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“Where the mountains arise to the oft-changing skies, And the Castle stands stately and grey; Where the calm lake lies still ‘neath that wild rugged hill, In the valley of lovely Glenveagh…”

 

Herbert W.K. Sterritt

Listen to nature’s voice

Welcome to Glenveagh
National Park

Glenveagh National Park lies in the heart of County Donegal, among the wild and rugged landscape of the Derryveagh Mountains. Its pristine habitats and protected wildlife, and its trails taking in the stunning Victorian Castle and Gardens along Lough Veagh, make Glenveagh the ideal escape for lovers of the natural world.

Whether you’re here to learn about Ireland’s unique biodiversity or just want to explore one of Ireland’s most breathtaking landscapes, we can help you plan your visit and discover how to help us achieve our mission of protecting the Glenveagh wilderness for generations to come.

Directions

By car from Letterkenny

Take the N56 through Kilmacrenan, then the R255 for Gweedore.

By bus

Local link bus service number 271 Burtonport – Letterkenny passes through Glenveagh daily. The bus can be picked up at the flagpole in the Car Park.

See timetable

Our National Park


Protecting nature is the main aim of a National Park. Conservation work goes hand in hand with responsible outdoor recreation. Everything we do in the National Park is based on the principle that nature comes first. Our Protect Nature video aims to raise awareness of Glenveagh National Park and how our visitors can make their visit a meaningful one, to appreciate wildlife and be mindful of their impact.

Boundary Map of
Glenveagh National Park

Glenveagh Boundary Map

Area

15,484 ha.

S.P.A:

004039

Location in Co.Donegal

Location in Co.Donegal

Legend

  • Parking
  • Lake
  • N56
  • Castle
  • Mountain Peak
  • Visitor Centre
  • Park Boundary
  • River

The detail on this map is generalised: it is not suitable for hill-walking. The map does not show legal title to property. Cartography ©2009 – ESRI Ireland Ltd and the National Parks & Wildlife Service, Department of the Environment, Heritage & Local Government. Based on Ordnance Survey Ireland data. Licence No. EN 0059208. © Ordnance Survey Ireland / Government of Ireland.

Picks of the Park


A view from the top

walking & hiking


Walk the Glen path from the top and experience Glenveagh in the order that its natural and historical story unfolds. A glaciated valley, rivers, waterfalls and pristine woodlands existed here long before people.

Walking & hiking

One of Ireland’s top gardens

the castle gardens


Don’t miss a stroll around the Castle Gardens, skillfully cared for by our expert staff. Whether you’re visiting at the height of summer or during the magical autumn and winter, the Castle Gardens offer a striking contrast with the wilder side of Glenveagh.

Castle gardens

Birds at their best

Fauna


From soaring golden eagles and peregrine falcons, to the elusive red-throated diver, a range of birdlife makes its home here. Jays, wood warblers, crossbills and long-tailed tits are just some of the species you might spot. Early mornings in May feature the unmissable dawn chorus.

Fauna

– Car Park
– Trails
– Visitor Centre
– Restaurant
– Tea Rooms
– Education Centre
– Castle and Gardens
– Outdoor Classroom
– Wild Play Area
– Playground

Toilets & Baby Changing

Available in the Car Park, Visitor Centre and Castle

There is a restaurant at the Visitor Centre and a tearoom at the Castle and Gardens provided by Synge & Byrne.

For queries or group bookings contact 087 930 6875.

National Park

Open: Year round
Admission: Free

Castle

Reception open:
Last Tour: 16:45hrs
March – October 09:15hrs–17:15hrs
November – February 10:00hrs–17:15hrs
All year around (except Christmas week)
Includes: tea room; toilets

Tea Rooms open:
10:00hrs–17:00hrs peak season
10:00hrs–16:00hrs off peak

Tours: The Castle is open daily for Self Guided and some limited Guided Tours. A Castle Tour cannot be booked in advanced of your visit.

Visitor Centre

Open:
09:15hrs–17:30hrs

Heritage Cards

Heritage Card holders enjoy free bus tickets and castle tours, and discounts to other attractions around Ireland. Purchase a Heritage Card in the Visitor Centre:

Adult: €40
Student: €10
Child: €10
Senior: €30
Family: €90

  • Two electric buses have full wheelchair access.
  • Blue Badge access to the Castle with very limited parking – parking permission only granted in special circumstances.
  • Certain areas of the gardens are inaccessible for wheelchair users due to steps and steep, uneven ground.

Toilets

Accessible toilets are available at the Visitor Centre

Protect Nature

Protecting nature is the main aim of a National Park. Conservation work goes hand in hand with responsible outdoor recreation and visitors can help play their part by following these useful tips.

Useful Tips

Plan Ahead

Think about the best time to visit and how you’ll travel here, to minimise your environmental impact. Check the weather and make sure you have everything you need to bring.

Be Considerate

Be aware of how your activities and behaviour can impact nature, the experience of other visitors and those working here. Be mindful of any noise you make and how you interact with others along the way.


Respect Wildlife

Dogs are very welcome but must stay on the lead. If you can, avoid sensitive times for wildlife nesting and breeding.

Travel and Camp on Durable Ground

The marked trails let you take in all the best parts of the Glenveagh wilderness. Only experienced hikers should venture into the hills. Only Wilderness Camping is permitted: review the guidelines here.


Leave What You Find

Do take photographs of the landscape and plants, but please leave even the smallest details untouched, so others can enjoy the Glenveagh wilderness just as you did.

Dispose of Waste Properly

Litter is a huge threat to nature. By bringing your waste home, you help protect the park and its wildlife, and keep Glenveagh healthy.


Minimise the effect of fire

We can’t allow fires of any kind in our national parks. Fires can cause lasting impacts and devastate plants and animals. Talk to our rangers or Education staff if you need advice, and check our Wilderness Camping guide for details.


Heritage & Culture


Glenveagh Castle

Make the most of your visit to Glenveagh with a stop at Glenveagh Castle & Gardens. Discover more at our Visitor Centre with free, daily exhibitions on topics like National Parks in Ireland, the golden eagle reintroduction project and the Derryveagh Evictions, including short videos.

Learn about Glenveagh’s history, heritage and conservation and speak with our guides for more information or advice.

Castle & Gardens

News & Notices


CIE Award of Excellence

28 February 2024


We’re delighted to announce that Glenveagh National Park & Castle has been awarded the CIE Tours Visitor Experience Award of Excellence 2023. This award is based on the positive feedback received from CIE customers and Glenveagh achieved a customer rating of 92% or higher from guests . These ratings, which are derived from CIE guest surveys, are evaluated independently & externally. The award was collected on behalf of Glenveagh National Park and Castle by Susan Callaghan, Divisional Manager.
Read more

Storm Isha update – National Parks and Nature Reserves

22 January 2024


NPWS staff are patrolling and monitoring activity in in National Parks and Nature Reserves around the country in the wake of Storm Isha. There are reports of some National Parks and Nature Reserves affected by power outages, fallen trees and debris. Trails may be closed as staff clear affected areas. Members of the public are
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Where to Walk in Glenveagh this Winter…

13 December 2023


If you’re looking for a longer walk over the winter why not explore the Upper Glen Walk – known locally as the Bridle Path. This 7km stretch can be enjoyed in either direction from the top of the valley heading downhill, or from the castle and gardens. Enjoy Mullangore Woods – some of the most
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