Donegal’s Inishowen Peninsula, home to the most northerly point on the Irish mainland, was thrown into a frenzy when scenes featuring Luke Skywalker, Rey and the Millennium Falcon were shot here in early 2016. Filming centred around a deep chasm known as Hell’s Hole, which has been carved into the rock over millions of years by the fierce Atlantic, which roars below.
Hell’s Hole can be reached along a well-marked path that skirts the headland from Banba’s Crown, at the the tip of Malin Head. It was from Banba’s Crown (named after a mythical Irish queen) in a British Admiralty tower built during the Napoleonic Wars that the Marconi Company sent the first commercial message by wireless. From this windy perch you can look out towards Inishtrahull Island and, on a good day, Scotland.
Afterwards, warm yourself in the confines of Farren’s Bar, Ireland’s most northerly pub, just 2km from Banba’s Crown in Slievebawn. It’s hard to miss — there’s not much else around here, plus it has a giant mural of Yoda painted outside. Inside, you’ll receive a warm welcome and no shortage of anecdotes about the time Mark Hamill came in.
Ireland’s penchant for storytelling can be experienced at Malin Well, a natural spring said to cure many diseases, a short walk from Farren’s. The nearby Wee House of Malin is a little cave, supposedly once inhabited by a hermit, where legend states that no matter how many people enter there is always room for one more.
A 15-minute drive from Malin Well will bring you to Five Fingers Strand, one of Donegal’s world-class sandy beaches, which is seldom (if ever) busy and a popular stop-off point for visitors on their way to and from the top of Malin Head. (Read more.)