CRUIT and BEYOND

Cruit Island ("Oilean an Chruite")
A walk on the wild side
Cruit Island Golf Course
Sunset over Owey Island from Cruit
An island in the area of Donegal called "The Rosses", the name "Cruit" (pronounced "Critch") is derived from the Irish  "An Chruit" meaning ‘the hump or little hillock’ although for the more romantically minded, it is also the old Irish word for "the harp".


About 3 miles in length and 1 mile at it widest point, Cruit lies roughly north-south along the Donegal coast and is connected to the mainland by a bridge so that you literally "drive across the Atlantic" when coming on to the Island. 
Cruit, moreover, is a tidal island so that when the tide is out twice a day you can walk across a golden stretch of sand ("Cruit Strand") to the mainland. This coming and going of the tide adds considerable interest as the views of the bay between Cruit and the mainland change continuously.

A road runs the length of the island from the bridge at the south to the golf course at the north end with a few branch roads leading to the houses on the island. A pier lies on the more sheltered east side providing moorings for a cluster of small boats during the summer months.

One of several islands in the Rosses, Cruit still has a small resident population (about 70 people) which is added to by visitors keen to enjoy the beautiful beaches and wonderful walks which abound. It also has an excellent 9-hole golf course which makes every use of the natural contours of the coast to provide both a test of golf skills and spectacular views at every turn.

Cruit is also an excellent area for sea fishing with Pollack and Mackerel often plentiful, while for the nature-lover there are many beautiful wildflowers at every season and a variety of birds for the enthusiast. The terrain is excellent for walking incorporating beaches, rocky cliffs, dunes and moorland so that in every direction there is something to suit all tastes and abilities.

The Rosses
Dunlewey and Errigal Mountain
Arranmore Ferry
Mullaghderg Strand
Cruit Island lies within an area called "The Rosses", from the Irish "Ros" meaning "a headland". It certainly merits its name as it is comprised of a heavily indented coastline with many headlands and bays. The area stretches from the Gweebarra river in the south to the Gweedore river in the north. To the east lie the Derryveagh mountains while the Atlantic ocean bounds it to the west.

It is an area of rugged moorland with intrusions of granite rock containing innumerable lakes of varying sizes. Its coastline has numerous promontories and inlets with many exquisite sandy beaches while off-shore are a number of islands including Arranmore, Inishfree, Owey as well as Cruit. 

Within the Rosses are several Gaeltachts, designated areas of Ireland where Gaelic is still the primary language and Irish traditions and culture form part of everyday life. The Rosses is divided into areas (or townlands) normally surrounding a small town or village of the same name, such as Dungloe, Kincasslagh, Doochary, Lettermacaward, Loughanure  and Annagary.

Dungloe is the largest town and has a number of supermarkets as well as various other shops and services. There are also several of the Irish banks represented here. It is also the setting for the annual "Mary from Dungloe" festival which is held at the end of July and beginning of August while most of the other areas have their own events at various times in the summer.


County Donegal and The Wild Atlantic Way
Glenveagh National Park
Wild Atlantic Way
Slieve League
Donegal is the most northerly County in Ireland with Malin Head its northernmost point, confusingly even further north than the coast of Northern Ireland. Sometimes Donegal seems more like a country than a county both in its size and in the diversity of its landscape. Situated in the remote northwest of Ireland, and further isolated by wild landscape, country roads and a coastline that twists and turns, it provides an antidote to all the stresses of modern life. Inland is a large area of mountains, lakes and uncrowded roads while its coastline is an unparalleled mixture of massive cliffs, rugged headlands, sheltered bays and beautiful beaches of pristine sands and waters. The east of the county, in contrast, is an area of rolling hills and agricultural land.

In addition, most of the Donegal section of the coastal route called The Wild Atlantic Way lies within a realistic day's travel of Cruit. This would include the Fanad Peninsula (with Fanad Lighthouse), Sheephaven Bay, Horn Head, Bloody Foreland, Glen Head, Glencolmcille, Slieve League, Killybegs and Donegal Town.

Some great days out:

Well worth a visit this is located deep within the Derryveagh Mountains and contains a visitors' centre and castle with gardens and extensive woodland walks.

Nestled at the foot of Mount Errigal this is a great day-out, especially if you have children, although there is something of interest to everyone. During the summer there are also regular traditional music events held here.

Donegal's only operational narrow gauge railway runs by the waters of Lough Finn overshadowed by mountains. One for children of all ages.

Set in woodland gardens this was home to the artist Derek Hill and contains much of interest including works by leading 20th century artists.

A country estate in the rolling hills of eastern Donegal with gardens, railway and the Buffers Restaurant. A wonderful landscape of parkland, woodlands, lakes and formal gardens set around a restored 18th century deanery. The grounds include walled gardens, ponds, lakes, heritage trees, sculptures, extensive walks and trails, and a 4.5km narrow gauge railway with a diesel & steam train operating passenger trips each day.

These sea cliffs stand just short of 2000 feet in height making them among the highest in Europe. The road to them is a spectacular drive (or walk) with extensive views across Donegal Bay. A visit can be incorporated within a circular drive taking in Glenties, Ardara, Glengesh Pass, Glencolmcille, Teeling and Killybegs.

There is a cluster of islands off the Donegal coast: Arranmore, Cruit Island, Rutland, Inishfree, Owey, Gola and Tory Island.
Arranmore is the largest with a population of some 450 people.it can be reached in 20 minutes by the Arranmore Ferry from Burtonport where you will find excellent areas for walking and cycling including some spectacular cliff scenery. A walk to the lighthouse is particularly recommended. 

For the more ambitious take a trip to Tory Island 11 kilometres off the coast.

A Range of Activities
Horse Riding
Sea Angling
Cruit Island Golf Club
Surfing in Donegal
Horse Riding
There are a variety of excellent horse-riding facilities throughout  Donegal.
Sea Angling
The coastline boasts many fine areas for shore fishing but if you wish to experience sea angling then try "Saoire Mara" operating out of Kincasslagh among others.
Golf
Cruit has its own excellent 9-hole course but there a number of 18-hole courses across Donegal including a number of championship level courses.
Surfing
There is a well-established surfing club at Dooey while slightly further afield is the more well-known ones  at Rossnowlagh and Bundoran
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