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County Donegal, Ulster, Ireland

Donegal Guide

Your essential guide to Ireland's most beautiful county with 70 of its best locations.

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Overview: 2014 update: this guide is part of the free Donegal App http://www.donegalapp.com/

For those in the know, Donegal is a word that can make the heart skip a beat. The first few notes of Paul Brady's version of 'The Homes of Donegal' can make a grown man cry and its scenic splendor can stop a hardened hillwalker in her tracks. Put simply, it is a must see location and any trip you're planning to Ireland should factor in a county with seriously big country and a way of life that will appeal to those in hope of a rural idyll with a lot of fun thrown in.

Surrounded on one side by the relentless Atlantic and on the other side by the United Kingdom, Donegal has approximately 3.5 miles to connect it with the rest of the Republic of Ireland. The other great anthem of the county, 'Las Vegas in the Hills of Donegal', sings jocosely about the notion of an autonomous Donegal, but in a way it always has been its own place; not quite north and not quite south - just uniquely Donegal.

Selecting the places you should try and visit in such a big and varied county was not easy. Blue Flag beaches, outstanding golf courses and heritage centres feature prominently. Landmark attractions like Slieve League, Glenveagh and Malin Head could of course not be overlooked. By and large, we've left out commercial ventures. We've covered the whole county and hope that you'll find plenty of out of the way gems along the route.

The county has a number of key locations - the Donegal Bay area, the Glencolmcille and Dawros Bay peninsulas, the Rosses, the offshore islands, Gweedore, the northern headlands, Inishowen and the Laggan and Finn valleys are all worth some time to visit. Take at least a week and with any luck, you might get some good weather to really see the place brought to life with a resplendence of flora. Better still, keep coming back and get to see even more of the county on a series of weeks in Ireland's best kept secret. You'll be very glad you did.


Tips: Ensure you familiarize yourself with the points of interest beforehand. They are in alphabetical order, rather than in order of popularity. There are some breathtaking scenes along the way with plenty of stops required.As you are covering the full county, it would be best to do this drive over a few days, with plenty of sightseeing along the way.

Do not use this App while driving. The guide is offered subject to acceptance of the Licence Agreement, which is linked on the right hand column of this page. If you are downloading, we recommend the use of the EveryTrail Pro app, which allows for offline map usage of the guide.

This guide is a shorter version of the free Donegal App, available on all major GPS platforms from iPhone to Android, Garmin to TomTom devices. www.donegalapp.com

Points of Interest

Information
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An Grianan Theatre

Built to the highest spec in 1999, An Grianán Theatre is a modern 383 seat arts and entertainment venue in Letterkenny. It has a truly varied programme of events throughout the year including comedy, drama, music, ballet and much more. The Box office is open Monday to Friday, 9:30am to 6pm,?Saturdays, 10am to 6pm. Disable access. Restaurant.

Port Road, Letterkenny, +353(0)7491 20777, info@angrianan.net, www.angrianan.com
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Ardara Heritage Centre

A good telling of the role the county played in the weaving industry. There's a hand loom weaver on site and an audio visual guide upstairs as well as a small café. Open Easter-September, Monday to Saturday 10-6, Sunday 2-6.

The Diamond, Ardara
+353(0)74951704
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Arranmore Island

Get the ferry out from Burtonport to one of the wilder places in Ireland, both for scenery and a cracking time.Highly regarded lake and shore fishing and walking can be combined with a lively pub scene in the evenings.

Renowned for their atmosphere, the island has six traditional Irish pubs. The islanders are proud of the large store of stories of the island barmen, claiming they will entertain you long into the night, if you let them.

The island is a haven for wildlife enthusiasts who visit the island at most times of the year. The west of the island gives testament to the Atlantic's fury with many marine caves and stacks carved from solid rock resulting in a spectacular cliff coastline. The island is mountainous (225 meters) with poor land dotted with rocks and small lakes characteristic of the Rosses area of Donegal.

For sightseers, fine views of the mainland from Glen Head to Tory Island are to be found while walking the island's 7 square miles. The lighthouse, whose predecessor has warned seafarers from the islands shores since 1798, is situated on Rinrawros Point at the Northwest of the island providing a focal point for exploration of the surrounding area.

http://www.arainnmhor.com/Arainn_Mhor_Island/Welcome.html

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Ballyliffin Golf Club

Two championship links - The Old Links and Glashedy Links. Ireland's most northerly golf complex is situated on the Inishowen peninsula in North Donegal, just 25 miles from Derry City. The 36-hole complex at Ballyliffin is ranked amongst the very finest links tracks in the world and is a personal favourite of Rory McIlroy's.

