Glencolumbkille Tourist Attractions
Glencolumbkille (Gleann Cholaim Cille, "St Columba's Glen") is a picturesque holiday resort in the far north of Ireland, at the most westerly point in Donegal county. It lies in a valley opening into Glen Bay, on the Atlantic, with a sandy bay and magnificent cliff scenery in the surrounding area.The area around Glencolumbkille is one of the Irish-speaking parts of Donegal. Here St Columcille (Columba) lived in solitude and meditated. Another tradition has it that Bonnie Prince Charlie, the last of the Pretenders of the House of Stuart, spent some time here during his flight from the English.In the middle of this century when Glencolumbkille was in danger of dying through lack of employment, Father James McDyer set up a cooperative to make the best use of agriculture and to market the artistic handicrafts of the inhabitants. The undertaking proved successful. Thatched cottages were built for holidaymakers and the Folk Museum attracted day visitors.
On June 9 (St Columba's day) every year there is a pilgrimage at Glencolumbkille, when the pilgrims make a circuit of 3mi/5km, which is marked by a series of stone slabs and pillars inscribed with crosses and geometric designs on the slopes round the village; the largest of these stones is by the church (National Monument). Pilgrims must go round the circuit three or seven times, sometimes throwing a stone on the piles which have grown up around the stations. The pilgrimage must always be completed before sunrise.
Glencolumbkille Folk Museum, Ireland
On the west side of Glencolumbkille village is the Glencolumbkille Folk Museum, an open-air museum consisting of four reed-thatched cottages representing different periods in Irish life and containing furniture and utensils of the period. There is a shop in which local craft products can be bought. The whole project was the brainchild of Father James McDyer.
The area surrounding Glencolumbkille is picturesque and rich in remains of the past.
Southwest of Glencolumbkille lies Malinmore, a pretty little resort with a bay and picturesque cliffs. Nearby, at Cloghanmore, is a court cairn (National Monument) some 3,500 years old.
There is good fishing in the coastal waters extending south of Glencolumbkille to the island of Rathlin O'Birne, which has a number of antiquities (sixth century) and a lighthouse.