Malin Head

Malin Head

Malin Head is a special place and is either the first or the last stop on the Wild Atlantic Way depending on the direction of travel.

It is renowned as “Ireland’s most northerly point” but perhaps there are few who recognise the implications of this unique fact, how it compliments and contributes to the richness of its history, heritage and landscape. The word “Malin”comes from the Irish word, Malainn, meaning the bare face or hill brow. This description falls short of capturing the untamed beauty of this headland.

Malin Head lies 15.3km north of the village of Malin. Banba’s Crown is the most northerly point of Malin Head and it is from here that Tory Island and Fanad Head Lighthouse, heralding the entrance to Lough Swilly can be seen. Among other visible headlands to the west are Horn Head, Bloody Foreland and Dunaff Head. To the northeast lies Inishtrahull Island and looking beyond that the hills of western Scotland and the Island of Islay can be seen on a clear day.

The circuit of the Head will take you past the Radio Station, built in 1910. A tall building know local as “The Tower” was built by Briish Admiralty in 1805 at Banba’s crown to defend against a possible French invasion during the Napoleonic wars. It was later used as a Llyods Signal Station.

Malin Head is currently being developed as part of the Wild Atlantic Way to accommodate the large number of visitors who flock there all year round.

Fáilte Ireland is working closely with Donegal County Council to ensure they fully maximise the tourism potential of Malin Head as well as continuing the work on the wider development of the Wild Atlantic Way.”

Star Wars

Star Wars filmed at Malin Head 2016. When the crew finished filming in Skellig Michael for “The Last Jedi” they headed to Malin Head. This was a great boost for the area. There were a huge number of visitors flocking to Malin Head at this time with the hope of catching a glimpse of some of the stars.

During downtime Mark Hamill (aka Luke Skywalker) popped into Farren’s Bar for a pint and some banter. Despite the heavy security, fans flocked to Malin Head to catch a glimpse of their heroes. Farren’s Bar was often full of fans.

Malin Head now organises an annual Star Wars festival around the 4th of May to coincide with Star Wars Day.

There was a real camaraderie between the locals and crew with a lot of banter going on. By the end of filming it felt like a little family.

The filming of Star Wars has certainly helped to put Malin Head and the whole area on the map and increase the footfall to the area. One local described the experience as “for a few weeks Malin Head felt like a Galaxy far away.”

Visitor experience

Malin Head Signature Discovery Point provides a motivating and compelling visitor experience on the Wild Atlantic Way giving people a reason to visit and remain in the area longer.

Malin Head had an estimated 172, 000 visitor numbers in 2018.  This number is increasing steadily all year round with the introduction of the Wild Atlantic Way.

As Carndonagh is on the main route to Malin Head, these visitors would pass through the town on their way to Malin Head.