Astellen Falls, Ireland

DSC_1171There isn’t much information on the internet about Astellen Falls, which is found in Glenveagh National Park in northwest Ireland. This leads me to an interesting question that I don’t think has been brought up because there’s so little information about Ireland waterfalls in general. Powerscourt Falls outside of Dublin is advertised as the tallest waterfall in Ireland at 397’/121 m. But after seeing Astellen Falls, I wonder. Looking at google’s elevation chart, it seems that the total drop for this falls might be somewhere around 180 m, which would be closer to 600′. I’m a terrible judge of height, but it doesn’t seem like the visible portion of this waterfall is 600′. Maybe there’s some hidden above? (If anyone’s reading this and they know how to measure waterfalls, this might be a task…)

A few reasons that this has probably not been looked into…First, Astellen Falls is not as easy to get to from a trip perspective. It’s about a 3 hour drive from Dublin to Glenveagh National Park. That also means it’s a relatively isolated, quiet, and yet stunningly beautiful national park. Second, it’s a 4.5 mile round-trip hike to see the falls (which again is absolutely worth it for the scenery), and once you reach your destination, you’re not particularly close to the falls. If you’re into photography, I suggest you bring a lens that can zoom in well. A cell phone camera is not going to capture much here.

The waterfall is beautiful, the park is beautiful, and there’s so much else to see in Glenveagh National Park. There is a castle (which I don’t think I viewed, as I don’t have any pictures), and there’s also a castle garden (which I did walk through). If you get the chance to explore the northern portion of Ireland, it’s definitely worth it!

Directions:

  1. There are a number of ways to arrive at Glenveagh National Park, but the most sensible one would be to take the N56 (near Leterkenny) northwest toward the park.
  2. After some distance, turn left onto R255.
  3. After a short distance, turn left onto R251. (I believe there was pretty clear signage along the way).
  4. To get into the park, you park at a designated area and take a bus to the castle/gardens.
  5. From the castle/gardens, start your hike south along Lough Beagh. After about 2.2 miles of hiking, you’ll see the falls across Lough Beach to your right.

Accessibility: 8/10 (easy/moderate)
Height: 400’+
Length of Hike: 4.5 miles round-trip

Where in the World is Astellen Falls?

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