I remembered from last visit that you only need follow the signs from Raphoe to get here quickly and easily. Well, yet again another Donegal signpost has been molested. As you leave Raphoe, the brown sign on the grassy knoll should point to the right hand road from the fork, not straight on.
After asking a very enthusiastic walker I found my way back and parked up at the bottom of the lane, slipping into something more uncomfortable as I got out of the car. My walking boots and waterproofs. Walking up the lane I realised you can see the circle as you approach, this didn't hit me last time because it was pitch black. Anyway, its a nice way to view the circle as a whole so check it out if your passing.
Arriving in the gate the light was absoltely perfect, strong low sun to the south and dark menacing clouds to the northwest. Fantastic! Arriving back at Beltany circle was exhilerating, I left in gloom the last time so didn't really get a good view of its magnificence in good light. This is one site with serious vibes. As the clouds came and passed the shadows and shapes cast by the light were almost surreal, I felt like running and shouting and perhaps I did, there wasn't another sinner for miles! This is what its all about.
I spent some time exploring what remains inside and I became more and more convinced that this was not just a simple pile of stones and earth inside, with the light raking over the protruding stones broken shapes and patterns appeared and dissapeared in the ruins. Whatever was once here truly must have been magnificent, why waste all those beautiful views?
After the mind boggling Beaghmore at sunset the evening before, Beltany feels a wilder, more foreboding place than the almost amusingly scattered Tyrone complex. Maybe this was due to the fact that I arrived here while it was still dark and the tree lined laneway up to the circle was much longer and spookier than I had anticipated.
There are lots of curiously shaped stones, the two largest stones are extraordinary. This site was once a true masterpeice, now in its slightly ruined state it still hits the psychological nerve ends.
Even after dawn there was not enough light to find all the marked stones but I did find the large stone with dozens of cup marks on its inner face and attempted to get a good photo of them.
beltany tops, near raphoe, co. donegal... on a wild windy day,made my way through the hills of inishowen to this fabulously dramatic circle. it is in the centre of a circle of mountains itself on a small hilltop easily found ( signposted from main road ) and then easy to lose yourself in!! the whole cairn is raised up and the stones lean out and up into the sky, some shot with white quartz and sparkling with energy.. as with so many beautiful sites, this is wonderfully unspoilt, a small heritage sign, scattered incense stick, tut tut.. but otherwise an incredible 360 degree view of the land all around you.. even the rain stopped for a short while, enough to light your face and warm the cockles.. this truly is a place with a playful joyful vibe and the stones an extremely comfortable place to sit awhile.. go to and enjoy! love lissy X