IRELAND’S GIANTS CAUSEWAY AND CO DONEGAL, OCTOBER 2022

Destination Summary

Ireland’s Giant’s Causeway lies on a stretch of dramatic coastline just over an hour north of the city of Belfast. Home of the Titanic, this vibrant Northern Irish city  is where your photo adventure will begin and end.

After pick up in Belfast you’ll travel north through rural Co Antrim via the Dark Hedges (Game of Thrones fame)  to the small town of Bushmills where we’ll capture  both dusk and dawn sessions photographing the Causeway, a UNESCO world heritage site and some breathtaking cliff top lookouts.

From Northern Ireland we travel west along the coast around Loch Foyle and into quieter County Donegal in the Irish Republic. Donegal is famous for some of the most dramatic scenery in Ireland, the Gaeltacht and some of the most beautiful  Atlantic coastline.

It’s often labelled as Ireland in miniature  with bog, mountains, lochs, and remote Gaelic speaking communities providing plenty subject matter.

You’ll travel through peaceful villages, by wild Atlantic beaches and stunning mountain heartlands all the way down to the Slieve League peninsula. It’s a quiet, less hurried place without the crowds.

The Locations

County Antrim – Northen Ireland

The Dark Hedges 

An impressive tree lined  landscape designed to impress arrivals entering a Georgian mansion, although it’s found more recent fame as one of the backdrops from The Game of Thrones.

Ireland’s Giant Causeway

The UNESCO  listed Causeway features a compact section of basalt pillars that extends out into the wild Atlantic. It’s surrounded by crashing waves and with a back drop of high cliffs it makes for both unusual and effective compositions.

To the west – Scenic vistas around Magheracross and Dunluce castle

County Donegal – Republic of Ireland

Inishowen Peninsula and Rosguill

We cross the border and find ourselves on the wonderful Inishowen Peninsula. It’s Ireland’s biggest and has plenty space to breathe and big skies above.

Dotted with little hamlets, traditional village pubs and emerald green fields it also features Ireland’s most northerly point in Malin Head.

We’ll base ourselves as close as possible to catch the crashing waves and jagged rocks to the north and capture a more gentile scene in the morning at the Malin Pool.

After a night in Malin we have a busy shedule as we move south west, picking our way through some wild land and seascapes. Stops include Fanad Head,  Murderhole on the Rosguill peninsula and through Donegal’s mountainous Gleanveagh National Park for dusk .

The Rosses and North West

The following day you’ll wake to the morning scenes around the Rosses on Donegal’s mid-west coast. The Rosses are home to one of Ireland’s  Gaeltacht areas. It’s distinctly different to the rest of Ireland and even Donegal, with Gaelic being widely spoken around  its clustered coastal communities. Winding coastal roads, hidden beaches  and crashing Atlantic waves lie around every corner and our base near Dungloe  is an ideal place to call home for a few days while we explore the north, east and south.

Back to the coast you’ll capture the famous Bad Eddie boat wreck near Bunbeg, drop by Leos’s pub (spiritual home of Clannad and Enya) and climb the twisty road that looks out over the Bloody Foreland. On our final evening in Dungloe we’ll perch ourselves on a clifftop to  capture some magic light over the wildly dramatic Crohy Sea Arch that sits just south of the 18th century tower, built during the Napoleonic wars.

Mt Errigal and Glenveagh NP

To the east of Dungloe sits Mount Errigal, Donegal’s highest peak and a dramatic one at that. We’ll photograph its southern slopes and ruined churches from around Dunlewy and the loch then take a wander down the Poisoned Glenalong its riverside.

Slieve League Peninsula

After a few days in the Rosses we travel south to the Slieve League Peninsula. Once again the scenery takes on a wilder more dramatic appearance as the hills rise and the Atlantic crashes on exposed beaches.

Near to Maghera beach,  Assaranca waterfall tumbles down the steep hillside and after a session here we’ll take a short stroll to the beach to capture the colourful rocks and waves as they fan out on the golden sand.

After lunch in the famous and rather eclectic Nancy’s pub in Ardara, we head west over the scenic Glenesh Pass,  following the winding road down to the remote Gaeltacht hamlet of Glencolmcille.

The township has an interesting folk museum* reflecting on life past and present in remote Donegal and if time allows we’ll take a look around.

