Umphin (Umfin or Iompainn) Island is a small uninhabited island living on the sea ward side of Inishmeane and just to the North of the much better known Gola Island and the lesser known Tororragaun Island. Umphin sits approximately 3 KM from mainland Donegal and is normally surrounded by mildy tetchy seas. It is home to a ground nesting colony of several thousand sea birds and seldom sees visitors of the human kind. Access to the island is by boat or if you are feeling Olympic by swim. There is no regular ferry service to the island and a leisurely sea kayak paddle is an excellent way to approach and visit the island. On the landward (Donegal mainland) side of Umphin there is a perfect natural harbour and shelved landing beach between mainland Umphin and the outlaying Tornacolpagh Island. The channel between the islands provides a very shelter landing spot which at low tide allows you to walk between the island as the sea retreats. The rest of the island's coastline is very exposed to every ripple of oncoming sea motion from all directions south west through to north and is effectivly guarded by sea cliffs for most of it's circumference.
The granite sea cliffs on Umphin provide excellent Gola type sea battered granite up to 25m in height and on Buckaneers Wall on the south face lives one of Irelands most spectacular sea cliff roofs.
For all the other rock climbing locations found throughout Donegal and for more PDF guidebook downloads visit Undiscovered Donegal.
One of the more unusual features of Umphin Island and perhaps even of any of Ireland's islands is a 300m long tunnel that travels right through the centre of the island. The tunnel starts at one of the many huge sea caves on the sea ward side of the island and ends at the smaller sea cave beside the sheltered raised shingle beach on the landward side of the island. The tunnel is the perfect size for a kayak and has a 40m long section of complete darkness at about mid passage.
For a safe traverse of the passage you will need very calm seas with anything over a metre from south through west to north causing huge amounts of motion in the sea ward cave entrance. The ideal tide is about an hour after low at about 1.0m and remember to bring with you as much artificial light as you can carry.
The short film to the left shows a traverse of the tunnel made in May 2017 in perfect sea conditions and weather.
This small sum lets us know that you are genuinely enquiring and not a computer trying to send excess amounts of spam to our email account.