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Murder Hole Beach is a small, undeveloped beach on Donegal’s north shore. It is widely regarded as one of Donegal’s and Ireland’s most beautiful and unique beaches. The beach features a golden sandy beach, crystal blue water, cliffs, hills, dunes, small caves, and beautiful scenery.

Accessibility improvements at Murder Hole Beach in Donegal have been made with the launch of a new trail and car park at Melmore. The new trail, opened in April 2022, provides a more straightforward access route to the beach.

Boyeeghter Bay is the actual name of Murder Hole Beach. The name Boyeeghter comes from the Scottish phrase ‘Trá Bhá ochtair,’ which means ‘the strand of the lower (or northern) bay. Along the Wild Atlantic Way, Murder Hole Beach is a wonderful hidden gem.

Here’s a complete guide for your trip to Murder Hole Beach, Donegal. Here is a useful resource for you about things to do in Donegal.

Useful info for Murder Hole Beach Trip


Murder Hole Beach, also known as Boyeeghter Bay, is located on the Melmore Head peninsula in County Donegal, Ireland. It is situated near Downings on the Rosguill Peninsula, close to the border with Northern Ireland.

The beach is a 44-minute drive from Letterkenny and not far from Downings.

How to reach Murder Hole Beach

Murder Hole beach guide

Previously, access to the beach was limited and involved crossing private fields, which led to conflicts with locals. To improve accessibility, a new trail and car park at Melmore have been established.

The new trail takes approximately 15-20 minutes to walk from the car park, and there is now a designated car park available for you.

Safety Tips & Warnings for Murder Hole Beach

No Swimming: Swimming at Murder Hole Beach is highly discouraged due to dangerous rip tides and strong currents, making it unsafe for swimmers or bodyboarding.

Access Restrictions: Visitors are advised to be respectful of locals and follow guidelines for accessing the beach, as there may be restrictions on crossing private land or parking in certain areas.

Tide Timings: When the tides are high, you won’t be able to locate or see anything here, so keep track of the tides and then plan your trip accordingly at the time of the low tide.

Dangerous Conditions: The beach can have unpredictable and dangerous conditions, with waves that can catch visitors off guard, especially during windy weather. You also need to be cautious with your children.

Getting to Murder Hole Beach via the New Trail at Melmore Head

The new trail leading from the Melmore car park to Boyeeghter Bay (also known as Murder Hole Beach) offers a more direct and safer access route than the previous method of crossing private lands.

Approximate walking time: About 15-20 minutes each way, depending on pace.

Level of difficulty: Moderate, as the trail includes steep sections and requires a reasonable degree of physical fitness.

Importance of caution: Visitors must exercise care while navigating the trail, particularly when returning, as they will be retracing their steps.

Checking tide times: It is essential to consult tide tables prior to visiting to ensure safe exploration of the beach and sea cave, which are only accessible at low tide.

Murder Hole beach

Getting to Murder Hole Beach via Tra Na Rossan

An alternative route to Murder Hole Beach, also known as Boyeeghter Bay, involves accessing the beach from the Tra Na Rossan Beach car park. While this route does provide access to the beach, it is more challenging than the newly constructed trail from Melmore car park.

Walking time: It is expected to take longer than 15-20 minutes from the Melmore trail due to the rugged terrain and distance between the two locations.

Difficulty: High, requiring a considerable amount of physical exertion and stamina due to steep inclines and uneven surfaces.

Caution: You are urged to proceed with extreme caution, as the terrain poses risks, and the area is not suitable for buggies or wheelchairs.

Warning against swimming: Similar to the Melmore trail, swimming at Murder Hole Beach is strongly discouraged due to hazardous rip tides and strong currents.

Checking tide times: Essential to avoid putting oneself at risk, as the beach and sea cave become accessible only at low tide.

Absence of marked trails: Unlike the new trail from Melmore, there are no marked trails on this route, making it essential for visitors to pay close attention to their surroundings and exercise caution while navigating the path.

Parking: Tra Na Rossan Beach car park serves as a starting point for this alternative route, providing a parking area for you.

Caves in murder hole beach

Places to visit near Boyeeghter Bay

Portsalon Beach

Portsalon Beach, also known as Ballymastocker Strand, is a stunning and extensive sandy beach located on the Fanad Peninsula in County Donegal, Ireland.

The beach was once voted as the second most beautiful beach in the world by The Observer Magazine, highlighting its exceptional beauty and appeal to visitors.

Fanad Head Lighthouse

Fanad Lighthouse is an amazing place to visit. It is located at the corner of the Fanad Peninsula and offers some wonderful scenic views. It’s ideal if you take your time to appreciate the stunning environment and natural beauty that surrounds you.

Here is your guide to exploring Fanad Head Lighthouse.

Ards Forest Park

Ards Forest Park is a scenic and diverse forest park located on the small Ards Peninsula in County Donegal, Ireland.

Situated on the shores of Sheephaven Bay, the park spans approximately 481 hectares (1,200 acres) and encompasses a variety of habitats, including dunes, beaches, salt marshes, saltwater lakes, rock faces, and coniferous and deciduous woodlands.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How To Get To Murder Hole Beach?

You will first have to travel to Melmore Head, and the drive till there will be a bit windy, and you will come across some alluring scenic views.

When you arrive in Melmore, you will have to park your car and walk to the field’s entrance, where the hike to Murder Hole Beach will begin. 

Is it safe to swim in Murder Hole Beach?

Due to unpredictable waves, it is not suggested to swim in Murder Hole Beach.

Where do you park for Murder Hole Beach?

Tra Na Rossan or the brand new car park at Melmore Head are two where you can park your vehicle.


So this was all about the great Murder Hole Beach. Not just the view but you are definitely going to enjoy the experience here too. The waves crash and walk inside the caves. I hope that you found this article helpful and consider visiting Murder Hole on your next trip.

Also in case you are planning to visit Galway, do read my Galway article.

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