Walking Up Errigal

At 751 metres, Errigal is the highest mountain in Donegal and it’s majestic glittering quartzite peak dominates the northwest corner of Ireland. For many, it is quite simply the most beautiful mountain in the country and it is certainly among the most climbed despite its remote location. Errigal has the magical quality of appearing to change shape depending on what direction you view it from.


Errigal enjoys a remote location situated overlooking the tiny village of Dunlewy in Donegal. It’s around a 3.5 hour drive from Dublin and 2 hours from Belfast. Coming from Letterkenny, follow the N56 and then turn onto the R251. Parking is available off the R251 around 1 mile before Dunlewy.

The traditional and most popular way to climb Errigal is from the carpark off the R251. The route initially crosses some very heavily eroded and boggy ground. Head towards a very visible track rising through the shiny scree on the lower slopes of the mountain. It is really from this point that the ascent proper starts.

You are faced with a short stiff walk over the scree before reaching solid rock. From here, it’s simply a case of following the well scratched track which leads around the edge of the summit ridge to the large circular shelter. From the shelter, the widening views across to Mackoght, Altan Lough and the Aghlas are simply breathtaking. After the shelter are a number of cairns which lead onto the every-narrowing ridge with steep slopes on either side providing a degree of exposure.

errigal summit

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