Dander & Dine
Marble Hill Strand Beach
Every guest here comes for different reasons and to do different things. But one request we receive over and over again is: “Where can we go for a dander?”
Marble Hill beach is a stunning location right in front of the hotel. So you won’t need the car to get there.
A walk from the front of the hotel, down to the beach and across to the end of the beach – and back again – will clock up between 6,000 and 7,000 steps depending on whether the tide is in or out (FitBit). And your steps will depend on whether you decide to cross the stream at the east end of the beach barefoot (a short-cut), or walk around it and take the bridge where the stream enters the beach. Crossing the stream is much more fun! Once you do so you will be leaving the townland of Faugher Lower and entering the townland of Cloonmass.
End-to-end the beach runs for more than 1.2km. At high tide however, the strand splits into two separate beaches, so access to the main beach is via the road. (Walk on the right when going there).
Marble Hill is a Blue Flag beach and is also a Signature Viewing Point on the Wild Atlantic Way. It is popular with young and old, surfers, sailors, divers and paddlers. From June until the end of summer there is a Lifeguard service provided by Donegal County Council between noon and 6.30pm. They will erect flags between which they will monitor swimmers.
The beach sits on Sheephaven Bay, which isn’t its correct name. The Irish – Cuan na gCurrach – means Ship Haven….. the mispronunciation of ‘ship’ as ‘sheep’ back in the day is blamed for today’s English naming of the bay. Native Irish speakers on Rosguil – the peninsula you can see on the other side of the bay – use the original Irish name.
The bay is still a haven for ships and boats today due its relatively calm waters. It has also become a holiday haven all-year-round with visitors to the Shandon Hotel & Spa coming here 12 months of the year (we only close 23rd Dec for 4 days).
It’s also a haven for wildlife, with a Special Area of Conservation at the east end of the beach with birds of all shapes and sizes in residence there. You might even hear the corncrake from the sand dunes on a quiet summer’s day.
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