Glenveagh (glen of the birches) national park, in northwest Ireland, is 40,871 acres (16,540 hectares) in size making it Ireland's largest national park. This park, opened in 1986, is, for the most part, a remote wilderness area.
Among the mountains in the park are the two highest peaks in Donegal--Errigal and Slieve Snacht. There are spectacular ice-carved cliffs known as the Poisoned Glen and Bingorm. By contrast the landscape in the north-east part of the park has hills, deep peat bogs, and the Owencarrow river's swamp valley. Lakes are also a feature of the park--Lough Veagh supports brown trout and Arctic char.
Oak and birch woodlands inhabit the valley that cuts the park in two. Wildlife find a home here, among which are fox, stoat, and badger. Some of the birds are siskins, treecreepers, redstarts, and wood warblers. In the higher reaches of the park can be found ravens, peregrines, and grouse. Red deer also roam the park.
In the park is a four storey rectangular keep, Glenveagh Castle, built between 1870-73. The surrounding gardens include a pleasure garden and walled garden. In the park visitor centre is an exhibition and av presentation.
Glenveagh National Park
Churchill, Letterkenny, county Donegal
24km north-west of Letterkenny.
Kilmacrennan/Termon to Dunlewy Road or Churchill to Dunlewy Road
Tel. 0 74 37090
Tel. 0 74 37072
Open: mid-March to early Nov, daily 10am-6.30pm
Castle by 45 minute guided tour only
Facilities: AV presentation: 25 minutes in length; exhibition; trails; gardens; minibus to castle; tearoom at castle June-Aug.
Web: Glenveagh National Park
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