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Holidays in Rathmullan, Donegal. Call and reserve today on +353 86 601 4235
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Free Wi-Fi in both cottages!!

Things to do / Places to Visit

Activities in Rathmullan:

Sailing and KayakingRathmullan Watersport School (RWS). http://rathmullansailing.com.  RWS is run by the non-profit Rathmullan District Resource Centre in association with Lough Swilly Yacht Club.  All instructors are fully ISA certifiedStand Up Paddle School (SUP) from Adventure One is also open in Rathmullan and gives a whole body work out (more information below).

Lough Swilly is perfect for all types of watersports – sailing, kayaking, windsurfing, powerboating, sea angling, diving. The Lough is wedged between Inishowen and Fanad, two wonderfully wild and beautiful peninsulas on Donegal’s northern coast. It is small enough for beginners to feel comfortable getting on the water, and big enough for the more advanced to explore and test their skills.

At the moment the RWS fleet consists of 6 Laser Picos, 2 Laser Bahias, 6 sea kayaks, and a 5m Humber RIB that serves as our safety boat.  From wetsuits to flotation devices, paddles to helmets, all the equipment is provided to participate in any of the courses.

  • Kayaking sessions run from June to August based on demand. To find out more or to book a session, contact  rathmullanwatersports@gmail.com or by telephone at 086 386 3455. The list of the standard sessions on offer include:  a) Level 1 Kayaking Skills Sessions -Learn the basic skills of kayaking in a safe and fun environment. Runs over 2 consecutive evening sessions, from 18:30 to 21:30 each evening Maximum 6 participants Fee €60.  b) 1/2 Day Trips - Explore Lough Swilly’s wonderful coastline while learning basic kayaking skills. This three hour class will run evenings and weekends Maximum 6 participants Fee €40.   c) Full Day Trips - Explore Lough Swilly’s stunning coastline while learning basic kayaking skills. Stop for a lunch at a remote bay or beach. This six hour class will run weekends Maximum 6 participants Fee €70.  d) Moonlight Paddles - Explore beautiful Lough Swilly by the light of the full moon. Maximum 6 participants Fee €40. e) Level 2 Kayaking Skills Sessions - Learn more advanced kayaking skills that will prepare you to take on moving water.
    This course will run over 5 evening sessions Maximum 4 participants, Fee €200. If you’re interested in any of our kayaking options, contact Andrew at 087 982 1209 for scheduling and booking details.
  • Taste of Sailing - Taste of Sailing Saturdays, morning or afternoon sessions, and some evenings in June, July and August.   Ever wondered what its like to sail a boat? Under the guidance of an instructor you will be introduced to the thrill of small boat sailing. This is the perfect opportunity to experience sailing in a safe and controlled environment. On every Saturday in June, July, and August, RWS will be running morning and afternoon Taste of Sailing sessions.
  • Stand Up Paddle School (SUP) is open in Rathmullan, Co. Donegal. Come along and try the fastest growing board sport in the world. It really is fun and does the whole body work out. For more details contact Ian at Adventure One. SUP is a traditional Hawaiian sport which promotes balance, strength and general fitness. it is a fantastic way for improving your fitness, as it provides an isometric workout that strengthens your core muscle groups, while giving you a FUN and EXCITING way to view your natural surroundings. SUP is a water-sport that can be enjoyed by everyone, anywhere there is water. It can be a serene and peaceful form of gentle exercise or exciting and physically demanding, whichever you choose, it is great for your body. Adventure One SUP school run our classes on the beautiful beach at Rathmullan. Lessons are 1½ hours in duration and cost €20 for adults and €15 for kids. All wetsuits, boards, paddles and buoyancy aids are provided. They operate  High season July/August 7 days a week from 10am- 5pm and on weekends only in the low season Apr-June & Sept-Nov.. To book please call  Adventure One ltd. Tel:  +353 (0)74 91 50262 Mob: +353 (0)86 193 1747

ADULT EVENING COURSES - These courses run by RWS over 5 consecutive sessions on Monday,   Tuesday, and Wednesday evenings, from 6:30–9:30pm. Limit of 6 participants per course, each participant will have their own boat:

  • Start Sailing -A course for complete beginners, introducing you to small boat sailing. Run over 5 evenings, you will be introduced to sailing a single-handed dinghy, what equipment is used and the basic wind and weather awareness necessary for small boat sailing. €175.
  • Basic Skills - The ‘drivers licence’ level of small boat sailing. At the end of this course you will be able to sail a dinghy confidently on your own in sheltered waters and gentle winds. There will also be an introduction to basic meteorology, tidal readings and rope work. It is necessary to have completed the ‘Start Sailing’ level before this course. Run over 5 evenings. €175.

