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Rossnowlagh

The scenic village of Rossnowlagh is situated around four miles north of Ballyshannon and ten miles south of Donegal town. Known as the "Heavenly Cove", Rossnowlagh also has a beautiful beach that is one of the region's best beaches and has become strongly associated with surfing.

The beach, which has an EU Blue Flag award for its clean, safe waters, provides fabulous views of Slieve League mountain range -- the highest sea cliffs in Europe -- and of Donegal Bay. This quiet strand is wide, sandy, and sheltered by hills, and the water is safe for bathing. Rossnowlagh becomes popular with visitors during the summer months. Its long beach can be accessed directly by car, but drivers are urged to take great caution: Cars may get stuck in soft sand areas, and all beach-goers must pay attention to incoming tides, which can quickly cover most or

Rossnowlagh becomes popular with visitors during the summer months. Its long beach can be accessed directly by car, but drivers are urged to take great caution: Cars may get stuck in soft sand areas, and all beach-goers must pay attention to incoming tides, which can quickly cover most or all of the beach. Free car parking on the approach to the beach is also available. 

Popular with surfers, other water sports are also enjoyed here, such as sailing and water-skiing. More recently, land and sea kiting have become popular.

Orange Order Parade

Rossnowlagh is famous for being the only location in the Republic of Ireland that hosts an annual Orange Order march, which takes place on the Saturday before 12 July. The Orange Order is a Masonic-style Protestants society, controversial for its values and beliefs, which are regarded by many -- particularly Irish Catholics and nationalists-- as "sectarian" and "supremacist". Members of the Orange Order, on the other hand, regard themselves as defenders of traditional Protestant values, and of Northern Ireland's union with Britain.

See: What is the difference between Ireland and Northern Ireland?

While there is no Orange Order lodge in Rossnowlagh, members from lodges across Northern Ireland come here to join southern-based members for the annual march. The parade is a peaceful event.

Donegal Historical Society Museum

The Franciscan Friary in Rossnowlagh is home to the Donegal Historical Society Museum, which is open to the public all year. Artefacts include the gun that was believed to have killed Lord Leitrim in 1878, one of the most notorious coups by citizens against the landlord elite. Read more about the Donegal Historical Society Museum.

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Rossnowlagh. Image: Hannagh Keogh

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