GLENVEAGH NATIONAL PARK
To this day, Glenveagh remains a remote valley, and in olden times was probably uninhabited. Overlooking Lough Veagh, Glenveagh Castle stands atop a slight promontory jutting into the lake. Few buildings in Ireland can boast a fine setting. Made from rough – hewn granite, the Castle, a castellated mansion, was buik/plants/2889/ros-ban0wildlife-garden/nuserylt in the years 1870 – 1873 from designs by John Townsend Trench. The Castle may be visited only on guided tours, which take place regularly every day. A tea room in the castle is open every day from the start of February to the end of November and on weekends in December and January provides visitors with teas and delicious home baking. It’s beautiful gardens and wild setting around Lough Veagh host’s the largest red deer population in Europe and is home to Ireland’s only wild eagles. There are well sign-posted nature trails, walled gardens as well as a visitor centre, restaurant and tea room. For opening hours telephone 074 9137088.
ARDS FOREST PARK
Ards Forest Park is probably the most beautiful and certainly the most varied of Ireland’s Forest Parks. 480 hectares in extent it contains a large diversity of plant and wildlife forms. Sand beaches, rivers, viewing points, nature walks, picnic and play areas. Creeslough Tel: 0749121139. Opening Times: Apr to Sept 10.00am to 9.00pm, Oct to Mar 10.00am to 4.30pm.
OAKFIELD PARK, RAPHOE
100 acres of parkland and woodlands, lake and streams. Walled garden and kitchen garden and narrow gauge railway. The Gardens are open throughout May, June and July. For opening hours telephone 07491-45557. www.oakfieldpark.com
ROS BAN WILDLIFE GARDEN, RAPHOE
A Modern garden in which to take time out, that flavours wildlife, with native and medicinal plants – nature’s pharmacy, and educational posters. Visit by arrangement. Tel: Ann or Bob 07491-45336.
BALLYDAHEEN GARDENS, PORTSALON
A six acre garden with private access to the seven arches. The seven arches is a set of seven interconnecting caves, which are accessible by a cliff stairway. Within the six acres of garden the visitor will find a walled garden, rose and herbaceous plantings, streams and ponds. Ballydaheen Gardens, Portsalon, Co. Donegal. Tel: 07491-59091