Ballyliffin, Inishowen, Co.Donegal
+353 (0) 74 9376119
Email: info@ballyliffingolfclub.com
Website: http://www.ballyliffingolfclub.com
Building
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Balor Arts Centre

The state of the art Balor arts centre opened its doors in 2008. It hosts over 100 music, drama and comedy performances each year in Donegal's newest purpose built arts venue.

+353(0)79131840
http://www.balorartscentre.com/php/index.php
Junction
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Barnesmore Gap

This is the very heart of the county, where north meets south. it's an extraordinary sight whether you see it from Sligo or coming south from Letterkenny. Ensure you stop off at Biddy's O'Barnes pub on the Donegal Town side of the gap to soak up the atmosphere. Tales of highwaymen, hangings, fairies and strange weather abound in this place - make sure you see the information on the walls by the restrooms in Biddy's to get an idea of what we mean or chat to landlady Kate Slevin who knows a fair bit about the area, to say the least. At weekends, be warned - every hen and stag party en route to a night's mischief stops off here for one or two...

074 9722647
http://www.biddysobarnes.com/
Animals/Wildlife
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Blanket Nook

At one stage in time, Blanket Nook marked the western side of the divide of the island of Eoghain or Inishowen from Donegal. These days, this curiously titled wetland is a well known site for waders and wildfowl. Best birds are smew (drake and redheads) which have a high count for Ireland. Whooper swans are present as well as some greenshank.

Blanket Nook,
Nr Burt,
Inishowen.
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Bloody Foreland

Cnoc Fola "the hill of Blood "(Bloody Foreland) is so called because the sun, particularly at evening, lights up the rocks to a reddish hue. In the autumn ferns turns russet redish brown. In truth, the name has no background of history to warrant the title 'bloody' although you may hear of one or two colourful tales about battles with Balor of the Evil Eye on nearby Tory island.

Geographically, it does represent the 'chin' of Ireland as it feels the full force of the North Atlantic Drift which has come all the way from the Gulf of Mexico. The views from here from the southern Rosses up to Tory Island and Horn Head are stunning - look out for play of light on the water and take a bracing walk along the coast taking in that sea air.
Mountain
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Bluestack Way - Ardara finishing point

The Bluestack Way, possibly the finest walk in the northwest, begins in Donegal Town and takes the walker along country lanes to the magnificent Lough Eske - ensure you see our Lough Eske Nature Guide.

At the well marked Famine Pot, take the Path way to the east of Banagher Hill through the Eglish Valley and along the foothills of the Bluestack Mountains. Take in the wonderful views of the main peaks in the Bluestacks to your right and the Sligo mountains and Donegal Bay to your left.

Take time to view the Grey Mare's Tale water fall as you cross the Eany More water. Near the foot of Carnaween take time to visit the ancient graveyard at Disert. Crossing the mountain gives spectacular views into the valley of Glenties and the town of Ardara.

In Glenties, take time to visit the local museum. This is the home of Patrick MacGill which hosts a popular Summer School every August in his honour. September 12th is the Harvest Fair Day in Glenties, one of the oldest fairs in Ireland. Also look out for the Mundy House past the Comprehensive school, setting for Brian Friel's Dancing at Lughnasa.

Leaving Glenties, follow the Bank of the Owenea River to Ardara. In Ardara, you'll be spoilt by a number of places including Peter Oliver's and Nancy's pubs.
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Bundoran Blue Flag Beach

Bundoran certainly has come a long way since the writer's mother was dragged there every summer some 60+ years ago. Fine walks, plenty to do for the surfer and a cracking Summer festival called www.seasessions.com. The well maintained Blue Flag beach is seconds away from the fine Rougey walk. Look out for Madden's for food and atmosphere and The Criterion bar for an original old world pub run by two sisters - be warned, no cursing allowed though.
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Carrickfin Blue Flag Beach

Flying in to Carrickfin airport on a good day shows off just how stunning a location this long sandy beach is. Make a dip in the water the first thing you do upon landing and a nice stroll getting in that powerful sea air the last thing before leaving - until the next visit.
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Colmcille Heritage Centre

Interpretive exhibition featuring Saint Colmcille (Colomba), patriarch of Irish monasticism and the Scottish church, founder of Derry, patron saint of Donegal and (alleged) arch plagiarist. One busy man. The story is told with artistically designed banners, stained glass, illustrated panels, artifacts, a wax model with authentic clothing and step by step illustration of ancient manuscript fabrication. Restaurant/Tea Rooms situated on lakeside site on 100 acre estate with nature walks.

