Ireland North West

The North West – comprising of the counties of Cavan, Donegal, Leitrim, Monaghan and Sligo, this is probably Ireland’s most romantic region. It is redolent of times past, with quiet lanes, sleepy villages, towering mountains and glassy loughs. Donegal has the longest coastline in Ireland giving it two outstanding features that make it stand out from most other counties – magnificent beaches and one of the best surfing climate and areas in the world. The beaches, vast and desolate in many cases, are the best in all of Ireland and to add to the seaside attractions that go with them are many magnificent links golf courses such as Ballyliffen with its two courses on the Inishowen Peninsula and Murvagh in South Donegal.

The powerful Atlantic Ocean currents and rugged coastline create a natural combination of forces to produce the best surfing opportunities possible and thousands of avid participants visit every year. Add in the magnificent Glenveigh National Park , The Rosses, Dungloe and Letterkenny, the county town, and visiting Donegal is more akin to a trip to another country.

Sligo has a smaller coastline that includes the well known Rosses Point Golf course and beach area together with Strandhill beach near the pretty town of Sligo. It has to the south on the Mayo border of the finest links courses in Ireland at Enniscrone, which also has a beautiful beach. The county has one of the most noteworthy landmarks in Ireland in Ben Bulben Mountain over looking the grave of poet WB Yeats with whom the county is so associated. Ben Bulben is often compared to Table Mountain in Capetown, South Africa because of its shape.  The county also has some lovely lakes to the east of the county on the Leitrim border. Mullaghmore is a lovely resort just north of Sligo Town.

Leitrim , to the surprise of many, actually has 10-kilometre coastline, wedged between Sligo and Donegal, but is more famous for the abundance of lakes and rivers it possesses. Both Sligo and Leitrim make up for their lack of seaside resorts by having wonderful lake and river amenities. Carrick on Shannon is the County town of Leitrim and it benefits greatly from the mighty River Shannon, the longest river in the British Isles, as does the entire county.

County Cavan is actually where the River Shannon rises at the Shannon Pot, high in the Cavan hills. Glengevlin in North Cavan is a desolate beautiful area that leads onto Blacklion, which is on the Donegal border. Cavan is a long county stretching from the County Meath border to Donegal. It is wonderful fishing country with an abundance of lakes and rivers.

To east of it, County Monaghan is not renowned as a tourist county, but nonetheless possesses great amenities and attractions for the visitor. Monaghan Town, the capital is a thriving industrious town on the N2 main Dublin – Derry route. Other large towns include Castleblaney, adjacent to Lough Muckno and further south Carrickmacross. Iniskeen is a village on the County Louth border that famous writer and poet Patrick Kavanagh hailed from.

More information at www.discoverireland.com/northwest

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