North West Ireland Tourism
Visitor Guide to Mayo, Sligo, Donegal, Roscommon, Leitrim, Cavan & Monaghan
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Outdoor Adventure

Most adventure sports seem to involve either falling through the air, whooshing across water, or clambering up mountains, so the North West is the perfect setting for whatever kind of outdoor action appeals to you. Home to the towering Bluestack Mountains, the rugged Donegal Bay, and the highest sea cliffs in Europe at Slieve League, Ireland's North West is an adventure sports fan’s dream location. The region has a diverse and beautiful landscape of hills, woodlands, glens, lakes, and beaches which all come together to create a paradise for outdoor activities. If you’re heading to Ireland's North West on your holiday and you love the great outdoors, refer to the wide variety of activities on offer listed below.
Bundoran Surf Co offer surf lessons, accommodation and all equipment for sale in their surf shop in Bundoran, Co. Donegal. The surf school was set-up in 2005 by surf enthusiasts Pete Craig and Aidan Browne. The team at Bundoran Surf Co will make sure you get the best surfing tuition in their Surf Academy at one of Ireland's best surfing beaches. For those looking for a place to rest a tired head after a day on the waves, the lodge adjoining the surf school and shop is the ideal spot.
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Croagh Patrick Centre or Teach na Miasa in Irish is a visitor centre at the foot of Croagh Patrick, Ireland's Holy Mountain overlooking Clew Bay, chosen by St. Patrick in 441 for a 40-day fast. In addition to providing guidance and toilet/shower facilities for those who venture out to climb the 2,510-foot mountain, this purpose-built centre also serves as an information source for non-climbing visitors about the mountain and its traditions. The exhibits include a photo gallery and displays on the archaeological, social, and religious history of the mountain. For those who have an hour to spare, there is a 55-minute audio-visual shown throughout the day. Guided tours of the mountain are also available from the centre. Facilities include a coffee shop, self-service restaurant, and craft shop selling locally-made crafts, maps, books on local history and archaeology, and gear for the trek, i.e walking sticks, socks, and rain wear. It is located 5 miles west of Westport. Open daily March to October.
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Donegal Adventure Centre situated in Bundoran, County Donegal is one of Ireland's biggest surf training schools. The centre caters for surf lessons for individuals or groups, day trips and overnight stays for primary, secondary and third level students along with individual adults, corporate groups, stags/hens, sports clubs and families. The main activities on offer at Donegal Adventure Centre are Surfing lessons, Kayaking lessons, Climbing, Abseiling, Orienteering, Hillwalking, Archery, High Ropes course, Cliff Jumping, Canoeing. Summer camps are also held annually. Accommodation can bee booked through the centre at Homefield Rock Hostel.
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Donegal is pounded by some glorious waves, making it one of Ireland’s best destinations for surfers. Fin McCool Surf School located in Rossnowlagh offers an enjoyable and safe introduction Surfing on some of Irelands most pristine and best surfing beaches. They offer accommodation which is located next door to the Fin McCool Surf School and shop and offers comfortable 4 & 3 bed dorms or double rooms.
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Gartan Outdoor Education and Training Centre is situated on a large 87-acre woodland estate and on the shores of beautiful Lough Gartan. The secluded location in the heart of Donegal, makes for an ideal base for a wide variety of adventure activities. For over a quarter of century Gartan Outdoor Education and Training Centre has been providing courses at all levels in a wide range of outdoor pursuits. From Outdoor Learning and Adventure Sport training courses to holidays and guided trips, there are activities to suit all levels of experience on offer. Comfortable, quality accommodation is available on site along with excellent catering too. Individuals of all ages, schools, colleges and universities, sporting teams and companies are welcome to join their courses and events. Activities available include Archery, Canadian Canoing, Coasteering, Gorge Walking, Hillwalking, Kayaking, Mountain Biking, Mountaineering, Orienteering, Orienteering, Power Boating, Raft Building, Rock Climbing, Sailing, Sea Kayaking, Surfing, Whitewater Kayaking, Windsurfing.
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Inishowen Quad Safari and Laser Wars is located on the outskirts of Buncrana, County Donegal overlooking the beautiful Lough Swilly at one side and windmills on the other. They offer laser wars (which has no age requirements, but the weight of the guns must be taken into consideration) and Quad Bike Safaris (on either 90cc Honda Quad (12yrs-16 yrs) or 250cc Honda Quads (16yrs +). Inishowen Quad Safari and Laser Wars is ideal for birthday parties, family gatherings, stag and hen parties, team building or just for something new to try. They provide optional combat boiler suits and hats. Old runners or comfortable footwear is advisable on the day.
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Why not try some sea kayaking while in Donegal and discover one of the most beautiful coastlines that Ireland has to offer. The glorious coastline around Donegal and the Inishowen Peninsula is ideal for kayaking with lots of sheltered bays and inlets. As you paddle along you’re guaranteed to see some amazing wildlife like; basking sharks, dolphins, seals and a variety of birds. Just Kayak provide water & land based activities and courses on sea kayaking, boating, white-water kayaking, surf kayaking, gorge walking, river rafting, sailing, stand-up paddling, pier jumping and archery. Just Kayak is based out of Moville, Co Donegal.
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The Lakeside Centre is a combination of outdoor activity centre and caravan and camping park. It is located only 500meters from Ballyshannon Town and is on the shores of Assaroe Lake with easy access to the water for watersport activities. Visitors have the option of bringing their own sail boats, canoes or kayaks or you can hire from the range of sail boats, canoes or kayaks at the centre. Equipment for hire includes Sailing dinghy’s, Windsurfing, Canoeing, Kayaking and Rafts. On land activities include Archery, Orienteering, Astro Soccer. Walking tours and Team Games can also be arranged. Visitors can also obtain permits to fish on the lake and bring their own boat should they wish. Full Failte Ireland approved 4 star rated caravan and campsite facilities available along with meeting rooms for hire and a fully equipped restaurant and dance floor with panoramic views of Lake Assaroe. Its ideal for special events or conferences.
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Lough Key Forest & Activity Park is a major attraction in Boyle Co. Roscommon designed to enhance the natural environment of pristine forest and lakeland scenery, and includes the Lough Key Experience, a self-guided audio trail for visitors. The trail begins with the 5-story Moylurg viewing tower (accessible by lift), which looks out over a panorama of forests and lakelands. The trail then meanders through 19th century underground tunnels and along the lakeshore, leading to a treetop boardwalk, known as the “Tree Canopy Walk,” the first of its kind in Ireland. With a raised wooden walkway that winds through the forest and around the lake, it provides a “bird’s eye view” of nature. The number-keyed audio commentary describes each stopping point along the trail including Castle Island, as well as identifying types of trees and foliage on the route. In addition, there is a new visitor centre with café, an adventure play zone for children, and an all-weather Boda Borg Challenge, a Swedish concept containing numerous rooms with fun-filled activities, puzzles and challenging tasks.
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There are lots of superb dive sites in Donegal which has easy access to a variety of dive sites. Conditions for diving are excellent with pristine blue waters and lots of island providing shelter. Mevagh Dive Centre (located at Carrigart in Donegal) can facilitiate all levels of experience and you can choose from wreck dives, scenic dives and drift dives.
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