Open...Easter Week and from 1st Sunday in May to last Sunday in September Weekdays 10.30am -6.30pm, Sunday 1.00pm-6.00pm Colmcille Heritage Centre, Gartan, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal Tel: 074-9137306
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Craignamaddy

Just outside of Greencastle, this hilltop view offers the most spectacular view of the Foyle delta. To the left is Shroove, across the water you can see as far as the Giant's Causeway; coming closer, the iconic Mussenden Temple at Downhill, the plateau of Binevenagh and down below is of course Lough Foyle, described by writer Joyce Cary as the most beautiful view in the world, albeit looking at it from the road leading in to Moville.
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Cruit island Golf Course

Although a mere 9 hole course, Cruit island is considered to be one of the best 9 hole golf courses in Ireland. The golf course enjoys spectacular views of Aranmore and Owey Islands, Mount Errigal and the ruggged coastline near Kincasslagh on the mainland and is forever accompanied by the sound of crashing waves below.

The golf course is 2,809 yards long and has 7 par fours and 2 par threes. The legendary sixth hole uses the Atlantic as the fairway, severally punishing any wayward shots. Although only 25 years or so in existence, this course deserves a round for anyone who loves a well designed liks course with views.

Cruit Island hosts two golf competitions in honour of the area's most famous celebrities - Packie Bonner, the ex-international goalkeeper for Ireland and Celtic and Daniel O Donnel, the hugely popular Irish singer and a fine golfer by all accounts. Try and time your visit with either one for a round to remember.

+353(0)749543296
http://www.cruitislandgolfclub.com/
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Culdaff Blue Flag Beach

Long sandy beach with Culdaff estuary on the left and rocky Dunmore head on the right. Good all round for kids - there's a playground beside it. Also good for surfers, fishermen and birdwatchers and nearby Culdaff has the great McGrorys to take care of your stomach and your ears with regular trad sessions and some real surprise guest stars.
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Dan's Cottage

Music, song, recitations and poetry in an authentic thatched cottage. Tea and homemade scones served. Entry is discretionary with proceeds to Charities. Brendan Kearney has intermittent nights of traditional music and craic here in the heart of the onetime "Poitin Republic". In the not so distant past, before television came into peoples homes, the regular form of entertainment was storytelling and music. This would be held in different houses around the area known as the rambling house, where people would gather near and far to meet celebrities of their day, their neighbours. Brendan usually takes a back seat and leaves the hosting to Eamonn Barr and co.

Every Thursday in July and first two of August from 8pm to 10pm.
Contact Eamonn Barr on 0749373730
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Doagh Famine Village

Open from Easter until late October, 10-5.30. Disabled access. Tea & scones included with entrance fee. This hidden gem is a reconstructed village with great attention to detail. Your affable host, Pat, puts famine in a global context and tells it with warmth, wit and insight. You also get to hear about old Irish funeral customs as well as seeing an old Republican "safe house" and Orange Hall right beside each other!

353(0)749376493, www.doaghfaminevillage.com
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Donegal Castle

For most of the last two hundred years, the majority of Donegal Castle lay sadly in ruins, but was almost fully restored in the late 1990s due to an unwavering local campaign by the likes of legendary Mary B. 'Dee' Crossan and Paddy Meehan (amongst others).

Built in 1474, the castle consists of a 15th century rectangular keep with a later Jacobean style wing. The complex is sited on a bend in the River Eske, near the mouth of Donegal Bay, and is surrounded by a 17th century boundary wall. There is a small gatehouse at its entrance mirroring the design of the keep. Most of the stonework was constructed from locally sourced limestone with some sandstone. The castle was the stronghold of the O'Donnell clan, Lords of Tír Conaill and one of the most powerful Gaelic families in Ireland from the 5th to the 16th centuries.

Open Mid March-End October: Daily, 10:00 - 18:00. 1st November - Mid March, Mon, Thu, Fri, Sat, Sun 9.30 - 16.30. Last Admission: 45 minutes before closing. Average Length of Visit: 45 minutes. - 1 hour. Disabled access on ground floor only. Toilets. Tirchonaill Street, Donegal Town, 0749722405 donegalcastle@opw.ie, www.heritageireland.ie/en/North-West/DonegalCastle/
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Donegal County Museum

Contains several local archaeological finds, including some early Christian material and Iron Age stone heads. Downstairs is a gritty and honest account of the harshness of life in rural Donegal in the 19th century. Open year round Monday to Friday 11-12.30, 1-4.30, Saturday 1-4.30.

High Road, Letterkenny
+353(0)74 9124613
museum@donegalcoco.ie
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Donegal Railway Heritage Centre

Donegal Railway Heritage Centre is a museum of entertaining displays, pictures, information and artefacts of the County Donegal Railway and Londonderry & Lough Swilly Railways that once had 225 miles of three-foot gauge railway in County Donegal, all closed by 1959.

