Heading east on the N56 from Gweedore, the imposing and starkly beautiful mass of Mount Errigal becomes increasingly prominent. From a distance the mountain appears to be snow-covered, but skirting the northern shore of Lough Nacung, it becomes apparent that the white colouration has geological, rather than meteorological, causes. Quite often the area around Errigal is shrouded in mist, but on a clear day the beauty of the mountain is unsurpassable, its silvery slopes resembling the Japanese artist Hokkusai’s images of Mount Fuji. The hour-long hike up to the top is a must, and there’s a waymarked trail from the road, 2km past the Poisoned Glen turn-off, up the southeast ridge. The climb to the summit is well worth it for the stupendous views: virtually all of Donegal, and most of Ulster, is visible and you could easily spend several hours just sitting and absorbing the contrasts provided by coastline, loughs and mountains.

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