Grianan of Aileach, County Donegal
Staring across the reinforced wall towards the Inishowen Peninsula, the sun was making an appearance above Louch Swilly.
On this beautiful morning in April, we would be forgiven to feel like a king on top of Grianan of Aileach, a hillfort atop the 244m high Greenan mountain at Inishowen.
Imagining what a siege would have been like in it's occupied days, the gorse surrounding this mighty fort could have been Vikings trying to capture this mighty fort which dates back to the 8th or 9th century.
The short walk from the car park earlier on had given us views towards lough Swilly and Lough Foyle, and it is this demanding location which was more than likely the reason they built this fort in this location. The walls are 4.5 meters thick and 5 meters high, on the inside there are 3 terraces linked by steps. Inside the walls are 2 long passages.
The fort was plundered by vikings in 904 and 939, the final destruction took place in 1101by the army of Muirchertach ui briain, king of Munster.
In the 1870's , the fort was restored by Dr. Walter Bernard. Nowadays, there is an extensive carpark installed close to the fort, a short walk will bring you towards the fort itself. The walk is wheelchair friendly as a new path has been installed for wheelchair users. This great tourist attractions which was a hit with our kids has no admission fee.
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About the Author
We are Peter & Dolores De Bie. We love the great outdoors, discovering new parts of the world and writing about our adventures along the Wild Atlantic Way and further afield