The Old Station House, Tyrconnell Street, Donegal town
00353 (0) 74 97 22655
Email: donegalrailway@gmail.com
Website: http://www.countydonegalrailway.com
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Donegal Ancestry Centre

2012 UPDATE: CURRENTLY CLOSED - BEST TO CALL IN ADVANCE IN CASE THERE IS ANY CHANGE ON ITS STATUS. The Donegal Ancestry Centre is the official family history research centre for County Donegal and was established to help people trace their Donegal ancestors.
Learn more about your surname, your place of birth or tracing your Donegal ancestors.

Donegal Ancestry Centre, The Quay, Ramelton, Co Donegal
Tel: 353 7491 51266 info@donegalancestry.com
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Donegal Bay Waterbus

A real gem of a journey around Donegal Bay taking in historical sites as well. Times of sailing dependant on tides so please call prior to journey. As a guide, sailings are from Easter through September. Disabled access although best to call prior to sailing.

The Harbour, Donegal Town
+353(0)74973666
info@donegalbaywaterbus.com
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Donegal Craft Village

Meet the artists in their workshops and treat yourself to the many items on offer for yourself or as a memorable gift. Donegal Craft Village is a showcase for contemporary arts and crafts in Ireland. Stop off and indulge in Aroma, the award-winning restaurant renowned for its freshly ground coffee, delicious home made cakes and gourmet lunches. The beautifully landscaped grounds include a picnic area, a charming courtyard, and spacious, free, car & coach parking.

+353 74 9722225 Enquiries
+353 74 9723222 Aroma restaurant

Donegal Craft Village,
Outside Donegal Town on N15,
Co. Donegal, Ireland
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Donegal Golf Club (Murvagh)

One the longest and best 18 hole links courses in Ireland, the Eddie Hackett designed course at Murvagh is surrounded by Donegal bay. Frequently in the top 100 courses in these islands. Stunning.

+353(0)749734054
http://www.donegalgolfclub.ie/
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Dunfanaghy Workhouse

Visit the famine exhibition where you'll hear the story of 'wee Hannah' and her life in 19th century Donegal. There's also a craft shop and a restaurant. They also run courses throughout the year. Open all year round.

+353(0)749136540
www.dunfanaghyworkhouse.ie
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Dunlewy Lakeside Centre

This is a reconstruction of the home of the late Manus Ferry who died in 1975. You can see weaving in progress, see assorted farm animals, take a boat ride with a storyteller and in the evenings there are fine traditional music sessions. Open Easter to October, Monday to Saturday 10.30-6, Sunday 11-7.

Dunlewy 353(0)749531699
http://www.dunleweycentre.com/
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Fintown Railway

Travel along 4 miles of narrow gauge railway by the lough.

Summer 2012
1st June 2012 - September (start of Sept).
Mon - Fri - 1st train at 10am and then every hour on the hour until last train at 5pm
Sat - 1st train at 11am and then every hour on the hour until last train at 4pm
Sun - 1st train at 1pm and then every hour on the hour until last train at 5pm

Fintown Railway, Fintown, Co. Donegal.
353 (0)74 9546280
info@antraen.com
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Fintra Blue Flag Beach

The main beach just outside of Killybegs has been a family favourite for years and the venue for a fine Aidan Gillen and Gina McKee short film some years ago, 'Burning the Bed'.
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Fort Dunree

By any reckoning, there's a lot to see and take in at this historical military fort, the last piece of property to become part of Eire in 1938. Look out for the Guns of Dunree exhibition, The Rockhill collection, wildlife discovery room, scenic walks, souvenir shop & cafe.

074 9361817 E: dunree@eircom.net, www.dunree.pro.ie Limited disabled access - some tricky gravel and terrain. Open daily from 10-6 all year round.
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Gartan Outdoor Education Centre

Superbly located, set on 87 acres on the shores of Gartan Lough, 15 minutes from Letterkenny. The Centre provides a wide range of Adventure Sports Activities, Environmental Education Courses, Team Building, Management Training and Adventure Sports Training. Open 7 days a week, all year round. Disabled access.

Gartan 353(0)74 9137032
office@gartan.com
www,gartan.com
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Glebe House and Gallery

This Regency House built in 1828, is set in woodland gardens, decorated with William Morris textiles, Islamic and Japanese art etc. The collection includes 300 works by leading 20th century artists; Picasso, Kokoshka as well as Irish and Italian artists. Exhibitions are shown in the adjoining gallery. Access to ground floor of the Gallery for people with disabilities. Open Easter Daily 10:00 - 18:30. Closed until start of June, June - End Sept, Sat - Thur, 11:00 - 18:30. Last tour 1 hour before closing. Average Length of Visit: 1.5 hours. Coffee shop, toilets.

