Saturday, 3 March 2012

Glenveagh National Park

If you are visiting Donegal this year a visit to Glenveagh is a must! Here is some background info to  fill you in! 

Situated in Donegal, Glenveagh National Park covers almost 10,000 hectares of mountains, lakes, glens and woods. The park was opened in 1986 and boasts beautiful lakes amidst breathtaking mountain scenery. It consists of Glenveagh National Park, Glenveagh Castle and Glenveagh Gardens.

The Park includes two of Donegal's highest peaks - Slieve Snacht and Errigal. Few buildings in Ireland have as fine a setting as Glenveagh castle which was built in 1870 by John George Adair. 

The castle itself consists of a four storey rectangular keep with walls five feet thick and a round tower. The gardens around the castle are a complete contrast to the mountains which surround them. The gardens boast a huge variety of exotic plants which have been carefully nurtured over many years. The gardens are also known for their abundance of rhodendron which shelter the more fragile plants from the wind and rain.

At the south-west end of the Park are the cliffs of the Poisoned Glen and Bingorm while the north-east end boasts a gentle array of hills, peat bogs and the valley of the Owencarrow River. 

In the scenic valley that divides the Park there are natural birch and oak woodlands which are home to considerable populations of stoats, badgers and foxes as well as an impressive selection of birdlife. The Park also has a large herd of Red Deer but these are not native. These deer spend most of their time on the high ground but tend to return to more sheltered areas during prolonged bad weather.

The sense of remoteness and solitude that it conveys to the visitor is possibly the most amazing feature of the Park. 

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