We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Amazing”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Grianan Of Aileach

Grianan Of Aileach
Ranked #10 of 206 things to do in County Donegal
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Legend says it was built by the ancient gods; the ring fort was known as the Sun Palace and was held sacred. Traces of ancient earthworks, dating to the early Iron Age, surround the fort, enclosing an area of about 5 acres (0.02 km2). The fort itself was probably built in the early centuries of the Christian era. From the 5th to the 12th century AD it served as the royal seat of the O Neill sept of Aileach; it was destroyed by Murtogh O Brien, king of Munster in 1101. To make the demolition complete, the king ordered each of his soldiers to take away a stone from the fort. Grianan of Aileach was reconstructed by Dr Bernard of Derry in 1870, but archaeologists are doubtful about the inner restoration. Surrounding the stone fort are three concentric low walls which formed part of the original fortification of the fort.
Liverpool
Level Contributor
11 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Amazing”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 21, 2014

This place is on the 'Mappa Mundi' but you would never know it. The view covers most of Fanad and the mountains beyond. totally unspoilt which is very surprising but very Donegal tourist board. Beats Stonehenge anytime because its unspoilt.

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank irishjohnLiverpool
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

205 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    132
    67
    5
    1
    0
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Polish first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Reno, Nevada
Level Contributor
22 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Views to the horizon, both geographical and historical.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 16, 2014

The Grianán of Aileach has been abused by history, extensively (and perhaps imaginatively) rebuilt in the mid-19th century by a local doctor. Recent attempts by the authorities to stabilize the monument to make it safe for tourists have also evoked controversy. But the setting, be it originally a defensive palace or a ceremonial space, is undeniably impressive. And, if you're fortunate enough to visit on a day of fine weather as we were, you can bask in the sunshine on the fort's ramparts and enjoy a 360° view over Lough Swilly and the surrounding countryside. You can also have a 360° view in virtual-reality here: http://www.voicesfromthedawn.com/grianan-of-aileach/

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
Thank Howard G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Round Lake, Illinois
Level Contributor
167 reviews
100 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 180 helpful votes
“Amazing Ring Fort in County Donegal”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 5, 2013

In September 2013, my wife and I were driving between Doolin in the Republic of Ireland to Londonderry/Derry in Northern Ireland for our holiday trip, and I really wanted to visit the Grianan of Aileach Ring Fort. The Grianan Ring Fort is amazingly large compared to other Ring Forts in Ireland (such as the Staigue Ring Fort near Castlecove).

The Grianan of Aileach Ring Fort is situated in County Donegal in Northwest Ireland fifteen minutes away from Londonderry/Derry in Northern Ireland. The site is an amazing stone ring fort with multiple levels that you can climb up and view the landscape in 360 degrees. My wife and I were here when it was fairly overcast, but you could still see for miles in all directions forests, pasture-lands, and towns. When we visited it was very empty with no one else at the fort, so we were able to take in the beauty and silence to ourselves.

The fort is thought to have been built around 500 - 600 AD, and was the seat of the Kingdom of Aileach. The walls itself is 15 feet thick and 16 feet high, and though you won't need more than a half hour to walk the ring fort on the ground, walk up the steps to the top and walk on the high level of the fort, it is still an amazing site to visit.

The ring fort is very high up on the hills, and the drive up can be a little nerve-wreaking with high sloped drives and steep, sharp turns to get up there. Truly a site worth visiting, especially if traveling to Londonderry/Derry.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Christopher D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Round Lake, Illinois
Level Contributor
167 reviews
100 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 180 helpful votes
“Huge Ring Fort With Great Views Near the Border with Northern Ireland”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 4, 2013

In September 2013, my wife and I were driving between Doolin in the Republic of Ireland to Londonderry/Derry in Northern Ireland for our holiday trip, and I really wanted to visit the Grianan of Aileach Ring Fort. The Grianan Ring Fort is amazingly large compared to other Ring Forts in Ireland (such as the Staigue Ring Fort near Castlecove).

The Grianan of Aileach Ring Fort is situated in County Donegal in Northwest Ireland fifteen minutes away from Londonderry/Derry in Northern Ireland. The site is an amazing stone ring fort with multiple levels that you can climb up and view the landscape in 360 degrees. My wife and I were here when it was fairly overcast, but you could still see for miles in all directions forests, pasture-lands, and towns. When we visited it was very empty with no one else at the fort, so we were able to take in the beauty and silence to ourselves.

The fort is thought to have been built around 500 - 600 AD, and was the seat of the Kingdom of Aileach. The walls itself is 15 feet thick and 16 feet high, and though you won't need more than a half hour to walk the ring fort on the ground, walk up the steps to the top and walk on the high level of the fort, it is still an amazing site to visit.

The ring fort is very high up on the hills, and the drive up can be a little nerve-wreaking with high sloped drives and steep, sharp turns to get up there. Truly a site worth visiting, especially if traveling to Londonderry/Derry.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Christopher D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Northern Ireland
Level Contributor
119 reviews
66 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 161 helpful votes
“Pick a clear day – great views”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 25, 2013

The Grianan is one of these places that once you've visited it you wonder why the tourist authorities don’t seem interested in promoting it. It’s supposedly an iron-age fort but it’s been reconstructed so extensively on several occasions that it’s now more of a replica than the real thing. However it’s still interesting for what it tells about the buildings and social structures of the Celts but the real reason for visiting is to look at the amazing views. From the top you can take it a whole 360 degrees of spectacular vistas. You need to have a clear day to make the most of these, go by car if you can, make sure you check the way up (the route is not very well signposted) and when you get there be prepared to make a careful climb up those staircases to the top ramparts (Heath and safety? What’s that?) but yes, it’s worth it.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank IainNorthernIreland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Grianan Of Aileach also viewed

Clonmany, County Donegal
County Donegal, Ireland
 
Letterkenny, County Donegal
 

Been to Grianan Of Aileach? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing