for fishing. Donegal’s waters have some of the best fishing and angling available. There is a wealth of reefs and wrecks in the local area with a variety species including:

Mackerel, Haddock, Ling, Pollock & Wrasse, as well as Blue Shark in season from Mid-July to Mid-September and the possibility of Blue Fin Tuna from Mid-Sept to November.

Rods and Tackle are provided free on board.

SCUBA Diving

Donegal enjoys some of the clearest waters in Western Europe and outstanding underwater geographic features with rock faces, gullies and boulders fields.

Sight Seeing

Within easy access are; Sliabh a’ Thuaidh, with one of the countries largest Grey Seal colonies, Sea Stacks An Tor Mór and Gúb an Diabhail, and Ráthlin Ó Beirne island.

The Deep-vee hull provides a safe, smooth ride and easy planing. It has good load carrying capacity and is ideally suited to rough conditions; with good stability and excellent handling.

The comfortable cabin can provide shelter from the worst of the elements. There is a fridge and micro-wave provided that can be used to reheat food, though you must provide this yourself. Toilet facilities are available on board.

Tel: +353 (0) 87 2458514
Email: tormorcharterboat@gmail.com
Web: http://www.tirconnellcharters.com

Fishing on the Owenea

The Owenea River runs for some 13 miles, draining Lough Ea in the west of the Croaghs, into Loughrosmore Bay at Ardara. The Owenea is primarily a spate river taking around one to two days to run off after a good flood. The season on the Owenea runs from 1 April to 30 September.

The Owenea is one of the best salmon rivers in the county. The river has a run of spring salmon, grilse, sea trout and has a resident stock of small brown trout. The fishery consists of nine beats on the bottom eight miles of the river with good pools spread throughout the whole river. The river has a lot of nice fly water with the majority of fish being caught by this method. When in condition the river is one of the best in the country for grilse. The main grilse run starts in July with salmon right to the end of the season.

The fishery has access for disabled anglers along a section of beat 3. There is an ongoing programme of maintenance and upgrading of access, angling structures, habitat restoration etc. Additional funding was obtained from Fáilte Ireland in 2007 to improve facilities and access for anglers on the river.

N.B. Shrimp and Prawn are strictly prohibited.

Permits
Adult day permits €35
Juvenile (under 16) day permits €15
Weekly (seven-day) permits €175

Bookings/Further information
To book online go to the Donegal Angling Holidays website. Single-day and multi-day fishing products are available. Please ensure that you also purchase a licence if you book your fishing permit online. To fish on the Owenea you must hold a fishing permit and a fishing licence.

Bookings are non-transferable. Rods are assigned to beats on a first come first served basis. Payment can made by credit or debit card, including Visa, MasterCard and Laser.

Bookings and in-season information available through:
Owenea Angling Centre, Glenties Hatchery, Glenties, Co. Donegal. Tel: (074) 9551141. Fax: (074) 9551444. Email: nrfbglenties@eircom.net

Off-season information available through
Northern Regional Fisheries Board, Station road, Ballyshannon, Co. Donegal. Tel: (071) 9851435. Fax: (071) 9851816. Email: info@nrfb.ie

Sandfield Pitch and Putt

A wonderfully challenging 18 hole Pitch & Putt course with spectacular views of Loughros Bay and the hills of Donegal. Once described by a regular visitor as “The St. Andrews of Pitch & Putt Courses”, this lovingly maintained course with carpet quality Greens, offers an exciting and enjoyable game to both the first time visitor or seasoned pitch & Putt. Player/Golfer who wishes to improve his/her skills. No two holes are the same in this unique setting, where you are welcome from 10.30am to one hour before sunset every day from April to September.


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Walk the Bluestack Way

The Bluestack Way, beginning in Donegal Town it takes the walker along country lanes to the magnificent Lough Eske. The main route take the road along the Northern shore of the lake while there is a circle route along the roadway on the Southern shore. Accomodation is plentiful in the Lough Eske area.

Finished viewing Lough Eske. Take the Path way to the east of Banagher Hill through the Eglish Valley and along the foothills of the Bluestack Mountains.
Take in the wonderful views of the main peaks in the Bluestacks to your right and the Sligo mountains and Donegal Bay to your left.

Take time to view the Greg Mare’s Tale water fall as you cross the Eany More water.
Near the foot of Carnaween take time to visit the ancient graveyard at Disert.

Crossing the mountain gives spectacular views into the valley of Glenties and the town of Ardara.

In Glenties take time to visit the local museum. This is the home of Patrick MacGill which hosts apopular Summer School every August in his honour. September 12th is the Harvest Fair Day in Glenties one of the oldest fairs in Ireland.

Leaving Glenties follow the Bank of the Owenea River to Ardara.

For more information see the Walking Ireland website

Inniskeel Island

The Island of Inniskeel has a sacred interest in the present and the past with a long, if broken, history to commemorate its former greatness. It is still the seat of a must-frequented pilgrimage in honour of St. Connell, one of the most remarkable of Ireland’s early Saints. It contains his Church and his cell and in it repose his scared remains in the grave that had first closed over the body of his illustrious friend, St. Dallan.

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The Harvest Fair

The following is an account of Glenties Harvest Fair written and published in 1972 by the late Joe Campbell, Glenties.

In my young days and that’s not today or yesterday the Harvest Fair Day was a red-letter day in the history of the town. It was looked forward to by young and old for weeks before and remembered by many a long day afterwards. In fact, in those days it was a three-day event. First there was “the gathering” the day before; then there was the big day itself and then there was “the scattering” the following day.

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The Courthouse

Unusually for the small townships of West Donegal, Glenties has both a Market House and a Court House. The former seems to have been built about 1840 for the Marquis of Conyngham. It is a long low gabled two-storey building with two separate outside stairways giving access to the upper floor: today used as youth club, recreation room, stores and garage. In the lower storey, there is a single wide segmental arc and on either side an arched doorway: windows have been added rather miscellaneously from time to time. The quoins and dressings are of cut stone, as are the chimneys, otherwise the building is of random rubble harled over. Rather oddly, but endearingly, the upper walls are set back all round on the base furnished by the lower storey and stringcourse. The eaves of the Sables have cheerful little carved wooden brackets.

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