Things to Do and Love

People and Pubs the big lure for Tourists

Reprinted from Article in Irish Independent 08 April 2014 as we feel that it reflects very accurately the feedback from our guests

“People and pubs are bringing tourists to Ireland. More than two thirds of holiday-goers cited the Irish people as their favourite part of their travels here.
Some 83% said they listened to live music in a pub during their stay whilst 79% admitted they’d tasted a Guinness.
Our rich scenery and food also drew considerable interest, with 82% of tourists visiting a coastal town and half of all tourists enjoying a food or craft market.

The survey of 1500 tourists by Failte Ireland revealed that more than half would “definitely” return in the next few years while two-thirds said they would be endorsing the Emerald Isle when they returned home.”

Pubs in Dunkineely

Pubs2

You will often find music in at least 1 of the 4 pubs in Dunkineely, especially at weekends and other nights during the summer months.  You will always find a good atmosphere and friendly locals and you can enjoy it knowing that you can walk back to the house in less than 5 minutes.  Macs  below, the nearest pub to The Snug, also has WIFI.

Macs

Live Entertainment

There is regular live entertainment at the Allingham Arms Hotel in Bundoran or the Abbey Central Hotel in Donegal Town.
Donegal is a haven for festivals such as Rory Gallagher Festival and Ballyshannon Folk Festival.
As you drive though the area you will see frequent roadside signs indicating upcoming events.
Fans of Daniel O’Donnell will surely visit his Donegal roots at Kinkasslagh.

Restaurants

There are a number of excellent restaurants throughout the locality to suit all tastes and budgets.  The Guest Feedback at The Snug is a good place to get some recommendations ( you will see several mentions of the very good fish and chip in Baskins Takeaway, in Dunkineely village). Nearby you are spoiled for choice between the ultra-popular Fleet Inn and Kitty Kellys, both Killybegs. We have enjoyed lunch at the Bay View Hotel, also Killybegs.

You can have a really special dining experience at the 5star Lough Eske Castle. 17kms

Lough Eske Castle

Other pub/restaurants that we would recommend based on our own dining experiences in the area are:

The Village Tavern at Mountcharles 11kms. See guests reviews as several mention this one.
Mary Murrins Bruckless 2.5kms.
Olde Castle Bar and The Blueberry Inn both Donegal Town 17kms.

Olde Castle Bar, Donegal Town
Olde Castle Bar in Donegal Town

Golf
There are over 30 courses to choose from in Donegal, nearby Nairn at Portnoo is a beautiful seaside resort.  It is considered one of the finest natural and scenic 18-hole links courses in Ireland, with sweeping views of Gweebara bay.
The 18-hole at Murvagh is continually featured in GolfWorld’s Top 100 Courses in the UK and Ireland

Walking/Cycling/Running

St John's Point

St John’s Point

Our favourite route  is from the village heading towards the Lighthouse at St Johns Point.  It is 11kms to the Lighthouse so it best to park your car having taken account of the distance you wish to walk.

Lighthouse at St Johns Point.

Lighthouse at St Johns Point.

Another option is to park strategically at Castle Murray and finish your walk with Tea and Scones!  There is a 10k loop which we love, taking you down one side of the Point and up the other, with <1km on the main road.  The area offers several coastal, looped and guided walks to suit all levels of fitness.
Teds Bicycle Hire is located on the route to Donegal Town.

Diving

At the end of the point beside the lighthouse.This is  one of the best diving spots in Ireland, known for it’s crystal clear waters where you can dive up to 40m.

Kayaking

Donegal offers some fantastic coastline to explore, as well as sea caves, islands and wildlife, most of which can be experienced during the summer months.

Angling

Great fishing trip with expert guidance from Phillippe

McDermott fishermen at St Johns Point

You can fish along the shoreline at St John’s Point.   Along the coastline there are lots of options  for both the boat and shore angler.
Marine Sports shop in Dunkineely stocks fresh and frozen bait.

 Surfing

Donegal’s great surfing waters are set amongst stunning scenery, legendary landscapes and sandy beaches – it is a surfers paradise whether you are hard-core or a learner.  The best known surfing locations in Donegal are Rossnowlagh and Bundoran, but there are lots of others all along the coastline.

