The Malin Head area is fascinating: the crab fishing harbour at Portmore (or Malin harbour) where crabs fished a day's sail away are landed; the quieter Portronan (on the western side of the 'Malin peninsula'); Banba's Crown (the little islet separated from the mainland by a narrow chasm and the most northerly point in mainland Ireland); the 19th century watch tower;
and Malin Head itself!
This fantastic stretch of coastline offers towering stacks, rocky reefs, cliffs, gullies, pebble beaches, raised beaches and, across Garvan Sound, the mysterious Garvan Isles.
The perfect isle of Inishtrahull, ladylike across 5 nautical mile of ocean, is Ireland's most northerly inhabitable piece of land but the Torr Rocks jut out of the waves even a little further north again!
The tower surmounting the hill near Malin Head is known as Lloyds Tower. Built long ago as a lookout to warn of a much feared French invasion, Lloyds established a signal station here to receive and transmit semaphore - later radio - messages from ship to shore. Another station was where the modern lighthouse is on Inishtrahull, extending the effective range of the signalling system. Signals could be telegraphed from Malin Head to Lloyds of London, reporting
on the safe arrival of a valuable trans-atlantic cargo. Other news, too, was transmitted - it is recorded that Malin Head signal station was the fi rst place in Europe to receive the news of the California Gold Rush in 1848 and word of President Lincoln's assassination!