The majestic cliffs and inaccessible bays of the causeway combine with myth and legend to inspire but if you look carefully amongst this breathtaking landscape you will see and  find echoes of another reality.

 

Isolated ruins, kelp walls and shoreline fields bear testament to a harder life of subsistence farming and fishing endured here by past generations. Dotted around the coast you'll find small sheltered harbours and slipways, fishermen's cottages and rock formations that you will never forget.

 

 Many ships have foundered below these towering cliffs but none so tragic as that of the Girona, a galleass of the Spanish Armada. Carrying the crews from two previous shipwrecks, the Girona was on passage from Killybegs and trying to reach the relative safety of Scotland.

 

As she rounded Inishowen peninsula, heavily overladen and in deteriorating sea conditions, her rudder failed. In the grip of a strong north-westerly gale she was driven ashore and struck Lacada Point at midnight on October 30th 1588 with the loss of over twelve hundred men.  Only five are believed to have survived. Local folklore tell of descendants living here and that victims of the wreck including Spanish nobility being buried in St. Cuthbert's graveyard near Dunluce Castle. It is known that several cannons were salvaged from the wreck and two were mounted  on the castle walls by Sorley Boy McDonnell.  You can read more about her story from the causeway menu above.

 

Further around the cliff path you will come to Contham Head near Portmoon, here you will find an old iron mine shaft which enters the ground half way down the cliff which was worked during the late 1800s. The donkeys that pulled the carts out from the mine were lowered over the cliff to the mine entrance and likewise the mined materials were hoisted back up.