Derry/Donegal staycation 2021: Why not tackle Errigal and the Seven Sisters this summer?

With travel abroad largely off limits this summer due to the continuing coronavirus pandemic we should count our blessings we live in one of the most beautiful corners of the planet with numerous staycation options to choose from over the coming months.

A mere hour and half from Derry rise the magnificent Seven Sisters in the Derryveaghs, standing serene amid the breath-taking scenery of north west Donegal.

The most recognisable of 'Na Seacht Deirfiúracha' is the tallest and southern-most mountain in the range, Errigal, which rises sheer from bogland near Gweedore.

At 751-metres tall, the mountain is the highest peak in Donegal and the 35th highest in Ireland. Popular with hill-walkers it's a strenuous enough yet manageable climb and affords spectacular views of the surrounding countryside. Perhaps the most photogenic of all the hills in the country it's well within day trip or overnight range of Derry and worth a visit.

A view of Dunlewey Lough, the Derryveagh mountains, Gweedore and the Rosses, from the summit of Errigal.

Not quite as famous as Errigal but equally wonderful is the northernmost mountain in the range, Muckish, which rises to 667-metres near to Falcarragh and Creeslough. Also extremely popular with walkers Muckish's summit offers a different perspective to Errigal.

For those who have been, saw and conquered these better known peaks there are five other hills running northwards to have a go at.

These are Mackoght/Earagail Bheag or 'Wee Errigal (551m), Aghla More (581m), Ardloughnabrackbaddy (602m), Aghla Beg (602m) and Crocknalaragagh (471m).

The area is easily accessible by car and public transport.


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A view of Lough Altan, nestled between Mackoght and Aghla More, with Magheroarty, Falcarragh, Dunfanaghy and Rosguill in the distance.

Patrick Gallagher Coaches of Brinalack runs a daily service to Bunbeg from Water Street in Derry while John McGinley Coaches of Magheroarty operates a service from Letterkenny to the area.

Dunlewey Lough with the Derryveagh hills as seen from Errigal.