Walking the Bridle Path

Walking the Bridle Path, Glenveagh National Park, 14th February 2015

For anyone thinking of visiting Donegal or indeed already living in Donegal :) a visit to Glenveagh is a must, beautiful scenery, gorgeous gardens and lots of tracks for hiking or cycling.

Click for a larger view of Donegal and the Bridle walk route

Every Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holiday a bus (€3 fee) leaves the visitor centre at 10 am to drop walkers off at two stops; Church hill to do the Lough Inshagh walk and further on for the Bridle walk (Glen way). You can access the start of these walks yourself but neither walk is a looped walk so walkers need to return or arrange a drop off or collection - thats where the Trail Walker Bus comes in handy. Also dogs are permitted in the park but must be kept on a lead at all times, for queries you will find the Glenveagh park number by clicking here. Here is a little more information about the walks:

Glen Way (Bridle Path) Walk

About 8km long, the newly restored Bridle path follows the most easily negotiated natural route through the Derryveagh Mountains with spectacular views of the valley and surrounding mountains. Old settlements and some native woodland can also be found along this route. 

Lough Inshagh Walk

Around 7km in length the Inshagh Walk once connected Glenveagh Castle to the village of Church Hill. "Today the Lough Inshagh Path remains silent except for the occasional red deer browsing on the roadside vegetation or walkers enjoying the solitude and scenery. This walk gives the walker a real feel of the open landscape of granite mountains and bogs where Golden Eagles are known to soar. It is an excellent walk to explore the eastern side of the park and brings the walker to the Glebe Gallery and St. Colmcille's birthplace in Gartan". Ref: Glenveagh walks

Arriving at the visitor centre with a headache from lack of sleep and an almost two hour drive to get there, I made it in good time to buy a ticket at the visitor centre before the bus arrived. I opted, as you do when you have a headache, for the slightly longer Bridle path....the bus journey took about 25 mins

Picture of the driver and view outside of the donegal hills, from the passenger seat on a bus
The bus to the start of the Bridle Path, the weather looked promising

..but the start of the walk was a bit misty and dull...

Great tracks for cycling 

View of the Vally from the road flanked by the Derryveagh Mountains

The mist soon lifted showing the amazing view of the valley

Beautiful scenery, I really didn't want this walk to end

The little white house on the bridle path in Glenveagh National Park, Co. Donegal, Ireland
At the base of the valley, near the lake

Scenic view of Lough Veagh framed by the branches of a tree in Glenveagh, Country Donegal
Lough Beagh surrounded by the Derryveagh Mountains

Derryveagh means forest of Oak and Birch and a tiny section of this original forest still exists here.

The Castle Tea Room sign
After about a two hour walk i finally reached Glenveagh Castle

After the 8km walk, I went into the castle tea rooms for much needed refreshment for the 4km walk back to the visitor centre, although there is a bus you can get that takes visitors to and from the centre.

The back of Glenveagh Castle, Co. Donegal, Ireland
Roamed around the grounds of Glenveagh Castle...

.. found my prince ;)

Details around Glenveagh Castle grounds; a lion door knocker, a cherub statue and a grecian style urn column
Details around the Castle Gardens

Close-up photograph of Glenveagh Castle framed by trees
You can take a tour of the castle itself but photography is not allowed inside.

Atmospheric scenic photograph of Lough Beagh with light rays
View of Glenveagh near the Visitor Centre

About 5 hours after setting out I eventually made it back to the start point, headache long gone. Will definitely be back to do this walk again or maybe the Inshagh Walk next time. Hope ye all enjoyed the photos!


  1. Thanks for sharing... it makes me want to experience the Irish countryside. On my bucket list...







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