Slieve League Cliffs, County Donegal

Standing at the top of the magnificent Slieve League Cliffs, it feels like you’re at the very edge of the world

Impressive Slieve League cliffs, Co Donegal
Impressive Slieve League cliffs, Co Donegal

Cliff culture

Swooping down from the mountain of Slieve League, these towering precipes are among the highest sea cliffs in Europe. From the crowning point on the cliffs, it’s a staggering 1,998 feet drop into the swirling Atlantic Ocean below.

Before you come to the cliffs themselves, you’ll come across the Slieve League Cliffs Centre. With a friendly  local atmosphere, this family-run and award-winning spot is packed full of local history and culture. The craft shop stocks locally made knitwear and artworks and, come summertime, you can even catch a traditional Irish music session.

If you book a guided walk or hike of the cliffs, you’ll be spirited away with insights into the local wildlife and spectacular geography, with a few local anecdotes thrown in for good measure. Take our advice and grab a bite to eat at the Tí Linn Café before you go – it'll set you up for the bracing walk ahead!

Journey to the edge and back

The visitor center is the last stop before the cliffs themselves. However, you can drive your car from here to a small car park slightly closer to the cliffs. The Slieve League Cliffs are nearly three times the height of their County Clare sisters, the Cliffs of Moher, so take care when treading those coastal paths.

From the designated viewing points, an astounding panorama opens up before you. On a clear day, Donegal Bay, Leitrim and Sligo’s Ben Bulben mountain are all visible to the naked eye. Only experienced walkers should venture beyond the viewing point onto One Man's Pass, which loops around onto the Pilgrim's Path and is the highest point. To get here, you must follow a narrow pathway, but for a gentler route, take the pathway from Bunglas to Malinbeg.

History across the cliffs

During WWII, it was agreed that the Allies would be able to use a free-fly zone across an area called the Donegal Corridor to get their pilots from Enniskillen in County Fermanagh out over the Atlantic. Stones were painted white and placed on the ground to spell out the word Éire, so the pilots could spot them while navigating. Now overgrown, you can still make out the word beside the Slieve League viewing point, and slightly further down the road.

Leaving you speechless

Words fail to capture the majesty and sheer scale of the cliffs. With twirling seabirds flying overhead and nothing but crisp blue ocean before you, it feels like you’re at the very edge of the world. With a new-found sense of awe, you’re ready to get back onto your Wild Atlantic Way adventure.

Geographical coordinates: Latitude 54.627438; longitude -8.6847138 (note, if you use your car’s GPS to go directly to this point, you may not always remain on the Wild Atlantic Way route.)

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