There are plenty of good walks in Bundoran and the surrounding area. We have set out a walking tour of Bundoran you can follow, taking in some of the sights and history of town. Further down the page is information on walks in the area.
The following is the Bundoran Surf Co. walking tour of Bundoran. There is a short and long version. Both start off the same. Easy to follow and there is some local history along the way – historical info provided by Bundoran Historical Society.
Short walk: 40 minutes. Long walk: 1.5 hours.
Go out the door of the Surf Lodge and turn left. Follow the road to KFC and turn left on to Tullan Strand road. Keep going straight and you will pass a barrier that indicates the entrance to the pedestrian section of the Roguey cliff path. Tullan strand is to your right, a famous surfing beach.
Follow the cliff path for great views over Donegal Bay. On the far side of the bay you can see the cliffs of Sliabh League in the distance, reputed to be the highest sea cliffs in Europe (600m) and well worth a visit on a clear day. On the right before the first shelter are the Fairy Bridges (cliff arches) and the Wishing Chair. On your left is Bundoran Golf Links, which was founded in 1894. The headland you are approaching is called Aughrus Point, translated from the Irish as the peninsula of the horses.
As the path veers left after the headland and starts to go downhill, you can see Bundoran below you. There are fine views from here of the mountains in the distance. From the left the mountains are the Dartry Hills, Arroo (table top mountain), Tievebaun (TV mast on top), Benwiskin (sheer face) and Ben Bulben. To your right there is an inlet with 2 large outcrops of rock. This is a very popular swimming spot (high tide only) and there are diving boards in summer. Jumping off the various levels of cliffs is a rite of passage for Bundoran youngsters but still popular with all ages. The highest jumping point is about 40 feet. You are now heading towards Bundoran Main Beach. This beach has been a popular swimming spot for more than 200 years. In 1777 the Viscount of Enniskillen built a holiday home in Bundoran (still standing today and named Homefield House on Bayview Avenue), giving rise to the development of Bundoran as a popular seaside destination for well heeled visitors who came to take the ‘bracing sea air’. Bundoran had its own train station from 1866 until 1957, with links to Belfast and Derry. The development of the railway led to a big boost in popularity for and access to Bundoran for many types of people, not just the affluent classes. Around this time the Great Northern Railway Company built the Great Northern Hotel.
At the bottom of the hill you have 2 choices:
Short option: veer left and follow the pedestrian path to the barrier. Keep going straight and then turn right at Quinns Caravan Park and this will take you to the back of Bundoran Surf Co.
Long option: Veer right and follow the promenade. On your right is a large sign that gives information on the sea birds in the area. As you continue you will see a play park and Waterworld on your left. Look out for a sculpture called Double Daisy. As you follow the path there is an outdoor swimming pool below you on the right, called the Thrupenny Pool. The large outcrop of rock on the right is called No Man’s Land. Look out for the bronze sculptures of beach towels on your right along the wall, known as Dry. There is a sculpture of a pair of trainers also that is tricky to find. If the tide is low you can see the reef stretching out towards the sea. This is a very vibrant reef with lots of life in the rock pools and you can walk out over it quite safely, just be sure to know the tide times. Now you will see a large stone sculpture, consisting of an arch and standing stone, known as Carraig na Nean (the Rock of the Birds). Keep straight and pass the pedestrian barrier. This section of Bundoran was once the subject of a very famous right of way case in the mid 1800’s. At the time the landlord had a gate across this section of the road to restrict access to the promenade and beach for private use. This was challenged by the parish priest who maintained it was a public right of way. The case ended up in the High Court and the gate was taken down.
At the end of the road turn right at the tourist office and cross the bridge over the Bradog River. This is where the name Bundoran comes from. In Irish the town is Bun Dobhrain, meaning ‘foot of the little water’. On your left is Christ Church (C of I), which was built in 1849 followed by a row of 3 storey Edwardian houses, Bayview Terrace, which was built in 1899/1900. You are now in the West End, which is the original Bundoran. Originally, Bundoran was 2 different towns. This area west of the bridge was the original Bundoran and the other end of town (where Bundoran Surf Co. is located) was a different town, Single Street. In between the 2 was the townland of Drumacrin, which we now know as the town centre. The native local population traditionally lived in Single Street and the more affluent classes lived in the West End. Continuing through the West End, on your right you will see Bundoran Harbour, known as the Boat Quay, which is also home to the local RNLI station. The boat quay is a popular fishing spot and it was extended and repaired in 1933 to its present format. As you continue along the main road you can take the next turn to the right on to Shene Avenue. At the end of this road you can turn left on to the West End cliff path. To your right there are steps leading down to the West End bathing pool, a manmade pool in the rocks. It is also known as the Nun’s Pool, because the Mercy Nuns from Enniskillen had their summer retreat, Villa Nova, close by. Continue along the cliff path as it meanders along the coast. When you reach the information sign the path turns right and if you wanted to continue you can follow the path all the way to the Drowes River mouth. However, our walk will stay straight here and come down through the Elaghmore housing estate and to the main road. There is a sculpture here, Aolchloch Punta, of a boat that is in sections and is designed as seating. Turn left and walk towards town. Will take about 15 minutes to get back to Bundoran Surf Co.
Rougey Cliff Path
Circular cliff path walk in Bundoran. Park at Tullan Strand or close to the Tourist Office and follow the path. Most of it is a pedestrian walkway and light up at night. Takes about 50 minutes. Great views of Donegal Bay.
Famous surfing beach at the northern end of Bundoran. You can follow the beach all the way to the estuary and into Ballyshannon (4 miles). Seals in the estuary sometimes. Great sand dunes for exploring and sand surfing with body boards. No access to the dunes when red flag up as army firing range in use.
Bundoran West End Cliff Path
Starts at the Tourist Office. Follow the road along the coast and turn right for cliff path at Shene Ave. Paved for about a mile and then gets rough. It then becomes fields and you can follow the coast out to the Drowes River. You could also start this walk from Tullan strand car park.
Creevy Shore Walk
Purpose built shore path from Rossnowlagh to Creevy and on to the Erne estuary at Ballyshannon. Fence crossings by stiles rather than gates.
Mullaghmore Head and beach
A lovely walk around the head that takes about 50 minutes. Also accessible by car. Great views of the bay and Classiebawn/Mountbatten castle. Good walking on the beach. Head towards Sligo and after the River Duff turn right at sign for Beach Hotel. At the T turn right. Park in the village and walk. On the other side of the headland is back beach – access is from cliffoney village and park at first corner and white cottage.
Great coastal walk along the beach and into the dunes. Head towards Sligo and turn right in Grange, take next right and right again at V.
Four miles out of Bundoran towards Sligo, turn left after Creevykeel Megalithic Complex (worth a visit) and follow the road to the old pub at a crossroads on your left and park. Six-mile walk around the horseshoe. You can also drive the route.
There are many great walks in the hills between Bundoran and Sligo, the most famous of which is Benbulben Mountain. On a clear day you can climb Benbulben via Kings Mountain. Turn left in Rathcormack, go to T junction, turn right, look for zig zag path going up the gully. Also can be accessed from other side of the plateau. Loads of walks in these hills. Best done with OS map number 16 (available in the surf shop) and a compass. Call in and we can give you advice on where to go. Make sure the weather is fine and clear if you are not an experienced hillwalker. Make sure you ask local farmers before crossing their lands.