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Visiting Stroove Beach And Lighthouse On The Inishowen Peninsula

Visiting Stroove Beach And Lighthouse On The Inishowen Peninsula

Stroove Beach is arguably one of the more overlooked beaches in Donegal.

And, compact though it may be, it’s surrounded by wild rocks and watched over by a historic lighthouse, making it a fine spot for a short stroll.

Throw in a few beautiful views too, and there’s every reason to give this cracking Donegal beach a visit.

Below, you’ll find info on everything from parking and swimming to the walking trail that kicks-off from its car park.

Some quick need-to-knows about Stroove Beach

Stroove Beach and Lighthouse

Photo by shawnwil23 (Shutterstock)

Although a visit to Stroove Lighthouse and its beach is fairly straightforward, there are a few need-to-knows that’ll make your visit that bit more enjoyable.

1. Location

Stroove Beach is located on the far eastern tip of the Inishowen Peninsula in County Donegal. It’s a 10-minute drive from Greencastle, a 45-minute drive from both Derry and Buncrana.

2. Parking

There’s a pretty big car park right next to the beach (here on Google Maps), but it does get busy in the summer. The beach is a handy short walk away across a couple of dunes. 

3. Swimming

Stroove is a Blue Flag beach which means it’s recognised for its water quality and facilities. It’s a popular spot for swimming and Lifeguards are on duty from June until September between 12:00 pm and 18:30 pm.

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 Stroove Beach

Inishowen Head Loop

Photos via Shutterstock

Known locally as Big White Bay, Stroove Beach, is a small sheltered beach overlooked by the Inishowen Head lighthouse. 

The lighthouse itself dates back to 1837 and was originally used as harbour lights to guide vessels into Lough Foyle and to lead them clear of the Tuns Bank. However, it’s been automated since August 1979.

The views are pretty unique from Stroove Beach as you can easily see over to Northern Ireland and on really clear days you can catch a glimpse of the distant Scottish island (and whisky haven!) of Islay.

If you actually want to check out Northern Ireland, then Stroove is just a few minutes’ drive from the terminal of the Scenic Lough Foyle Ferry, connecting Donegal and Magilligan Point in County Derry.

Things to do at Stroove Beach

Inishowen Head Loop

Map with thanks to Sport Ireland

There’s a handful of things to see and do around Stroove Lighthouse (one of which is one of our favourite walks in Donegal). Here are some suggestions:

1. Saunter along the sand

It may be small, but this is a deadly little beach to enjoy (maybe smaller is better?). Get the lay of the land by going for a ramble along the sand, and don’t forget to grab yourself a coffee or a snack first from Greencastle first.

Kick your shoes off and go for a paddle in the gentle waters if you like, and maybe go for a little scramble over the low rocks for some more unique views of the place (but be careful – and definitely don’t climb them if it’s wet!). 

2. See Inishowen Lighthouse

Any beach that has a lighthouse nearby is instantly made that bit cooler! Yes, they’re there for practical reasons but they always give the landscape a unique flavour.

As I mentioned earlier, Inishowen Lighthouse has been around for almost 200 years and it’s an interesting sight to see up close.

Though now automated, the Attendant lives in the house nearest to the lighthouse and the other two dwellings have been converted into staff holiday houses. Oh, and you’ll also get some class views looking over towards the mighty Portstewart Strand in Derry! 

3. Tackle the Inishowen Loop

If you feel like a brisk walk to get to know this ancient area a little better, then take on the Inishowen Head Loop!

At around 8km long, this is no picnic so you’ll need to allow around 2-3 hours to complete the loop, but the journey is well worth it. 

Starting from a car park just north of the strand, you’ll follow a looped route through some of Donegal’s most beautiful coastal scenery.

​​Look out for the black plastic markers with blue symbols and National Waymarked Trails arrows and follow the route in a clockwise direction.

Places to visit near Stroove Beach

One of the beauties of Stroove Lighthouse and beach is that it’s a short spin away from many of the best places to visit in Donegal.

Below, you’ll find a handful of things to see and do a stone’s throw from Stroove Beach (plus places to eat and where to grab a post-adventure pint!).

1. Magilligan Point View (15-minute drive)

Magilligan Point View

Photos via Google Maps

The scenes from the beach are great but if you want a proper view of the landscape then make your way up to Magilligan Point View in the hills behind Stroove Beach. It’s no more than a 15-minute drive and you’ll be treated to stunning vistas of County Derry, Lough Foyle and the rolling hills beneath!

2. Kinnagoe Bay (15-minute drive)

kinnagoe bat donegal

Photos by Chris Hill via Tourism Ireland

One of the most beautiful of all the beaches in Donegal, Kinnagoe Bay is golden seclusion just around the corner from Stroove Beach. The approach is stunning and, while the rocks jutting out of the water don’t make for swimming, you’ll get some amazing photos!

3. Greencastle (7-minute drive)

Greencastle Donegal

Photos via Shutterstock

A fine little village less than a 10-minute drive from Stroove. There are a few spots to eat here and you can also jump on the ferry over to Magilligan Point. Grab some fish and chips from Kealy’s Seafood Bar and, if the rain comes, then check out some local history at Inishowen Maritime Museum.

4. Malin Head (45-minute drive)

malin head donegal

Photo left: RonanmcLaughlin. Right: Lukassek/shutterstock

The most northerly point of mainland Ireland, Malin Head is the northern tip of the Inishowen Peninsula and its wild rugged beauty is epic! 

It’s also the start/finish of the Wild Atlantic Way (depending on which way you’re driving), and it’s one of those bucket list places that you’ve just got to cross off your list.

FAQs about visiting Stroove Beach

We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from ‘Can you swim?’ to ‘Can you go inside the lighthouse?’.

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 Stroove Beach?

Stroove is a popular spot for a swim but please do keep in mind that lifeguards are only on duty during the summer, so only enter the water if you’re a capable swimmer.

Is Stroove worth visiting?

Yes. You can stroll along the beach, soak up the views and then head off on the Inishowen Head Loop which starts from the lighthouse and takes 2 – 3 hours.

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