Churchill, 353(0)749137071
www.heritageireland.ie/en/North-West/GlebeHouseandGallery/
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Glencolmcille Folk Village

Located 3km from the village, the enterprising local priest Father McDyer not only brought electricity to the area, but established this replica folk village back in 1967 complete with thatched cottages and a shebeen with some choice local wines made from fuchsias and seaweed. Bottoms up! Open Easter to September, Monday to Saturday, 10-6, Sunday 12-6.

Glencolmcille, +353(0)749730017
http://www.glenfolkvillage.com/
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Glenevin Waterfall and Raghtin Walk

The spectacular Glenevin waterfall is located between Straid and Crossconnel, 2km from the village of Clonmany. The roadside entrance to the waterfall and picnic area is beside the Glen House, but you'll need to park further down the hill towards Clonmany. This waterfall cascades fresh mountain water descending over black rock from an astounding height of 30 feet. The expanse at the top measures 15 yards which curls gracefully to 1.5 yards at the bottom.

The basin below called Pohlan-eas, derives its meaning from the foam which lies on the surface of the pool. Poll-an-Eas translates into English as the "ferment pool". It's a leisurely 20 minute walk up a gentle gradient to get to the waterfall, but the kids will love it - the meandering babbling stream and wild hawthorn bushes is a veritable fairyland for fun and games.

It marks the start of the walk up to Raghtin Mor - one of the highest mountains in Inishowen at over 600m.
Duration: 3.5-4 hours
Distance: 7km
Difficulty: moderate
The beautiful 30 feet high Glenavon waterfall is followed by a steady climb to a rugged quartzite summit with memorable panoramas at over 1500 feet.
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Glengesh Pass

This really is one of the great treats of the area. Look down this green valley, towards the caves, the dunes and on to the sea. You are about to come in to one of the most enjoyable parts of the county with copious festivals, an abundance of great scenery that walkers love and something for the pub connoisseurs out there!
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Glenveagh Castle & Visitor Centre

A Donegal must see. Erstwhile home to gas meter heir, disappearing professor and notorious landlord, now home to red deer and golden eagles in 16,500 square kilometre setting. Also includes a visitor centre with 20-minute audio-visual display. Good clothing & footwear required. Limited disabled access. Restaurant. Open mid March to early November 10-6.30. Last admission 1.5 hours before closing.

Churchill, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal
353(0)74 9137090
www.glenveaghnationalpark.ie
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Grianan of Aileach

Grianan of Aileach, the stonehouse of the sun. According to legend, it was built by Daghda, an ancient King of the Tuatha de Danann. A hillfort that once was at the historical centre where 18 high kings ruled over Ireland. During that time, the acts of its kings, warriors, tribes saints and sages dominate many of the pages of Ireland's history but with scarcely any acknowledgement of the particular place from whence they sprang. Many gifted writers have waxed lyrical regarding the glories of Royal Meath, but as Harry Percival Swan puts it "none have thought fit to mention Royal Inishowen which has an equal if not better right to regal appellation." You tell them Percy!
Animals/Wildlife
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Inch Wildlife Reserve

With good parking facilities, a few designated hides along the way and 8km of walkways mean that this is probably the best resourced vantage point from which to enjoy the cacophonous carnival that is the combination of the 3000 strong swans and geese that can be in this area at any given time.

http://www.inishowenwildlifeclub.com/inchlake.htm
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Inishowen Head

Views of the northern coast as far at the Giant's Causeway, Rathlin island and the western isles of Scotland. Described in Joseph O'Connor's book, "Inishowen" as the "best view in the world" no less. Nearby Shroove has a Blue Flag beach for some safe Summer swimming. Look out for the looped walk and even the eagles that have been known to appear up here.
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Inishowen Maritime Museum and Planetarium

The former coastguard station houses a fine collection on the history of local sailing as well as the Spanish Armada as well as a state of the art planetarium. Across the road, look out for a memorial to all those souls who were lost to the sea in the Inishowen locality.

Open June-September Monday to Saturday, 10-6, Sunday 12-6. Winter opening times: October until Easter) Mon-Fri: 10.00am - 5.00pm. Closed Weekends except by booking.
+353 (0) 74 93 81363
Email: greencastlemaritime@eircom.net
Website: http://www.inishowenmaritime.com
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Killahoey Blue Flag Beach

Just north of Dunfanaghy, this beach has ample parking and has white sand and blue seas - the stuff of childhood dreams.
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Killybegs Maritime and Heritage Centre

Besides being Ireland's premier fishing port, Killybegs is a great area beside the sea and is brilliant for water sports like surfing, canoeing, windsurfing, diving, kite-surfing and also water skiing. A new dive centre just opened last year and diving is available for over 16s but for 12 and over swimming pool diving is available. At the dive centre there is a professional dive shop and the centre is fully certified with SDI (Scuba Diving International).

