Ireland // Donegal //

Malin and Malin Head

Five kilometres north of Carndonagh is the planter settlement of MALIN, tucked picturesquely into the side of Trawbreaga Bay, with a charming grassy Diamond at its centre. The village has a couple of pubs, and the boutique-style Malin Hotel, which hosts a variety of entertainment and has a very good restaurant. A little way north of Malin, a signpost points to Five Fingers Strand, across the bay from Doagh Isle – it’s worth the diversion to experience the ferocity of the breakers on the beach and the long walks on its sands, though the strand has undergone recent severe coastal erosion.

Sixteen kilometres north of Malin village, Malin Head, the northernmost extremity of Ireland, might not be as stupendous as other Donegal headlands but is nevertheless excellent for blustery, winding coastal walks – and for ornithologists: choughs, with their glossy black plumage, red legs and bill, inhabit the cliffs, and the rasping cry of the rare corncrake can be heard in the fields. The tip of the headland is marked by Bamba’s Crown, a ruined Napoleonic signal tower, and the western path from here heads out to Hell’s Hole, a 75-metre chasm in the cliffs, which roars with the onrushing tide.

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