The Cliffs of Slieve League – majestic and marvellous

They are nestled in the rugged, unspoilt landscapes of the Irish northwest, they are among the highest cliffs in Europe and they are not overrun by tourists – we are talking about the magnificent cliffs of Slieve League…

At the Slieve League Cliffs
At the Slieve League Cliffs (photo: Ulrich Knüppel-Gertberg)

Intro

I’m travelling by motorbike in the north-west of Ireland. It’s autumn and the weather is autumnal too. The wind is whistling in from the Atlantic and salty spray is blowing over the roads on the coast – and me. It doesn’t bother me. I’ve just come from the pretty little town of Donegal, had a good breakfast in the hotel and haven’t cooled down yet – everything is fine.

I drive via the village of Teelin to “Bunglass Point”, as it was called on Google Maps back then. It is now called “Sliabh Liag Viewing Platform”. Both are difficult to understand for non-Irish people: what is meant is the viewing platform on the cliffs of Slieve League.

There is a surprisingly small car park in front of the cliffs, only a few cars are parked here and I don’t see any coaches – the Cliffs of Moher are much busier!

You can drive up a small road through a small pasture gate to the viewpoint. There is another small car park there. In summer the passage is regulated, but now in autumn the passage is free.

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Ad for our own business Easycruiser.tours

I drive slowly up the surprisingly steep little road, which is an experience in itself. At the top of the cliffs, I’m speechless: breathtaking! Standing hundreds of metres above the sea, I look out over the cliffs that stretch for kilometres. The drizzle occasionally spoils the view, but I spend a lot of time up here taking in the mighty cliffs, the foaming surf and the circling seabirds.

We are originally from Germany, but have lived in Ireland for many years as a second home, where we run our motorbike rental business (south of Dublin) in the summer (https://www.easycruiser.tours) and our guest rooms (https://www.the-view-accommodation.ie). We have travelled the island of Ireland extensively and therefore know it well.

Background to the cliffs

The cliffs of Slieve League are a good 600 metres high, making them one of the highest sea cliffs in Europe.

In comparison, the spectacularly beautiful, almost vertical, heavily visited Cliffs of Moher are “only” just over 200 metres high!

Small road to upper parking at the Cliffs of Slieve League
Small road to upper parking at the Cliffs of Slieve League (photo: Ulrich Knüppel-Gertberg)

Right at the small car park at the top, you will find the word “Eire 71” laid out in white stones on the green grass. In fact, you will find several such markings along the west coast. These were created during the Second World War and served as navigation aids for Allied aircraft.

You will also find the remains of a square tower up here on the cliffs.

A narrow hiking trail leads up the cliffs from the car park. This is the One Mans Path, which connects with the Pilgrims Path further up.

A visit to the cliffs – activities

You can drive to the cliffs via the village of Teelin. From there they are well signposted.

You can then park your car at the first or second car park, perhaps walk a short distance and admire the cliffs.

If you fancy a day hike, you can do the Sliabh League Walk. You can find more information here: https://hiiker.app/trails/ireland/county-donegal/slieve-league-loop-from-teelin.

The Cliffs of Slieve League
The Cliffs of Slieve League (photo. Ulrich Knüppel-Gertberg)

What else you can do in the area

You can combine the cliffs of Slieve League with a visit to the harbour town of Donegal, where you can also spend the night.

Further west, you’ll find the pretty former fishing village of Glencolumbcille and the lovely little museum village of Glencolumbcille Folk Village. I have linked my article on the Folk Village for you below.

Cloghanmore Megalithic Tomb
Cloghanmore Megalithic Tomb (photo: Ulrich Knüppel-Gertberg)

On the way there you can visit the beautiful Silver Strand and if you take the small L1025 road via Glenmalin, you will pass the Cloghanmore Megalithic Tomb, a stone circle that is thousands of years old.


Conclusion

Rugged nature, high cliffs, rocky mountains and sheep everywhere – in the north-west you will find a very scenic part of Ireland.

Yes, the weather can be a little cooler than in the south of Ireland, but here you can experience the island from its original side. What’s more, there is much less tourist activity here than in the south-west (for example on the Ring of Kerry).

Ad for our own business The View Accommodation
Ad for our own business The View Accommodation

The cliffs of Slieve League are no longer a real insider tip, but a tip that not so many travellers follow. And that makes them almost an insider tip again. I can definitely recommend a visit.

Have fun at the cliffs!

More interesting articles for you

GLENCOLUMBCILLE FOLK VILLAGE – LIFE IN RURAL IRELAND IN THE PAST


DROMBEG STONE CIRCLE – THE MEGALITHIC HERITAGE OF IRELAND


HOOK HEAD LIGHTHOUSE – THE OLDEST ACTIVE LIGHTHOUSE IN THE WORLD


THE MEDIEVAL TOWN OF KILKENNY



Picture credits cover picture: Cliffs of Slieve League, photo: Ulrich Knüppel-Gertberg (www.easycruiser.tours, www.the-view-accommodation.ie, www.irland-insider.de, www.ireland-insider.com)

Uli Written by:

Hello and welcome to my blog. Originating from Germany, my family and I now live in Ireland (at least part time). We have travelled this amazing isle many times and know many parts of it very well. In this blog, I would like to share valuabe tips and information for your next trip to Ireland with you. Enjoy the content, yours, Ulrich Knüppel-Gertberg