Sailing

The coast of Donegal invites the visitor to explore a stunning array of sailing waters with its unspoilt offshore islands, breathtaking landscapes and unrivalled natural beauty – it really is a cruiser’s paradise.

Charter Vessels  / Boat Trips: 

Killybegs

There are no scarity of options here from Killybegs, Donegal Town or Teelin.

Equestrian

Deanes Equestrian Centre in the next village of Bruckless is Failte Ireland Approved.

Art Galleries & Crafts

As you travel  through Donegal  you will come across lots of lovely of art and craft shops.   Some in the locality include:

Cindy Graham's Handweaving Studio St Johns Point

Cindy Graham’s Handweaving Studio St Johns Point

Cyndi Graham – Hand Weaving Studio at  St. Johns Point
Magee of Donegal – Donegal Town
Donegal Craft Village – Donegal Town
Triona Design – Ardara
John Molloy – Ardara
Contemporary Irish Art – Stephen Bennett, Ardara

History

The area is steeped in History, these places will appeal to all ages.

Donegal Castle

Castle at Donegal Town

Castle at Donegal Town

Glenveagh National Park and Castle.

Glenveagh1

The Folk Village Museum at Glencolmcille, Co. Donegal provides a detailed  portrayal of Old Ireland.

You can see one of the largest waterwheels in Ireland at Newmills Corn and Flax mills near Letterkenny.

Franciscan Friary, Rossnowlagh.  This is home of the Donegal Historical Museum and is set in beautiful scenic grounds.

Maritime and Heritage Centre Killybegs.  The 1 hour tour is well worth a visit.

County Donegal Railway Restoration, Donegal Town

 

Shopping

Donegal Town  – choose from Magees, The Four Masters Bookshop, Art Gallerys, Craft Shops.

Sligo – en route stop to visit Yeat’s Grave at Drumcliffe and visit the lovely tea rooms there.

Enniskillen:  for lovely shops and places to dine especially around the Buttermarket.

Bellek  – take in a visit to Bellek China.

 

Day Trips

Bundoran Water World
The Giants Causeway and Bushmills.
A Boat Trip to Aranmore

 

Nearby For the Children

Glencolmcille2

There is a beautiful safe sandy beach on your doorstep at St Johns Point and another fantastic Blue Flag beach 8 miles away at Fintra.  Our own favourite is the lovely sandy beach at nearby Inver as you can go out a long way whilst still not out of depth making it ideal for childen with the added bonus of breath-taking scenery with Benbulben in the background.

Fintra

The Heritage Centre at the old Carpet Factory in Killybegs has a boat-steering simulator with different levels of difficulty which our children love.

The Donegal Railway Heritage Centre in Donegal town.  The children will especially enjoy the garden railway and working models.

The Historic Railway at Fintown offers you a journey by rail through spectacular highland and lakeside scenery.

Smaller children can be entertained at Bumble Bees, childrens indoor play centre at Donegal town.

Ideas for Family Days out

Bundoran ( 30 miles )  is perfect for a family outing because it has all you need to entertain and amuse young and old within a compact two-mile area.  Facilities include Blue Flag beach, Waterworld, funfair, outdoor pools, Cliff walks, playgrounds, indoor play centre, Ten Pin Bowling.

Why not discover Fermanagh‘s lakelands and her fantastic scenery around Lower Lough Erne?   Pay  a visit to the village of Bellek famous for its pottery or the Marble Arch Caves near Enniskillen.

Take a trip on board the Donegal Bay Waterbus from Donegal town and sights will include scenery, lots of wild life and a seal island.  Finish off the day with a visit to Donegal Castle and learn all about the legendary chieftain Red Hugh O’Donnell.

Arranmore Island is accessible by Car Ferry, the crossing takes just 15 minutes.  Once there you can spend the day exploring the scenic views, historical sites  and sandy beaches.
From Bunbeg you can take a cruise to Tory Island seeing the beautiful coastline on the way.

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