JUNIOR COURSES (run by RWS) - These courses run Monday to Friday, 10am – 5pm with a break for lunch.

  • Start Sailing Juniors - Introducing juniors to small boat sailing. Over 5 days, partakers will learn how to sail small boats, awareness of safety at sea, racing, adventure trips and general water skills. Learning through fun and games on the water is an integral part of this course. Irish Sailing Association syllabus will be covered. All sailors will get to share boats and adventures with others while learning how much fun the sea can be.  ‘Basic Skills Junior’ courses could be running concurrently. €150.
  • Basic Skills Juniors -This 5-day course brings the junior sailor to a competent level of small boat sailing. All aspects of knowledge and safety necessary to be confident sailing small boats to a basic level will be covered, from basic weather and tides to handling boats in windier conditions. When weather permits, participants will learn to sail faster high performance dinghies. Water games, racing and adventure trips will all be a part of this course. Partakers will need to have completed the ‘Start Sailing Junior’ course previously. All participants will be sharing boats and ‘Start Sailing Junior’ courses could well be running concurrently. Irish Sailing Association syllabus will be covered. €150.
  • Improving Skills Junior -For the junior sailor that has completed the ‘Basic Skills Junior’ course, Improving Skills introduces High Performance sailing boats, spinnakers and trapeze work. A more in depth knowledge of boat rigging, racing and seamanship skills such as tidal work, weather and wind patterns will be covered. This exciting level gives sailors the skill to handle boats in windier conditions while sailing faster. Over the five days all participants will be at the same level to allow the instructor to concentrate on maximising their skills. This course is run to Irish Sailing Association (ISA) syllabus. At least two weeks are necessary if sailors want to qualify for an ISA Improving Skills certificate, as the course syllabus is very comprehensive.
  • New!  5 Half-day course  (mornings only) -An introduction to sailing over five 3 hour sessions, run over five mornings, Monday – Friday. Also available to those who have done their Start Sailing certificate but wabt to learn more. This course will not lead to ISA certification, the full week course is neccesary for certificate standard to be achived.  €90 per week. Please note that sailing areas and activities are weather dependent and consequently may be subject to change.

Horse Riding Trekking and carriage hire is available in Rathmullan.   Set amidst the magnificent scenery of Rathmullan, Golden Sands caters for equestrian enthusiasts from beginners to experienced horse riders. Both young Children and Adults are welcome. Golden Sands specializes in Beach trekking. Groups are organised to accommodate different levels of ability. Half or fullday outings can be arranged with picnic included. Enjoy forest tracks, miles of beaches and quiet roads in magnificent scenery. Golden Sands Equestrian Centre, Rathmullan - 00353 (0) 74 58124.   Also Black Horse Stables, Letterkenny - 00353 (0) 74 51327 or Ashtree Stables, Cranford - 00353 (0) 74 53312.  

Rathmullan walking Tours: a great way to experience Rathmullan up close. On this tour your experienced Failte Ireland guide will share with you the intriguing characters and stories that have shaped the history of this seaside town. Enjoy breathtaking scenery while listening to tales of kidnaps and shipwrecks. Learn about the legends of Lough Swilly and how a great escape in 1607 was a key event in Irish history and marked the end of the old Gaelic order. Discover how in 1914 people woke up to find the Grand Fleet of Great Britain anchored in the Lough. Contact Deirdra on 00353 86 2421008. Tours last approx. 1hr.15mins every Saturday at 11am and Thursday at 3pm. Cost: €5.00 per person. (Kids accompanied by adults are Free). Meet at The Battery Rathmullan (Beside the Beachcomber Bar).  Tours also take place in Ramelton (Gambles Square) at 11am every Thursday.

