The material was shipped along Lough Swilly and carried by the townsfolk up to this lofty perch. A curious snippet about the cathedral is that it is made from white sandstone quarried some way around the northwest coast at Mountcharles. During the Napoleonic Wars a system of martello towers (small circular forts) was set up to defend Londonderry to the east. Rated Ireland’s “tidiest town” in 2015, Letterkenny is a bonny market town, close to where the River Swilly widens into a fjord on the northwest coast. Fifteen minutes west of Letterkenny next to the Gartan Lough is a small museum about St Columba (Colmcille in Irish), who helped spread Christianity in Ireland in the 6th century. The Franciscan friary was begun in 1471 by the O’Donnell clan, and was built on the site of an older church from the 900s. What are the top attractions to visit in Letterkenny? A special attraction at Oakfield Par is the steam-powered narrow-gauge railway, with views of Croaghan Hill to the south. The heritage centre has well-presented information panels, a wax figure of Columba and replica artefacts showing the instruments and dyes Columba used for his manuscript. The most popular things to do in Letterkenny with kids according to Tripadvisor travellers are: Things to do near McCafferty's Bar, Letterkenny, See all attractions in Letterkenny on Tripadvisor, See all outdoor activities in Letterkenny on Tripadvisor, See all day trips from Letterkenny on Tripadvisor, See all kid friendly things to do in Letterkenny on Tripadvisor. The best day trips from Letterkenny according to Tripadvisor travellers are: What are the most popular things to do in Letterkenny with kids? Under the supervision of the staff, kids can feed and handle many of these animals and pick up some fun facts about them. The gardens around the house were planted in a free-flowing style with exotic species from Tasmania, Madeira and Chile, buffered from the wind by large pine groves and rhododendrons. This is the version of our website addressed to speakers of English in Ireland. Across the water from Portsalon, Fort Dunree has a majestic setting, on a headland and hosts a military museum and restored BL 6-inch Mk VII naval guns from the First World War. Best of all though is the butterfly house, with butterflies big and small in a kaleidoscope of colours . You can catch a shuttle bus from the national park’s visitor centre to the castle, or walk in a matter of minutes. A glacial fjord, Lough Swilly cuts a serpentine path from Letterkenny to the Atlantic Ocean some 40 kilometres to the north. Amateur horticulturalists will be in heaven in the grounds, which are sprinkled with follies and sculptures, and feature a parterre, historic walled garden and venerable heritage trees. One of a few days out for people holidaying with younger children, the Lurgybrack Open Farm is a place where kids can come into contact with tame and friendly animals. That was installed in 1907, and operated right up to 1980. On land belonging to a deanery that became a stately manor in the 19th century, Oakfield Park is an exquisite outdoor attraction where you can spend a classy day wandering through woods and formal gardens and next to lakes. The centre of attention on the estate is the Scottish Baronial-style Glenveagh Castle, built from granite for Captain John George Adair at the start of the 1870s. The house and its sublime art can only be visited on guided tours at Easter and then from May to September, when you can also grab coffee and a light snack at the tea rooms. The Colmcille Heritage Centre is near where the saint was born, and casts some light on this intriguing figure. The castle can be seen by guided tour only, lasting 45 minutes, on which you’ll hear about the previous owners, like a Harvard Professor who mysteriously disappeared off the west coast of Ireland in 1933. If you are a resident of another country or region, please select the appropriate version of Tripadvisor for your country or region in the drop-down menu.

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