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“Often missed, worth a detour for”
Review of Grianan Of Aileach

Grianan Of Aileach
Ranked #15 of 234 things to do in County Donegal
Certificate of Excellence
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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.
Reviewed February 26, 2014

You can just imagine the warriors hiding in tunnels underneath your feet, the ramparts full of defenders of the high Kings, and the view! Tyrone, Derry, Donegal, in clear view, with the Lough Swilly and Lough Foyle estuaries opening to the North atlantic..well worth the small detour of travelling on the Derry-Letterkenny road.

Thank Brendan Q
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"ring fort"
in 41 reviews
"amazing views"
in 21 reviews
"iron age fort"
in 5 reviews
"car park"
in 20 reviews
"degree view"
in 6 reviews
"windy hill"
in 3 reviews
"ancient fort"
in 3 reviews
"every direction"
in 6 reviews
"surrounding countryside"
in 5 reviews
"free attraction"
in 4 reviews
"well worth a visit"
in 16 reviews
"derry city"
in 4 reviews
"the main road"
in 8 reviews
"amazing site"
in 3 reviews
"steep drive"
in 4 reviews
"fifteen minutes"
in 3 reviews
"clear sunny day"
in 3 reviews
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167 - 171 of 265 reviews

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.

1  Thank irishjohnLiverpool
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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/

Thank Howard G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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.

1  Thank Christopher D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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.

1  Thank Christopher D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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