Return to Slieve League / Sliabh Liag, Donegal with Clouds

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Slieve League / Sliabh Liab in Donegal, Ireland Slieve League / Sliabh Liab in Donegal, Ireland

Amongst the most popular places to visit in Donegal and indeed in the whole of Ireland and in particular the 2,500km Wild Atlantic Way that stretches from Donegal's border with Derry right down to Kinsale in Cork, Slieve League's impressive sloping sea cliffs are inspiring.

The impressive cliffs and uninterrupted Atlantic views of Slieve League are located approximately one hour's drive west of Donegal Town in the south west of Ireland's most northerly county, Donegal.

On my previous visit to these cliffs that rise to about 600 metres off the Atlantic Ocean the weather was bright and golden with beautiful light striking the facets of grey rock and green grass.

On this occasion, summer 2021, it was warm but overcast so there was no direct, golden sunshine light. Still, at least the Atlantic weather was sympathetic to our photographic pursuits and there was plenty of colour as you can see in this image.

I have been to other mountains in Ireland where the weather is so cloudy that there are no views - on every occasion; but here at Slieve League I have always had colourful and clear scenes to photograph.

I often get asked how long it takes to get to Slieve League - The journey across from Donegal Town through Dunkineely and Killybegs along the N56 and R263 roads is slow and twisty, the surface of the roads are quite good but there are very few straight stretches and it takes approximately an hour to cover the 50 kilometres or 30 miles, slower than average.

It is possible to drive up to the upper car park by opening and closing the gate(s) and making your way along the twisty road, it's not as scary as it was 20 years or so ago but approximately 1km of coastal driving will save you a lot of uphill walking from the lower carpark and is recommended for those with disabilities, health conditions or those unable to walk uphill for more than 30 minutes.

There is a new shuttle bus in operation in summer during daytime hours - so it is no longer possible to drive to the upper car park at the viewing point during these times. The shuttle bus costs €6 per adult, so maybe it would be worth getting those hiking boots on and walking up!

At the top, it is possible to continue walking right up over the path above the cliffs that you see in the image here along the One Man's Pass, a narrow ridge with sheer drops on either side - not for the casual walker.

As we photographed the scenery enjoying music performed by a local family whose son was returning back to London the following day, these clouds - lenticular in nature, formed over Slieve League and the blue sky of the Atlantic.

Join Panoramic Ireland to photograph in Ireland, from Slieve League in Donegal to Hook Head in Wexford.

Last modified on Tuesday, 21 September 2021 01:02
Darren McLoughlin

International travel photographer and Irishman in search of the best bits of Ireland. Leading photography tours and experiences in Ireland.

Contributor to New York Times / Sunday Times / Irish Times

Cancer survivor.

Ask me about Ireland or about photography in Ireland.

https://darrenmcloughlin.com

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