Sea Angling - Is a very popular activity in Lough Swilly. An abundance of wrecks and the depth of the channel ensure plenty of specimen catches. Cod, Pollock, Rays, Plaice and Monkfish can all be caught. If however you are after something bigger try fishing the famous Lough Swilly Tope just a few minutes steam from the pier. The annual Tope Fishing Festival is held in the first weekend in June. The Rathmullan Enterprise, a new charter boat is fully equipped with the latest electronic and navigational aids for finding and catching fish. Sea Angling on Lough Swilly  - 074-9158131 or 074-9158129 for bookings.   Hire of charter boat "Enterprise 1" available at Rathmullan Pier. The boat is equipped with the latest electronics and navigational aids for catching fish.

Fishing -  1) Wild Brown Trout  Fishing  - 074-9159218 for bookings    In a choice of four lakes on the Fanad Peninsula. Boats available for hire.  2) The Meadows Trout Fishery is a two acre stream fed lake situated on the beautiful Fanad peninsula in North Donegal. It has Stunning Views of Mulroy Bay, good road access and parking space. Fishing is by fly only using barbless or debarbed hooks. A range of Fishing options are available to cater for both the experienced angler and the beginner. Rod hire is available on site. Catch and release fishing is practised after the quota has been reached. All children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult and wear the lifejackets provided. Angling is from 9am to sunset and booking is advisable as numbers are limited. Refreshment and relaxation facilities available on site. Address: Cloughfin, Rossnakill, Letterkenny  Tel: +353 086 8047516  http://donegaldirect.com/ws_section_list.aspx?Section=Activities&Category=Charter+Vessels

Game Angling - The Northern region is a mecca for the game angler and boasts some of the finest salmon and trout angling in the country.  The Lackagh and Lennon are two excellent spring salmon fisheries. The Lackagh with its headwaters in Glenveagh National Park produces quality Spring Salmon. The Lennon River flowing into Lough Swilly at Ramelton has historically been one of the best Spring Salmon fisheries in the country.

Golfing in Donegal - There are 18 golf courses in Co Donegal including many scenic seaside links. You can expect no queues, great value green fees and splendid golf. The following courses are within 45 minutes driving distance of Rathmullan:

  • Royal Otway, Rathmullan, Tel: 00353 (0) 74 915 8319. A fun quirky course - the second oldest inIreland.Holidaygolf at its most unpretentious. 9 holes. 
  • Portsalon, Portsalon, Fanad, Tel: 00353 (0) 74 915 9459. The situation of this rehabilitated gem is quite simply stunning. Challenging golf if you can take your eye off the view. Green Fees: w/day €23 w/end €28, 18 holes, Par 69
  • Rosapenna Golf Club, Downings, Tel: 00353 (0) 74 915 5301, email: rosapenna@eircom.net. Designed by old Tom Morris of St Andrews in 1893 and later modified to make it into a championship links course. Recently expanded to 27 holes. Green Fees: w/day €40 w/end €45, 18 holes, Par 70.
  • Letterkenny Golf Course, Barnhill, Letterkenny, Tel: 00353 (0) 74 912 1150. A parkland course on the edge of Lough Swilly, built in 1968. Green Fees: w/day €22 w/end €28. 
  • Dunfanaghy Golf Club, Tel: 00353 (0) 74 9136335, email: dough@eircom.net Ancient links course overlooking Sheepheren Bay Par 68 Green Fees: w/day €22 w/end €27. 
  • St Patrick's Golf Club, Magheramagorgan, Carrigart, Tel: 00353 (0) 74 9155114 Fascinating new 36 hole links which is already getting high praise from leading golfers. Green Fees: €20. 
  • Northwest Golf Club, Fahan, Inishowen, Tel: 00353 (0) 7493 61027. Old fashioned links with a Scottish feel. 18 holes Green Fees: €21 w/end €28. 
  • Ballyliffin Golf Club, Inishowen, Tel: 00353 (0) 7493 76119, email: ballyliffingolfclub@eircom.net . Ireland's most northerly links, founded in 1947. Recently expanded to 36 holes with the Glashedy links. Undulating fairways and beautiful scenery. Green Fees w/day €38 w/end €42. 
  • Cloughaneely Golf Course, Falcarragh, Tel: 00353 (0) 74 9165416. Donegal's newest course, set on the Ballyconnell Estate amidst ancient trees in parkland style with Muckish Mountain as a backdrop. Par 70. 
  • Ballybofey & Stranorlar Golf Club, Tel: 00353 (0) 74 9131093. A scenic course incorporating pleasant valleys backed by mountains. Nairn and Portnoo Golf Club, Tel: 00353 (0) 75 45107. Known affectionately to some as Nairn and Port"moo". Beautifully located and challenging links. Green Fees: w/day €25 w/end €30. 
  • Royal Portrush, Bushmills Road, Portrush, Co Antrim, Tel: 044 (0) 2870 822311. The famous fairway of this championship course is well within reach for a days outing. Green Fees w/day stg£85 w/end stg£95.