Our final destination are the Slieve League cliffs on the other side of the headland. Slieve League mountain itself sits at 2000ft, its cliffs plunging in the the swirling, crashing waves below.

These are the highest in Ireland and among the highest in Europe. A dramatic way to complete our photo adventure  along the northern coast of the Emerald Isle.

 

Extra information

Start time 12:00 – 13:00 trip commences  – Depart from Belfast on 24th October (The Landsdowne Hotel, Antrim Road , Belfast )

You have the option to overnight on the 23rd in Belfast or arrive on the morning of the 24th. The pick up point above is the on the  north side of the city about 3 miles from t he centre  and east of the International airport.

End time approx 13:00 drop off Belfast – 30th October

Getting there  Belfast or Dublin’s International Airports / Dublin to Belfast by train approx 2.75hrs. Ferries from Scotland ( Cairnryan – Belfast 2.5hrs) England (Liverpool to Dublin 8rs)

Accommodation* 1 night Magherabuoy House Hotel Portrush – Antrim, 1 night  Joyce’s Place, Cardonagh, Inishowen, 3 nights Mackays Rooms, Dungloe – The Rosses, 1 night Gateway Lodge Donegal town. Single occupancy en-suite with full breakfast.

* subject to availability and additional entry charge

Meals – Local charismatic pubs / cafes / along the way. Dinner at local restaurants /pubs as appropriate to our schedule featuring local produce where possible.

Essential equipment any camera system, lenses (16mm wide angle up to 200mm ) waterproof camera bag and good quality, sturdy tripod.

Non essential but recommended Polariser, neutral density graduated and straight neutral density filters would be useful. I use Lee ND filters both hard and soft.  A Laptop with Lightroom, Adobe Photoshop or other image editing software.

 

What to expect

This photo adventure includes an initial practical tutorial on basic shooting skills if required. Explaining efficient use camera gear and equipment on location on the first day.  This includes camera workflow, shooting in manual mode and reading histograms.

A photo adventure’s  main objective is guiding you to the best locations at the right time with suggestions on types of shot, general settings and composition advice. Participants ideally should be familiar in the use of their cameras to get the best out of the locations, however help is always on hand  and advice freely given.

Participants will be invited to share 6 of their  final images  with Glen and their fellow participants for comment after the trip via a secure online link.

Weather
As in it’s Celtic cousin Scotland, Ireland can have  fickle wet weather at anytime of year, you can’t have all that emerald green without a little rain !  Having said that conditions can be glorious at times and my recent encounter with Donegal featured both wonderful weather and light and some windy wet weather.  So be prepared. It’s important that you have adequate and good quality outdoor clothing ( jackets and over trousers) including waterproof hiking boots that are waterproof. No jeans they get wet and stay wet.

Fitness and mobility
Not all locations will be by the roadside, some locations are easy to reach, some require a little effort, walking sometimes on muddy, slippy and boggy wet ground. This can involve short hill walks, walks across rocky, uneven terrain and greasy surfaces. Walking times can be up to 30 mins – one way, however  participation is optional at every location.

A reasonable level of fitness and mobility is required regardless of age in order to fully participate and appreciate a Lightstalker’s photo adventure or workshop. All ages above 18 years are welcome.  If you have any doubts of your suitability for a specific trip please contact Glen directly.

 

 

Ireland Photo Adventure.
24th - 30th October 2022 - 6 nights / 7 days
Places available: 6 places - 5 left
Trip fee: £2095.00
Deposit £200.00

Includes

  • 6 nights single occupancy accommodation with breakfast.
  • Pick up & drop off in Belfast
  • Transport to locations and guiding.
  • Fully researched photo location itinerary
  • Practical field tuition and guidance
  • Day and dusk sessions
  • Lightstalker Adventures limited edition Beanie

Not Included

  • Return flights / transport to Ireland
  • Lunches or evening meals
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Please ensure you have adequate travel Insurance for this trip

Lightstalker Highlights

  • Detailed itinerary
  • Quiet locations
  • Giants Causeway
  • Dark Hedges
  • Mailn Head
  • Fanad Head
  • Murderhole Bay
  • Glenveagh NP
  • Mt Errigal
  • Boat wrecks
  • Bloody Foreland
  • The Rosses
  • Cruit Island
  • Crohy Sea Arch
  • Nancy's Pub
  • Slieve league Peninsula
  • The best pint of Guinness