The hidden gem in this town is not the local politician Thomas Pringle, who against the odds chucked out the deputy prime minister, Mary Coughlan, from the neighbouring parish in the 2011 election! No, the gem is the Martime and Heritage Centre in town. Three good reasons to visit it?

1. Stand in the actual Carpet Factory which once designed, dyed and thread wool by hand-knotters, and produced world-class Donegal Carpets that can still be seen in such places as Dublin Castle, The Oval Room at the White House, the Vatican, Buckingham Palace, stately homes, and foreign embassies throughout the globe.
2. See the largest hand-knotted loom in the world, view live demonstrations of how hand-knotting is done, and also have the opportunity to test your own skills at the loom.
3. View the largest fishing fleet in Ireland in its natural harbour, the home-place of the Atlantic Dawn, which was one of the largest fishing vessels in country; step into the boots of a fisherman via the Bridge Simulator replica of a boat wheelhouse, and experience the virtual reality of the ocean.

The Carpet Factory, Killybegs, Co. Donegal.
074 9741944
info@visitkillybegs.com
www.visitkillybegs.com/
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Kinnagoe Bay

One of the hidden gems of the peninsula. To those in the know, there is beautiful beach within the bay sheltered by steep hills offering spectacular views. It's the location point of the Spanish Armada ship, La Trinidad Valecera, shipwrecked in 1588, a popular site for divers.
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Knockamany Bens

The view on a good day from Knockamany Bens is without a doubt, one of the best panoramas you will see in your life. And that is no exaggeration. After Lagg church, follow the brown Inis Eoghain '100' signs and brace yourself - it gets windy up there.
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Lifford Courthouse Visitor Centre

The 18th-century Old Courthouse is home to a fine heritage centre with eerily lifelike recreations that use actors faces projected onto waxworks. In this manner, Manus O'Donnell tells the story of Donegal's Gaelic chieftains and several bona-fide trials are re-enacted in the austere courtroom (including that of Napper Tandy, John 'half-hanged' McNaughten and the Lord Leitrim murder). A guard will take you down to the prison cells, accompanied by sounds of banging doors and ominous footsteps, all done with great gusto and flair.

Open year round, Monday & Wednesday, 9-5, Tuesday and Thursday, 9-8, Friday 9-6, Sunday, 12.30-8.

Lifford +353(0)749141733
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Magee of Donegal

Magee of Donegal, opened in 1866 by the founder of the company John Magee, it is located in Donegal Town. We have a great selection of tweeds for both men and women and beautiful knitwear and a large range of casual wear. Occasion wear to hire and an excellent selection of suits. Upstairs, they have an extensive gift department and a lovely cafe, The Weaver's Loft.

Going back to their roots, they have a cottage at the back of the shop with a handloom and one of our hand-weavers can be seen doing demonstrations during the summer.

Opening Hours:
Monday to Saturday 10am to 6pm
Sunday 2pm to 6pm

Magee of Donegal
The Diamond
Donegal Town
Co Donegal

353 (0)749722660
http://www.mageeireland.com/donegal.html

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Maghera Caves

One of the hidden gems of the county, just off from the Glengesh Pass road. Thankfully, they are signposted. The beauty and tranquillity of these caves belies the tragic past when rebels hiding from Cromwell's forces were finally found and executed in the caves. Grounds open year round. Take account of the tides.

Granny, Ardara.
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Magheroarty and Tory Island

In a county of numerous stunning views, there are few more imposing sights of fear and wonder than looking out to Tory island from here. The island is famed for being the home to Balor of the Evil Eye, a nefarious giant cyclops and looking at the jagged rock and heaving waves around it, you might just for a second make out his shadow...

With its very own King, a famous school of painters, clay that kills rats and great coastal walks, a trip to Tory from here is a must.

http://www.oileanthorai.com/
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Malin Head

Ireland's most northerly point overlooks the crashing waves of the Atlantic. An area rich with flora and fauna and the freshest air in Ireland, ensure you walk from the Napoleonic tower on Banba's Crown hill to Malin Head itself taking in such curious sights as Hell's Hole and Devil's Bridge along the way. Good sea angling, hillwalking and birdwatching make this a great place to get away from it all.

info@malinhead.ie
www.malinhead.ie
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Malinbeg Tower

Note the scenic cottage which featured in the opening scene of The Railway Man with Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie. Being so far out in to Donegal Bay, you are looking out to Mayo, down to Croagh Patrick mountain. Note that the nearby Rathlin O'Beirne lighthouse was for a while in the 70s nuclear powered no less, before becoming the wind powered station it is today.
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Mamore

Mamore - Madhm Mor, great breach or gap. The glacial debris here dates back some 15,000 from the Ice Age.

