Buncrana is a coastal town where you can discover sandy beaches, centuries-old forts and ruined castles. Stretch your legs on scenic coastal walks and explore the ruins of a Napoleonic fortress. Buncrana is also a great launchpad to explore the Inishowen Peninsula.
Things to do in Buncrana
Swan Park stretches along the banks of the Cran River features a romantic arched stone bridge. Look for seals swimming in the river as you cross. Kids love searching for the carved animals and secret fairy houses hidden in the trees.
Swim, sunbathe and search for shells on Buncrana Beach. The beach is fringed by an arc of gold sand and is a lovely place to spend a few hours. In summer, ice cream vans park along the main road and serve colourful scoops.
Follow the Buncrana Shore Path and enjoy stunning coastal views. The three-kilometre trail skirts the banks of Lough Swilly, a glacier-carved fjord fed by the Atlantic Ocean. Along the way, you’ll pass deserted beaches and historic forts.
Ned's Point Fort is perched on a rocky headland and features limestone walls, towers and gun emplacements built in the early 1800s. Walk around the ruins of the Napoleonic fortress and take in superb views over Lough Swilly.
In addition to being spectacularly beautiful, the Inishowen Peninsula is an important habitat for birds. Species from around the world flock to the protected bays and inlets around Buncrana to nest, fish and recoup. There’s a good chance to spot Eider ducks, buzzards, peregrine falcons and if you’re lucky, rare species like the corn crake.
Getting around Buncrana
Buncrana is pedestrian-friendly and easy to get around on foot. Rental cars offer the freedom to visit Buncrana and explore the Inishowen Peninsula at your own pace. Buncrana is in County Donegal, a 30-minute drive from Londonderry and Letterkenny.