8. Glenveagh – Bridle Path

Sunset over Lough Veagh.

The more popular of the two main trails in Glenveagh National Park, the Bridle Path is one of my all time favourite walks. A full 11km from the visitor centre to the top of the glen, giving 22km there and back, it was an ideal training route for our assault on the Camino de Santiago some years back. A gorgeous combination of lakeshore, trees and mountain path, it is food for the soul as well as a good test for the body! A slightly shorter walk can be planned by taking a park bus as far as the castle (€3 return), and whatever else make sure you break your hike at the castle tea rooms! The popularity of the trail can lead to it being a bit crowded in summer tourist season b.c. (Before Covid!!). I love going there in November or even on a good January day. By the way it’s also a nice run on a mountain bike, though care is needed on the descent form the top of the glen. There is very good information on the Glenveagh National Park website. Please pay particular attention to warnings about deer culling times.

The route from the castle.
  • Trailhead: Glenveagh Visitors Centre or Glenveagh Castle
  • Length: 11 km from the visitor centre. 16 km round trip.
    7.5 km from the castle. 15 km round trip.
  • Time: 3.5 hours approx. walking time to the top and back for the full route.
  • Ascent: Moderate descent/ascent from the white stalkers cottage top the top of the glen (Doochary road) and back down.
  • Facilities: Toilets and tea rooms at the castle. For opening times see the Glenveagh National Park web page.