Inishowen Way

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Inishowen Wild Way, (in Association with Inishowen Civic Forum)

Trails Map Showing Gap in Inishowen

The Inishowen Wild Way is a 5-day walk around the varied and stunning coastline of the Inishowen Peninsula, linking existing coastal paths. Many of these existing paths, put in place by various Community Associations, are well marked and well trodden, but the 'wild way' concept relating to the linking sections, is that no trail infrastructure or signage should spoil the experience of the walker, and introduce anything unnatural. The walker should be capable of navigating the route with the assistance of a map and the guidance notes (including grid references), supplied on the website.

Where, due to access problems, the route cannot be 'wild', quiet minor roads and lanes are chosen. This being Ireland, where access problems can suddenly appear, or indeed (less suddenly) be resolved, the advantage of a web based guide is the flexibility to change the route at a moments notice. With the recent ubiquitous Smart Phone, it would appear that an App would be a natural progression in this type of walk- watch this space!

Access

Every effort is being made to avoid contentious areas but it must be borne in mind that virtually anywhere you step off

the road in Ireland, you are legally trespassing, whether you are on private land or commonage. In effect, problems are relatively rare, as most farmers and landowners are hospitable, courteous people, and it is important to keep it that way by respecting them, their property, and abiding by the principles of ‘Leave no Trace’.

Dogs are great companions during a walk, but can cause problems for/with landowners. If you must take one, make sure it is kept on a lead anywhere there might be livestock

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It is also important to be aware of the situation regarding liability. No one within the Irish legal system has ever successfully sued a landowner for any injury or damage arising from anything 'natural' on his land (or walls or fences either) and several speculative claims have been rejected, so legal precedent is clear, it simply will not happen. The fact that the Wild Way introduces nothing unnatural reinforces this situation. Spurious claims cause scare stories, and result in access problems, so don’t even think about it!

The researched 'ideal route' took 7 days, but one of the most attractive sections around the Malin Head area, will have to be deferred due to a small number of crucial landowners refusing access along their section of the coastline. The proposed 'Way' has therefore been reduced to five days, going directly from Malin Town to Culdaff. This is disappointing not only for walkers, but for hospitality providers in the Ballygorman area, and for those landowners who went to the trouble of providing an obstacle free route along side their farming area.

Equipment/Experience

Whilst many sections of the 'Way' are on beaches, minor roads and well established trails, there are others over open hillside/along cliff edges, and the weather in Inishowen can by very fickle. Walkers should be properly equipped with robust footwear, warm, waterproof clothing, and carry adequate food and water for their needs. They also should have, and be able to interpret, the ordnance survey map, and use a compass and/or GPS.

Access problems can suddenly appear, however, so if you do come across a problem, ‘back off’ immediately, and let us know (see Contact section) and we will attempt to resolve the situation.

Signage

As this is a 'new concept wildway', there will be no signage. This walk is supposed to be challenging, not only in respect of physical effort, but the walker will be expected to be able to use a map, and preferably a compass and/or GPS, for which grid references are supplied in the route description.

Walk Profile

Day 1

Buncrana to Dunree. Initially a concrete coastal path, then beaches, narrow grassy track, small amount of rocky beach, quiet country lanes. 3½ - 4 hours. Details
Day 2 Dunree to Clonmany. Beach, shallow river crossing, rough tracks, scree ascent, heathery hillside, boggy tracks over col. 4 - 4½ hours Details
Day 3 Clonmany to Culdaff. Beaches, rough tracks, hillside ascent, cart track, hillside descent, minor coastal road.Cycle, taxi, or B&B pick-up. 5 hours. Details
Day 4 Culdaff to Tremone. Quiet roads, rough ground, rockyshore, beach/sandhills, footpath, quiet lanes. 3-3.5 hours Details
Day 5 Tremone to Moville. Quiet roads, beaches, wooded tracks, bog roads, steep grassy slope, coastal footpath. 5 hours. Details