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Donegal Town Bank Walk

A pleasant scenic stroll along the river Eske to Donegal bay, the town's hidden gem.

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Rating: 4 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Easy
Length: 1 miles
Duration: Less than 1 hour
Family Friendly

Overview :  Donegal Town is fortunate to have a 'walk in the country' so near the middle of town in the form of the bank walk. It's the perfect... more »

Tips:  Donegal weather can be changeable so make sure you bring an umbrella and rain gear. Good comfortable sturdy footwear will serve you... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Flora and fauna map

Just over the stone bridge, you'll see the Methodist church to your right and immediately to your left tight against the fence is a flora and fauna map of what to expect to see and hear along the bank walk. Take your time on examining this, but remember, you will get a second chance to view a similar map further along the walk.

Once done, you'll ... More

2. Bank walk map

There's a helpful map immediately on the left to help you get your bearings on the walk. It's relatively short being about a mile each way if staying by the water and slightly over two if taking the looped walk around by the GAA pitch on the Killybegs road.

3. Around the corner

Around about here, you'll realize that you've left the town behind and are to all intents and purposes, in the country. You'll see the odd set of steps to the left, which lead to the houses along Drumcliff terrace - no real item to explore up there so carry on. Pretty soon, you'll start to see some great sights such as a tree that could have come ... More

4. Bird boxes

Dotted along the way, you'll find bird boxes high up in the trees. They're numbered and a great game can be had with the kids trying to spot them all. Extra points for seeing a bird appear in one!

5. Tree types

Also of some help is the placing of signs (very) high up various trees to tell us what species they are. We've counted seven of these signs - see if you spot them all.

6. Water bus

Across the estuary is the Donegal bay waterbus - you'll hear it before you see it as it blares out a variety of rebel songs. If you wish to see more of Donegal Bay, this is one way. The waterbus box office is located down by the quays (beside Pier One) and booking is advised about one hour before sailing time.

For the more adventurous, Paul... More

7. First junction point

You'll hear the slow gush of water from the stream as you approach the first junction along the walk.To your left is one of the high tree signs and directly ahead of you is another bank which offers two further trails. Both are about 300 metres long and will rejoin our main path. Good to take if you want to really clear your head and get away from... More

8. Long stretch

There's a 300 metre stretch here that marks where the Eske river really starts to open out into Donegal Bay. There's a seat around the corner if you fancy a quick breather, but if the waterbus is blasting out its muzak, don't expect much peace! Across the way, if you look through the branches (someone really needs to cut these down!) you'll notice... More

9. First view of bay

Through the trees on your left, you'll see Donegal Bay, an extraordinary bay that needs to be seen from both Mullaghmore and Glencolmcille to truly enjoy. Currently home to over 100 dolphins enjoying the fine supply of salmon and mackerel.

Best of all is seeing the epic Slieve League sea cliffs that overlook the bay from a boat. Click on the... More

10. Abbey view

You should also be able to see the old Franciscan abbey from here. From this tranquil and picturesque location, the greater part of the finest book to chronicle Ireland's history was written, known as The Annals of the Four Masters. One commentator called it 'the most remarkable collection of national tradition in all Christendom'. We'll tell you ... More

11. Wirey trees

Around about where the other banks rejoin the path, you'll notice that the trees have quite a wirey look to them - some have ventured that it is an area where the fairies can be found and indeed for those that took the upper bank walk, they'll have observed a fairy tree in the middle of the field. After these trees, there's a gentle slope downhill... More

12. Second junction point

That second flora and fauna sign is on the right hand side. Beyond it is a private house that once belonged to the writer Seumus McManus and his wife, Eithne Carbery. Mountcharles author McManus (born 1869-died 1960) was well regarded as both a writer and storyteller. Older residents still remember him telling stories to children at the water pump... More

13. Final stretch

2012 UPDATE: Please note that this far section of this walk is no longer accessible due to a landslide - there are markers to indicate where this hazardous section is. Do not stray beyond them. We'll keep you posted once this section is repaired.

For those of you who carried on, you'll notice the path has narrowed and there's less to see as the... More

14. The Hassans

You've come as far as this walk will take you. With any luck, you'll get a good evening with the tide in to really view something very special in and around Donegal bay. Starting left, you'll be looking at Muckros which has a causeway out to St. Ernan's island (now in private hands and closed), then to Belle's isle, Murvagh golf club, Green island... More