In 1811, the parish of Urris was ordered to pay a heavy fine for making poteen. In consequence, some of the men in 1812 equipped themselves with cannon taken from the wreck of the Saldanha and ambushed a British force in Mamore - the only way to get to Urris back then. With the gap patrolled by the locals, Urris effectively remained independent until 1815 when it was recovered with "over one hundred shots being fired".
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Marble Hill Blue Flag Beach

Tucked in to the coastline beside Port na Blagh, this beach is popular for the surfers out there.
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Mount Errigal

Donegal's highest peak at 752 metres is a fine site and is doable if you are equipped for the weather and terrain. Two routes up it: the easier one taking 2 hours with the more difficult one on the northwest ridge taking 2.5 hours over tricky scree. Fine views await of not only all parts of the county, but well into surrounding counties, weather permitting.

Dunlewey. Details at the Dunlewey Centre. 353(0)749531699
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Narin Beach

A real gem of the county, there is an island not far from the beach that can be walked out onto when the tide goes out.
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Newmills Corn and Flax Mills

The oldest surviving building here is said to be 400 years old. Indeed, the whole complex is an interesting reminder of a stage in the industrial development of this country which has now given way to a more sophisticated, but usually far less fascinating technology. The visitor to Newmills can experience the pleasure of seeing one of the largest waterwheels in Ireland in action as it drives the machinery of the corn mill.

+353(0)74 9125115
newmills@opw.ie
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Oakfield Park

Oakfield Park is an eighteenth century Georgian Deanery, which has won Gerry and Heather Robinson national awards for the restoration of its gardens and buildings. Sitting in a lush landscape of parklands and mature woodlands, overlooking the distant Croaghan Mountain, the grounds include a traditional walled garden and kitchen garden. Flower meadows lakes and streams, as well as wild and wetland areas are entwined with over 4km of narrow gauge railway to give hours of pleasure.

Discover willow tunnels, oak circles, boardwalks, a par terre and a classical Nymphaeum by the formal lake. Formal Walled Garden & Kitchen Garden Parkland, Woodland & Riverside Walks Abundant Wildlife Train Rides on Saturdays & Sundays Picnic Benches W.C.'s and Free Car Parking Garden group Tours by arrangement.

Oakfield Demesne, Raphoe, Donegal.
353 (0)74 917 3068
www.oakfieldpark.com


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Old Tom Morris Links Rosapenna

The other great course in Rosapenna. In 1891, while a guest of Lord Leitrim at his nearby estate, Old Tom Morris of St. Andrews, a winner of four British Opens in the 1860s, took a drive to enjoy the Donegal scenery. Morris was quick to see the golfing potential of this fine stretch of Donegal coast line and before returning to the home of golf he had staked-out the first Rosapenna Links, incorporating wide rolling fairways amidst the undulating terrain and of course those delightful greens.

+353(0)749155301
http://www.rosapenna.ie/tom_morris.php
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Peter Oliver's

A.K.A. The Corner House owned by musician Peter Oliver McNelis.

Legendary trad music house - 7 nights a week. A 'must' if near Ardara.
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Poisoned Glen

This is an awe-inspiring ice carved corrie by the side of Errigal mountain with Dunlewey at its centre. It once held a glacier that flowed north towards Dunlewy and debris left by the glacier still covers the marshy floor. The glen's curious name is thought to come from a poisonous spurge that once grew there. Don't be deterred by this as the whole area is stunning and should be included in any trip to nearby Glenveagh National Park. Ensure you also look out of the Bridge of Tears when in the area.
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Portsalon Blue Flag Beach

Pipped to the post as the best beach in the world some 40 years ago according to some travel writer, it still has a lot to offer, bar the hoards and the Hawaiian temperatures of the outright winner. Long, sandy and windswept, it's a treat for the kids, big and small.

Portsalon,
Fanad peninsula.
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Portsalon Golf Club

A very highly regarded links course. Worth the journey for both the views and the craftsmanship of the course. Portsalon Golf Links was established in 1891 and is one of the founder members of the Golfing Union of Ireland, the oldest golfing union in the world. This gem of Irish golf holds a lasting memory for every golfer of a truly
outstanding golf links .

Portsalon offers golfers an opportunity to play golf on an original golf links design. Unspoiled, uncrowded, natural links land, surrounded by the spectacular Knockalla mountains and the beautiful white sanded beaches of Portsalon on the shores of Lough Swilly. Visitors are treated to a classic links golfing experience that will flood their senses and bring them back for more and more golfing holidays to this wonderful part of Ireland.

