Gleann Cholm Cille is a remarkable locale with plenty of ways to spend your time. We have gathered together some information for you and hope you enjoy your time in Glen.


Hillwalking and Loop Walks - Gleann Cholm Cille.

Hill walking on the Glencolmcille Peninsula in Southwest Donegal.

The Sliabh Liag (Slieve League) Peninsula, with its unique mix of breathtaking coastal scenery, rugged hills and stone-age archaeology, must be one of the most interesting walking areas in Europe.

Oideas Gael's expert instructors lead Walking Donegal programmes that are physically and culturally rewarding for novices and experienced walkers alike or join in with the Sliabh Liag Walking group who hold walks monthly. - visit their website for their walking calendar (

Fáilte Ireland has designated two walks in the area as part of the national walks network, known as the Glencolmcille Loop. The Drum Loop and Tower Loop. There are plenty of beautiful walks around the village, but two of the best are the Drum Loop and the shorter Tower Loop. Both take the same route, however, the Drum Loop takes a detour only to join the Tower Loop again at a later stage.

Glenhead Tower Loop WalkDrum Loop

This walk climbs around the eastern summit of Beefin and Gaveross Mountain before going down again towards the village through the townland of Drum along a steep track, and rejoining the Tower Loop.

The Drum Loop means you have bypassed only a few hundred metres of the Tower Loop, which won’t take long to explore. The beautiful lanes back to the village are lined with old stone walls, and you pass the 5,000 year old Mannernamortee Megalithic Tomb and more cross-inscribed pillars along the way.

The Glen Loop

This walk takes you up to the Martello Watch Tower and you can continue along the cliffs to the deserted fishing village of Port. Situated beside a stoney beach, its isolation is emphasised by the crashing of the sea against the sea gulls cries. Behind Port Hill lies the deserted fishing village at Glenlough (Gleann Lách).

This beautiful area has attracted numerous artists and writers over the years, and the coastal walk to Gleann Lách passes the ruined cottage where Dylan Thomas stayed in 1935.

The 35 km stretch of coastline between Slieve League (Sliabh Liag) and Slieve Tooey offers the walker a rich diversity of spectacular scenery. For the experienced walker, the challenging trek across Slieve League, whose summit is reached by crossing 'One Mans Pass', provices breath taking views. At 1,972 ft, these are the highest sea cliffs in Europe and have to be seen to be believed!

Click the link to download pdf Maps of the Tower and Drum Loop walks:

Ireland’s “soft” climate makes it a great place for walking all year round as winters are mild and summers are temperate. Plus, many of Ireland’s landscapes have a special beauty in the autumn and winter months. Always check the weather forecast before you set out to make sure there is nothing unexpected around the corner.

Cliffs around Glencolmcille


Conduct - Country Code

  • Respect farmland and the rural environment.
  • Do not interfere with livestock, crops, machinery or other property.
  • Guard against all risks of fire, especially near forests and during dry spells.
  • Leave all farm gates as you find them.
  • Always keep children under close control and supervision.
  • Avoid entering farmland containing livestock. Your presence can cause stress to the livestock and even endanger your own safety.
  • Do not enter farmland if you have dogs with you, even if on a leash, unless with the permission of the landowner.
  • Always use gates, stiles or other recognised access points and avoid damage to fences, hedges and walls. If you open a gate, close it again behind you.
  • Take all litter home.
  • Take special care on country roads.
  • Avoid making unnecessary noise.
  • Protect wildlife, plants and trees.
  • Take heed of warning signs – they are there for your protection.
  • Much land is in private ownership and access is only available with the goodwill and tolerance of the owner. Whilst most landowners do not object to recreational users on their land, some do. So always comply with a landowner's wishes.

Grades of walks within Ireland

Walks are graded into Easy Ways (navigated paths with little or no climbing, suitable for all levels); Moderate Ways (includes rougher terrain with uphill sections, suitable for regular walkers); and Hard Ways (rough terrain with steep climbs and difficult sections, requires stamina and experience, as well as map reading skills and proper equipment).

Sunrise and sunset

Check the times of both so you are not setting out or returning in the dark. Always plan to finish your walk while there is still plenty of light.

What to bring

  • A good map
  • A torch and whistle
  • Waterproofs
  • A warm hat and gloves
  • A first aid kit
  • Strong walking boots and socks (with a spare pair of socks).
  • Shorts, sunhat, sunscreen and sunglasses (for sunny days).
  • A day sack to carry food and extra clothing.
  • Water bottle and thermos flask.
  • Walking poles if you need them and know how to use them.
  • Warm trousers, warm sweaters and spares.