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Europe > Britain and Ireland > Ireland > Northwest Ireland and Lakelands > County Donegal > Glenties

Glenties

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Glenties is a very small town in County Donegal. Glenties is renowned as Ireland's tidiest town, winning the coveted title for the 5th time in 1995. It consists of one main street only.

Main street

Get in[edit]

The R250 road from Letterkenny takes 45 minutes by car and passes through a scenic area that includes Meenaroy mountain and Fintown Lake.

The R252 from Ballybofey takes 40 minutes, a nice detour from which is the R253, which winds along the edge of the Bluestack mountains before dropping down in the Glen of Glenties.

The N56 route from Donegal Town / Killybegs comes over the hills at Aighe, with nice views of the sea before going through Ardara and turning East towards Glenties. It takes 50 minutes from Donegal Town via Killybegs and Ardara, or 30 minutes via the R262 road via Frosses.

By bus[edit]

McGeehan Coaches, in conjunction with Bus Éireann have a twice daily service between Letterkenny and Glencolumbkille, which stops in Glenties.

Another service travels between Dungloe and Donegal Town, stopping at Glenties also.

Feda O'Donnell also has a weekly service between Annagry and Galway, passing through Glenties.

By plane[edit]

The most enjoyable option in getting to Glenties is by flying into Donegal International Airport and hiring a car there. The journey to Glenties is scenic (about 50k), passing through the Rosses region.

Get around[edit]

Glenties is isolated and the surrounding area is rugged, wild and beautiful, best explored by car or, for the fitter visitor, by bicycle. Bicycle hire is available in nearby Ardara.

Hillwalking[edit]

The GAP Trail follows the route of a former bogcutter's railway, 2 km outside Glenties, and is a nice short excursion.

The Bluestack Way is a more challenging route, coming over the Bluestack Mountains from Donegal Town and Lough Eske before coming through Glenties and following the River Owenea to Ardara.

Slí na Finne is a nearby loop route around Fintown Lake and Ballinamore, passing into the Bluestack Mountains and The Croaghs.

Another local scenic route is a walk by backroads from Doochary, on the Gweebarra Estuary to Fintown.

The Ardara Walking Festival takes place in March every year in nearby Ardara.

Information, advice and maps for all walks mentioned above and others can be obtained from Donegal Tourist Information

See[edit]

St. Connell's Museum & Heritage Centre houses a large collection of artifacts and memorabilia. Next door is the Courthouse, built in 1843 which is still in use, below which can be seen old cell bars.

There are two churches in the town, The local Church of Ireland (Church Rd.), dates from 1825. The Roman Catholic Church is a modern building dedicated to St. Connell (the patron saint of the parish) in 1974. It has a moat at the front and its setting among the trees and shrubs enhances its long sloping roof which imitates the nearby mountains. The designer; Liam McCormack won a European Award for its architecture in 1974.

The best way to see Glenties is by short walks around the area. These include circular walks around Mullantiboyle and Tullyard, The Rock and Meenahalla. These routes go by back roads and follow the local rivers, the Owenea and Stranaglough.

Do[edit]

Narin/Portnoo beach is about 15km from Glenties. Beside the beach is Portnoo Golf Course.

River fishing is also possible on the Owenea River that passes through the town. Daily licenses can be purchased in designated shops in Glenties.. Sea angling is also available.

The local canoe club is Gweebarra Canoe Club, which meets year round on the Gweebarra Estuary, 9km away.

The nearest surfing beach is Dooey Beach, a quiet break with quite consistent surf.

The local walking club, The Bluestack Ramblers [1], often organise walks in the area which are open to tourists.

Local GAA (Gaelic Football) club Naomh Conaill often play matches in Glenties. The club is situated 800m down the Church Rd.

Sheskinamore Nature Reserve is a scenic wildlife sanctuary 20 km away, on the Rosbeg Peninsula. It borders two beaches, and offers stunning views of Donegal Bay.

Buy[edit]

Donegal tweeds and hand-knitted sweaters can be purchased in the craftshops in the town.

Local paintings and handcrafts can be purchased in the Craft Shop on the main street. Locally made jewellery can be found at Hannagh McGuinness Jewellery.

Local organic food can be bought in The Good Earth, a health food shop selling local produce. Local meat can be bought at Kee's Butchers.

There is a Post Office and ATM machine in the town also, as well as a Bank of Ireland bank.

Eat[edit]

The only hotel in the town, The Highlands Hotel, has a midday menu for lunch and a good mid-priced restaurant (€20-30 for main courses) for evening meals.

The Good Earth serve healthy lunches Monday - Saturday.

Fast food options include Nighthawks, McGuinness' Café and K2 Spices.

Drink[edit]

There are up to fourteen pubs in the town, many which do not open until the evening time. Prices for Guinness and lager are about €3.70 to €4.00, in line with other towns in Donegal.

Bars worth a visit include Paddy's, Keeney's and Leo McLoone's, all family run establishments with friendly service.

Sleep[edit]

There is only one hotel in the town, , but there are numerous guest houses and Bed and Breakfast places to stay.

  • The Highlands Hotel.
  • Campbell's Holiday Hostel. a family-run hostel
  • The Station House, Station Road (on the edge of town, on the left past the secondary school on Letterkenny Road), +353 74 9551302. B&B. Day trips to Bluestack Mountains, Narin Golf Course, Gweebarra canoeing, Dooey Surf School.

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