+353(0)749159459
http://www.portsalongolfclub.com/
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Rossnowlagh Blue Flag beach

Beach of Tony Blair's childhood, scene of the biggest Orange parade in the Republic every July and surfers' Mecca, there's something for everyone on this famous beach. Make sure Smuggler's Creek up on the hill or the Sandhouse Surfers' Bar are factored in after a lazy day here.
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Slieve League sea cliffs

Often called the highest sea cliffs in Europe, but a very respectable sixth dropping some 600 metres to the sea, they are located some 5km northwest of the village of Carrick via Teelin. Ensure you follow the sign marked Bunglass (not the Slieve League one!) to start your walk. Good footwear and clothing essential. Watch out for the dreaded One Mans' Pass, a section of the walk over a narrow ledge of rock. Also watch out for The Rusty pub afterwards for some well-deserved refreshment.
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St. Connell's Museum and Heritage Centre

The Heritage centre is named after St. Connell Caol who, in the 6th century, founded a monastic settlement on Inniskeel Island, north of Portnoo near Glenties. The museum includes the prison cells of the late 19th century courthouse and has many artefacts pertaining to the famine in South West Donegal. Open throughout the year and guides are available. There's a lovely section to the area's adopted son, Brian Friel, whose play, 'Dancing at Lughnasa', was based on events in Glenties in the 1930s.

Opp. Catholic church,
Donegal Road,
Glenties.
(+353)75 51277
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Start of Atlantic Drive

You are about to embark on a magnificent drive that hugs the coast in parts and is rightly regarded as one of the best scenic drives in Europe.
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Teach Hudi Beag

Legendary Gweedore pub where all great trad musicians have played and where it is said that the actual Irish session as we know it, started. A must see - and hear.

Near Bunbeg pier
353(0)749531016
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The Flough

Sam Laird's house, known as The Flough referring to the marshy soil around it, was in its day a notorious smuggling house along the border on which it sits. These days, the only mischief taking place comes from The Flough members, a performing group that meet up sporadically in the Summer to recreate an American Wake, being what the departure of a son for America was known as in the belief that it was too far and too expensive to expect to ever see him again. The occasion was joyous though as a night listening to the songs and joke of the group will prove.

Outside of Muff
353(0)749384024
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The Old Abbey

With great views of Donegal bay, this was the former site of the old abbey of the Franciscan monks, one of which was Brother Michael O'Cleary, the head of the Four Masters who wrote the main chronicle of the middle ages, The Annals of the Four Masters.

The annals are mainly a compilation of earlier annals, although there is some original work. They were compiled between 1632 and 1636 in the Franciscan monastery in Donegal Town and along the banks of the river Drowes. The entries for the 12th century and before are sourced from medieval monastic annals. The later entries come from the records of the Irish aristocracy (such as the Annals of Ulster), and the seventeenth century entries are based on personal recollection and observation.

The chief compiler of the annals was Mícheál Ó Cléirigh, and he was assisted by, among others, Peregrine O'Clery, Fergus O'Mulconry and Peregrine O'Duignan. Even though only one of the authors was an actual Franciscan, Mícheál Ó Cléirigh, they became known as 'The Four Friars' or in the original Irish, 'Na Ceithre Máistrí'. The Anglicised version of this was 'The Four Masters', a name which then became attached to the annals themselves. The patron of the project was Fearghal Ó Gadhra, a lord in County Sligo.

Old Abbey,
The Harbour,
Donegal Town.
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Tullan Strand

If you're in to surfing then this is the place to go. Site of the European championships a few years ago, this beach on the outskirts of Bundoran is one that is left all to the surfer to enjoy.
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Ulster Scots Centre

Poised gracefully amid the fertile lands of the Laggan Valley in East Donegal, near the banks of the River Foyle, approximately 8kms from the historic city of Derry is Monreagh Ulster Scots/Scots Irish Heritage & Education Centre. In the tranquil settings of a beautiful restored 19th century manse. Visitors are taken on a journey through the mists of time, exploring the rich heritage of the Laggan district in West Ulster.

Monreagh, near Carrigans
+353(0)749140708
http://monreaghulsterscotscentre.town.ie/
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Waterworld

Wave pool with 5 wave patterns, 2 speed rapids and a variety of children's water features. Slide pool with the Tornado Flume, Yellow slide and Snake spray. Whizzer Slide - the fastest water slide in Ireland. Sauna & Steam Room and loungers overlooking the Atlantic available.

Open daily over Easter week. Open weekends rest of April and May (included Bank Holiday Monday) Open daily June, July and August.Open weekends September.Opens from 10am - on the hour sessions. Entry valid for up to 3 hours. Please note Child Admission Policy - all children under 8 years old must be accompanied in the water by an adult - ratio 2:1

The Promenade, Bundoran, +353(0)71 9841172, info@waterworldbundoran.com, www.waterworldbundoran.com/
Pictures in this guide taken by: Emmet McCauley, navigatourist, gryzor

(c) 2011, navigatour™. All rights reserved. Any material used must be with the express permission of navigatour™.

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