How To Find Donegal’s Incredible Secret Waterfall (Plus A Load of Pictures and Videos)

A guide with a load of disclaimers

secret waterfall donegal
Photo by Gareth Wray. Fancy hanging this on your wall? Gareth's selling prints of this (link below)

OK, so I’m fairly aware that detailing where Donegal’s secret waterfall is will annoy some people that would rather its location remained a secret.

I get why you’re annoyed – it’s one of the most unique of the many natural Donegal attractions – but hear me out.

Over the years, we’ve had 40+ (probably a lot more) emails that go a little like this: “Hey, any idea where exactly the Largy Waterfall is?! We spent an hour walking along the coast looking for it but had to leave as the tide came in”

Now, most sensible people wouldn’t go looking for a cave when the tide is about to come in… but many (and I mean many) have and many more will.

In the guide below, we’ll show you how to safely get to Donegal’s secret waterfall. Note: There’s very limited parking nearby – if there isn’t any space, you’re out of luck – DO NOT PARK AT THE SIDE OF THE ROAD (IT’S NEAR A BEND) IN AN UNDESIGNATED AREA OR YOU COULD CAUSE A SERIOUS ACCIDENT! 

Finding Donegal’s secret waterfall

hidden waterfall donegal
Photo by Gareth Wray. Fancy hanging this on your wall? Gareth’s selling prints of this.

The waterfall at Largy is arguably one of the most unique places to visit in Donegal. If you take one glance at the photo above, it’s not hard to see why.

There are a couple of things that I want to note before we dive into this guide. Please take 20 seconds to read the below:

Preservation 

As should be the case when you visit anywhere in Ireland, please be respectful when you visit this waterfall.

Leave no trace (i.e. take your rubbish with you!) and do nothing to disrupt the area – don’t remove rocks, don’t dump crap and don’t damage any of the land you use to reach the coast.

While I’ve no doubt that the majority of you do not need to be told this, you only need to visit some of Ireland’s natural attractions to realise that there are plenty of sh*tebags out there that leave their rubbish wherever they like.

Safety and Tide times

ONLY, ONLY… ONLY visit Donegal’s hidden / secret waterfall at low tide. I can’t stress that enough. DO NOT just head here on a whim and hope for the best.

This waterfall is inside a cave. If you don’t check the tide-tables in advance, you could easily be cut off by the incoming tide. And there’s no other way back, so DON’T CHANCE IT!

Parking 

If there’s no place to park nearby, then you’re out of luck and you’ll have to try again sometime in the future.

Don’t just dump your car dangerously at the side of the road (there have been reports of this). 

The location

 

You’ll find the hidden waterfall on the Slieve League peninsula in County Donegal.

The waterfall is in Largy, a village between the towns of Killybegs and Kilcar. Here’s how to get to it:

Where to park

secret waterfall donegal location

Aim for Largy Viewpoint. You’ll see it in the image above with the little red pointer above it.

There’s a decent bit of space here to park. If you’re feeling peckish, nip into Kitty Kelly’s (it’s just over the road and the reviews are top-notch).

The path to the waterfall

You’ll need to walk back along the road to where the top arrow above is pointing.

If you’re using Google Maps, you’ll notice that someone has placed a marker here titled ‘Largy Waterfall’.

Here’s where things get a little uncertain. The land down to the coast is privately owned. Personally, I wouldn’t enter this land without the permission of the farmer.

It’s a gated field and that needs to be respected.

Getting to the waterfall

If you hit play on the video above from Aras B&B, you’ll see some of the dangers involved in getting to the waterfall.

If you do get permission to cross the land down to the water, turn right and walk along the coast.

In the video above, you’ll see how slippy the stones are that you’ll be walking along – this isn’t a journey to be made by people with limited mobility.

You’ll know that you’re getting close to the waterfall when you start to hear the sounds of water crashing.

Some final points to consider before visiting Largy Waterfall

I know I sound like a broken record at this stage, but you really need to take note of the points mentioned above and below if you plan on visiting Largy Waterfall.

In particular, only visit if you can understand the tide times and never visit at or when it’s approaching high tide.

If you arrive when the parking area is full, don’t just lob your car in at the side of the road – there’s a bad bend here and there’s a real danger of an accident taking place.

Cheers to John Cahalin on Shutterstock (@classicangles on IG) for the absolute peach of a photo that you can see in the video halfway through this guide.

FAQs about the hidden waterfall in Donegal

We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from where to park when visiting the waterfall to how to get down to it.

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.

Where exactly is the secret waterfall in Donegal?

You’ll find the hidden waterfall on the Slieve League peninsula in County Donegal. The waterfall is in Largy, a village between the towns of Killybegs and Kilcar. Follow the steps above to get to it.

Is it safe to get to?

If you understand tide times, yes. If you don’t, then no – it absolutely isn’t. The Largy Waterfall is located inside a cave – if you visit at the wrong time, you could put yourself in massive danger (I can’t stress this enough).

Is there parking?

Yes, there’s limited parking at the side of the road. However, this gets filled up frequently. Only ever park in the designated area.

Places to visit nearby

Silver Strand Beach
Photo by Milosz Maslanka (Shutterstock)

One of the beauties of visiting the Largy Waterfall is that there’s plenty of things to do and places to visit nearby.

Below, you’ll find a handful of places within a 35-minute drive of Donegal’s secret waterfall!

1. Slieve League (22-minute drive)

Slieve league hike
Photo taken by MNStudio (shutterstock)

You’ll find the mighty Slieve League Cliffs a handy 22-minute spin back along the coast towards Donegal Town (there’s plenty of things to do in Donegal Town, too, and it’s only 30 minutes away).

The views here are outstanding. Here’s a full guide.

2. Malin Beg (29-minute drive)

malin beg beach donegal
Photo by Paul_Shiels/shutterstock

The mighty Malin Beg / Silver Strand Beach is arguably one of the best beaches in Donegal. Head here, park up and soak up the stunning views from the grassy verge above.

3. Assaranca Waterfall (30-minute drive)

ardara waterfall donegal
Photo by Yevhen Nosulko/shutterstock

Assaranca Waterfall is a lot more accessible than the Largy Waterfall – in fact, you can drive right up next to it. It’s very impressive and the chances are you’ll have it all to yourself.

4. Glengesh Pass (24-minute drive)

glengesh pass ardara
Photos by Lukassek/shutterstock.com

The beautiful Glengesh Pass is arguably one of the most unique roads in Ireland. It’s a handy spin from the hidden waterfall and it’s well worth the trip (it’s also close to Ardara, where you’ll find plenty of places to eat).

5. Maghera Beach and Caves (32-minute drive)

Maghera Strand
Photo by Lukassek (Shutterstock)

A visit to Maghera Caves and Beach is arguably one of the most overlooked things to do in Donegal. The beach here is magnificent and there are some caves to explore when the tide is out.

 

Howaya! Thanks for visiting the Irish road trip! This site exists to inspire and guide you on an Irish adventure that’ll give birth to a lifetime of memories (sounds very arsey altogether, I know!) You'll find everything from things to do in Ireland to where to stay in Ireland (unique and unusual places) if you have a nosey around!

2 COMMENTS

  1. Hello there 🙂 I was thinking of visiting this waterfall, it’s so spectacular & I was wondering how did you get the permission to enter the land?

    • Hey,

      I haven’t visited the waterfall personally. If I was visiting the area and looking to see it, I’d ask in some local shops/pubs to see if anyone has any info.

      I know this isn’t the answer you’re looking for, but it’s what I’d do personally to ensure that I was entering the land with the permission of the owner.

      Have a great trip.

      Keith

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