Rathmullan Attractions- County Donegal sometimes known as the "forgotten county" is well worth discovering. Over 1000km of coastline is etched with beautiful bays and glorious beaches carved out by the Atlantic and backed by rugged mountains.Ireland's largest Irish speaking area is here. While staying in Rathmullan  there are several sightseeing attractions not to be missed.

  • Flight of the Earls Centre, Rathmullen - Exhibition of the Flight of the Earls O'Donnell and O'Neill in 1607, two ofIreland's most famous chieftains. Flight of The Earls Heritage Centre: The Exhibition is an informative and interesting display of the life and times of the Earls and the aftermath of their flight. It includes wax models, art works, literature, stained glass and fabric hangings. Tel: 074 9158131.
  • Historical Antiquities: - The Abbey: The Abbey is a priory which was erected by Carmellite friars in the 16th Century, which is built using gothic architecture and is said to be built on the site of where the Mc Sweeney's famous castle once stood. It is in close proximity to a monument marking the death of a British fleet in 1811. 

Arts and Crafts: 

  • Brenda Smith, Address: Potsmiths, Raybridge, Rathmullan. Tel: +353 (0)74 9158470  Fax: +353 (0)74 9158470.  Brenda's workshop/studio is beside Lough Swilly in idyllic scenery, inspiring a wide range of Art & Craft in a variety of media. Functional items sit along fine art. Visitors are made welcome to browse work for sale.
  • Christine Kelly - Hand Painted Glass. Address:9 Rosemount, Letterkenny. Tel: +353 (0)74 9129579

 


Other Activities and Attractions close by:

Walking - For many walkers, Donegal is second to none among Ireland's generous collection of places to explore. Amongst Ireland's peaks the Donegal's mountains are quite modest in height, however they lack nothing in scenic quality. Within an hours drive from Rathmullan the following walks are recommended: 

  • ArdsForest Park- on a hilly peninsula reaching northeastwards in Sheephaven, this long established park embraces a wide variety of natural features an several archaeological and historic sites. 
  • Melmore Head - at the tip of Rosguill Peninsula, undulating Melmore Head has grasslands rich in wild flowers in early summer and fine coastal views from the low steep sided hills.  Duration 3 hours; Distance 10km 
  • Slieve Snaght and the Poisoned Glen - a challenging valley and ridge walk high above the spectacular poisoned Glen with some of the finest views from any of Donegal's Peaks. Duration 6½ to 7 hours; Distance 14km (8.7 miles) 
  • Errigal - a must in the Northwest. Climb the most easily recognisable mountain in Donegal for superb panoramic views. Duration 3 hours; Distance 8km (5 miles) 
  • Muskish - steep climbs to the flat topped summit of a northern landmark open unto marvellous Duration 2½ to 3 hours; Distance 8km (5 miles) 
  • Horn Head - an exhilarating and varied coast walk above dramatically beautiful cliffs and deep inlets and past quiet unspoiled beaches. 
  • Corravaddy Wood- A varied and easy woodland walk in Coillte Forestry which is just 10 minutes drive from Letterkenny. Its elevated location ensures impressive views of Lough Swilly and the surrounding countryside. Distance: Approximately 4 kms from Letterkenny Time:1hour Terrain: Forest track Getting There: From  Letterkenny,  leave  via  the Old Town  and  follow  the  road  sign posted for Corravaddy.

