Dear old Donegal


Donegal is located in the far north-west corner of Ireland. The county is famous for its culture, scenic and rugged coastline, and perfect surfing conditions. Ancient and prehistoric sites in Donegal have been dated as over 9000 years old. The county's Irish name, Dun na nGall, means 'Fort of the Foreigners' and is said to have originated when the Viking and Celts arrived in Ireland and built defensive forts in the county. Donegal was struck hard by the Great Famine in the 1840s, causing massive emigration. County of Donegal joined the Republic of Ireland in the partition of 1921 that split Northern Ireland. Today, Donegal is one of Ireland's hidden gems. Its naturally beautiful landscape, enduring culture, and great beaches make it the perfect travel destination!


Fun Facts

  • The town of Ballyshannon in county Donegal, is the oldest town in Ireland.
  • Tory Island, a small island off the coast of Donegal has the only remaining King in Ireland. Although the position does not hold any formal power the king must act as the spokesperson for the island and greet visitors landing on the island by ferry. Today the royal position is held by Patsy Dan Rodgers.
  • Eithne Particia Ní Bhraonáin, better known as the famous singer Enya, was born and grew up in county Donegal. 


things to do, for Free!

Sliabh Liag: The highest sea cliffs in Ireland, Sliabh Liag reaches a height of 601 meters (1,972 feet). The cliffs stand at twice the height of the Eiffel Tower and are three times as tall as the Cliffs of Moher. Easily accessible by car, visitors can enjoy the lofty views and take in Donegal's coastal landscape.

Glenveagh National Park: One of Ireland's six national parks, Glenveagh encompasses 16,000 hectares in the heart of the Derryveagh Mountains. Such a wilderness is the haunt of many interesting plants and animals. It's the perfect place for a hike!

Grianán of Aileách: The view from this megalithic stone fort is breathtaking. The glistening waters of Lough Foyle and Lough Swilly are clear and the site offers a view of the entire peninsula. Grianán has been a silent witness to the history of Ireland, as it is said that St. Patrick visited the site in the 5th century. 

Good Eats

Harrys Bar and Restaurant: This well known and widely recommended restaurant has a deserved reputation for serving great food. Enjoy locally sourced food, a cosy atmosphere, and very kind service. 

Smuggler's Creek Inn: Enjoy fresh and local food in a warm and welcoming atmosphere with panoramic views from every corner of the Bar, Conservatory Restaurant, and the Gallery Dining Room.  

Kealy's Seafood Bar: A family run restaurant situated in a picturesque fishing village. Fresher fish and a more inviting atmosphere could not be found elsewhere.

Good Drink

The Beachcomber Bar: A long-established pub, The Beachcomber Bar has a fabulous setting on the sea front and enjoys panoramic views over Lough Swilly towards Inch Island and the Inishowen Peninsula. If the weather's nice, enjoy your pint and the view in the large beer garden.

Nancy's Bar: A family owned bar for seven generations, Nancy's has maintained the traditional feel and family atmosphere that makes people want to come back again and again. Each room offers a different selection of collected antiques, adding to Nancy's unique and homey feel.

The Forge Bar: A lovely traditional style bar, serving great pints and great cráic. The Forge is a great place to hear Irish music and enjoy a pint.

Good Cráic

Surf Rossnowlagh: Expand your surfing skills, whether you are looking for a safe introduction to surfing, surf education and advice, intermediate and advanced coaching, or competition training. Enjoy Donegal's pristine surfing conditions and beautiful landscape!

Cookery Class: At a purpose built cookery school just outside Donegal Town, Sian Breslin and an experienced team offer a range of cookery courses to suit varying skill levels. Enjoy cooking in a fun and relaxed atmosphere.

Sea Stack Climbing: Explore places along the Wild Atlantic Way that have been visited fewer times than the moon. Imagine climbing towers of rock to arrive on pristine pinpoint summits far from the world below.

You’re as welcome as the flowers in May to dear old Donegal
Sean BushellComment