Creevy Coastal Walk – overlooking Donegal Bay!
Wild Atlantic Way Creevy Shore Walk, a purpose built coastal footpath 10 miles in length through Creevy to the mouth of the Erne Estuary in Ballyshannon. It is situated 1km from The Wild Atlantic Way which is a 2,500km route from Malin Head, Co Donegal to Kinsale, Co Cork.
Creevy Coastal Walk – Walkers will be enchanted by breathtaking views along the Co-op’s specially constructed cliff walk. The route passes over moor and farmland and is equipped with fence stiles and direction markers. This walk is most suited to the physically fit -a must for the explorer!
On the Creevy Coastal walk are the ruins of Kilbarron Castle, home of Michael O’Cleary, and the Four Masters, a group of Franciscan lay brothers, who penned the Annals of the Four Masters, a most significant piece of history going back over the centuries.
From Creevy Pier Hotel to the Erne Estuary, Ballyshannon
This route takes about 1 hour 20 minutes and incorporates breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean, the Sandbar, Lady of the Sands Cemetery and Wardtown Castle. Our walk finishes at ‘the end of the road’ where there is a picnic area on the edge of the estuary.
Sands Cemetery is a fenced off area. ‘Lady of the Sands’ remains were found here in 1998. Archaeologists were called in and the area was completely sealed off for months. It has been established that remains of a female of the 6th Century, brought an insight into the lives and deaths of Ireland’s first Christians.
Wardtown Castle Commenced building in 1600’s. After the Act of the Settlement 1541, English landlords were given large areas of land in Ireland. Folliot came here and the Castle was finished in 1715. A local senator, Speaker Connolly bought out some local landlords and owned much of the land from Ballyshannon to Donegal. The roof was removed in the early 1900’s because the rates were too high.
The Estuary to Ballyshannon was a major fishing port but the Sand Bar which can be viewed from the walk always proved a problem. The remains of one ship which floundered can be seen at low tide.
From Creevy Pier Car Park towards Rossnowlagh
Kilbarron Castle; Very little remains but the oldest part dates back to the 6th century. The visible remains are from the 13th century. Michael O’Cleary, Chief of the Four Masters was born there in 1580. A music and poetry school was run from the Castle for young men. Both Cleary and Ward are still common names in the area and it is indeed appropriate that the Franciscans should have returned to establish a monastery in 1946. ** This part of the walk enjoys the spectacular views of Rossnowlagh but there is no walk/route to Rossnowlagh – you must turn back!
For those who wish to stroll at a sedate pace, the area is laced with meandering country roads and there is a 5km stretch of golden strand at nearby Rossnowlagh (Blue Flag).
Creevy is also convenient long distance walks such as the Blue Stack Way and Baile na Gaeltachta [the Gaeltacht Way].
Creevy Coastal Walk Mild/wet is probably the best description, but possibly oceanic/moist, giving moderately warm summers and mild cool winters with prescription in any season. The Gulf Stream, a warm ocean current, plays a warmth. In summer, the ocean is cooler than the land and again the westerly winds blowing in keep temperatures mild. However, these same winds carry a lot of rain from the North West – 50″-70″ per year. Temperatures in summer 15-22 degrees Celsius.
Geology and Soils
The pier leads to where the Atlantic pounds the shore from the Northwest and Southwest. The rocks are mainly limestone with a mixture of grosses and granite. The area is clothed by a very thin layer of argillic brown earth and grass, allowing the bare rocks to surface. Over the centuries many of these rocks and stones were gathered to build characteristic stone