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Marble Hill Beach In Donegal: Parking, Swimming + 2024 Info

Marble Hill Beach In Donegal: Parking, Swimming + 2024 Info

Marble Hill Beach sits proudly at the western side of Donegal’s Sheephaven Bay.

During the autumn and winter, it’s lovely and quiet, and you’ll often have the whole place to yourself.

During the summer, the area comes alive with people flocking to what’s arguably one of the best beaches in Donegal.

In the guide below, you’ll find info on everything from surfing and swimming to where to grab parking near Marble Hill Strand.

Some quick need-to-knows about Marble Hill Beach

Although a visit to Marble Hill in Donegal is fairly straightforward, there are a few need-to-knows that’ll make your visit that bit more enjoyable.

1. Location

Marble Hill Beach sits on the western side of Sheephaven Bay in northern Donegal. It’s a 5-minute drive from Dunfanaghy, a 20-minute drive from Falcarragh and a 25-minute drive from Downings.

2. Parking

Marble Hill Ct is the road that flanks the strand and there’s plenty of parking to be had on the sandy roadside on the beach side (around here on Google Maps). Just make sure to keep as close to the side as possible and not block the road for the other drivers!

3. Toilets (warning)

There’s a toilet down from the parking area (here on Google Maps). Please be extremely careful when walking to the toilet, as there’s no path and cars often fly along the road here.

3. Swimming

Awarded a Blue Flag in 2023, Marble Hill is know for the quality of its water. Please note that lifeguards are only on duty during weekends in June, everyday in July and August and during the first two weekends in September from 12:00 – 18:30 (times may change).

4. Water safety (please read)

Understanding water safety is absolutely crucial when visiting beaches in Ireland. Please take a minute to read these water safety tips. Cheers!

About Marble Hill Beach in Donegal

Marble Hill

Photo left: Gareth Wray. Others courtesy Failte Ireland

Marble Hill Strand is a beaut of a beach that tends to have almost Jekyll and Hyde levels of busyness. During the summer, locals and tourists alike flock to the sand here and the place is abuzz with people.

During the ‘off-season’, it’s gloriously quiet, and you’ll often have the entire place to yourself if you visit early in the morning.

One of the reasons that a walk here is so enjoyable is thanks to the beach’s view across Sheephaven Bay towards the Rosguill Peninsula.

Marble Hill Beach also has two rocky uninhabited islands to its east – the larger Clonmass Island and the tiny Gull Island. 

Conservation is important here too and the area is rich in wildlife. The sand dunes surrounding the beach are a fine spot for bird watching and spotting wildflowers.

Marble Hill is also one of the few areas in Ireland where visitors can hear the distinct sound of the corncrake calling.

Things to do at Marble Hill Strand

marble hill strand

Photos via Shutterstock

There’s plenty of things to do in and around Marble Hill in Donegal. Here’s some ideas for when you arrive:

1. Grab a coffee from The Shack

Among its many qualities, Marble Hill Strand is also served by one of Donegal’s best coffee vans.

Located just off the main road, The Shack’s cyan-coloured van is easy to spot and they offer up a variety of coffee options.

2. Then saunter along the sand

Marble Hill Beach is 1.3km in length, so it’s a fine spot to stretch the legs.

And if you time your trip here well (and the weather plays ball!), then the golden views across to the Rosguill Peninsula at sunrise and sunset are worth the journey alone. 

3. Give surfing a crack

If you fancy hitting the water, there’s a couple of surf schools operating in and around Dunfanaghy – Narosa Surf School and Jaws Watersports who cater for all levels.

Now, from what we can tell, they both appear to run lessons on Marble Hill Strand and on Killahoey Beach, but just double check that before you book! 

Places to visit near Marble Hill Beach

One of the beauties of Marble Hill Strand is that it’s a short spin away from many of the best things to do in Donegal.

Below, you’ll find a handful of things to see and do a stone’s throw from the sand!

1. Dunfanaghy for food (5-minute drive)

Oyster Bar

Photos via the Oyster Bar on FB

There are some great places to eat in Dunfanaghy, like the Rusty Oven or the Oyster Bay. Grab a feed and then tip over to nearby Tramore Beach and Killahoey Beach after.

2. Doe Castle (15-minute drive)

Doe Castle

Photos via Shutterstock

Sitting in a cinematic spot right at the base of Sheephaven Bay, Doe Castle dates back to the early 15th century. You can’t tour the castle, but you can visit the grounds. With Sheephaven Bay’s distant mountains and gentle beaches unfolding around the castle, the views are well worth the journey!

3. Errigal Mountain (25-minute drive)

Mount Errigal

Photos via Shutterstock

The tallest and steepest of Donegal’s Seven Sisters mountain range, Errigal Mountain climbs up to a gaudy 2,464 ft and can be seen for miles around! It takes a good 2-3 hours to conquer.

4. Horn Head (15-minute drive)

Horn Head

Photos via Shutterstock

Sticking out into the North Atlantic from the north Donegal coast, Horn Head boasts a scenic drive, sweeping panoramas, dramatic cliffs and even a WW2 lookout tower to check-out.

FAQs about visiting Marble Hill Beach

We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from ‘What’s the parking like?’ to ‘Are there toilets?’.

In the section below, we’ve popped in the most FAQs that we’ve received. If you have a question that we haven’t tackled, ask away in the comments section below.

Can you swim at Marble Hill Beach?

Yes. Marble Hill is a Blue Flag Beach. Please do keep in mind that lifeguards are only on duty during weekends in June and everyday in July and August from 12:00 – 18:30.

Are there toilets at Marble Hill?

Yes. You’ll find them a bit of a walk down the road away from the main car parking area. Please note that there is no path so great care is needed.

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