Bird Watching - There are Bird Sanctuaries at Inch Island, Malin and Horn Head. Lough Swilly is full of birdlife including Sanderling, Curlew, Phalaropes and Slavanian Grebe. Nesting colonies of cormorant, shags, guillamots, razorbills and tern also frequent the lough. Dunfanaghy is perhaps the only place inIrelandwhere the corncrake can be heard in its natural habitat and an ornithologists delight, the Chuff bird, has been seen on the cliffs by Portnablagh.

Shopping - Of course the best known product is Donegal handwoven tweed available from source at McNutts of Downings or Magees in Donegal Town. There is also wonderful linen, hand knits and Aran knits - The last National Knitting Centre is in Buncrana. Handmade Pottery, crystal glass and fine bone china are also made in the County. Woodturning, jewellery making, ironmongery and dollmaking provide other delightful craftwork.

 ATTRACTIONS : - County Donegal sometimes known as the "forgotten county" is well worth discovering. Over 1000km of coastline is etched with beautiful bays and glorious beaches carved out by the Atlantic and backed by rugged mountains. Ireland's largest Irish speaking area is here. While staying in Rathmullan  there are several sightseeing attractions not to be missed.

  • Glenveagh National Park  074 9137088. Glenveagh National Park is 16,000 hectares of mountains, lakes, woods and wild bogs. The park is home to the largest herd ofRed DeerinEurope. A Scottish style castle open to the public is surrounded by a stunning garden on the edge of a beautiful lake in contrast to the wilderness of the mountains and glens around it. This is really an attraction you should go and see. You will not be disappointed! 
  • FANAD  Lighthouse - Fanad's proudest possession. It is located at Fanad Head, the second most northerly point in Fanad. It is an extremely majestic site, through both its cliff location and its intricate architecture. There is rarely a summer evening in Fanad when you wouldn't find a family remarking on the Lighthouse's superiority. There is also a beach nearby.

    The Great Arch is one of the most undiscovered attractions in Fanad. As you can see it is a really beautiful site and it would be a shame to leave Fanad without seeing it. While it may be located in a slightly difficult to navigate area, in Pollaid near Fanad Head, if you ask some of the many friendly locals they'll be sure to help you to find it!!

    Fanad's beaches are among the most beautiful in all of Ireland. Particularly Ballymastocker Beach which was voted as the second most beautiful beach in the whole world!! Other fantastic beaches include Drumnacraig Beach, Doaghbeg Beach, Portsalon Beach (Blue Flag), and Ballyhiernan Bay. All of which are safe for activities. An enjoyable day out for the family is guaranteed. (see separate section on Fanad below).

  • The Harry Blaney Bridge is a newly constructed attraction which links the communities of Fanad and Carrigart and is a truly mind-blowing site. It is well-worth a visit, and if you ever feel that you need a change from Fanad (unlikely!) then you can simply cross the bridge and travel to Carrigart, where there is also a wide variety of services. The entrance roads to the bridge have also been approved for re-development so be prepared for top class roads as well.

 

  • Glebe House & Gallery, Churchill  074 9137071 - A regency house containing a fascinating collection given to the nation by portrait and landscape painter Derek Hill. The house is decorated with Victorian William Morris wallpaper and textiles and houses a collection of works by Picasso, Jack Yeats, Bonnard and Kokoschka.

  • Genealogy Centre, Ramelton.- Offering a comprehensive service for those tracing their Donegal ancestors. Rev Francis Makenne, founder of the first Presbyterian Church inVirginia, preached in the old meeting house where the Genealogy Centre is now housed, in the picturesque heritage town of Ramelton. With over 4 million people owing their ancestry to Donegal, the Genealogical centre is a must.

  • Grianán Aileach, 074 9368000 -This impressive hilltop stone fort offers panoramic views of the surrounding countryside: Swilly and Foyle Loughs,Inch Island and Derry. The walls are 4m thick and enclose an area of 23m in diameter. The fort is at least 2000 years old but the site has pagan associations that go back much further. Between the 5th and 12th centuries it was the seat of the O'Neills - the High Kings of Ireland. An informative visitors centre is based in the 19th centuryChurchofChristchurchat Burt at the bottom of the hill. 

  • Dunlewy Lakeside Centre - Beside Lough Dunlewy, Dunlewy is a small village at the foot ofMountErrigal, Donegal's highest peak. Here the lakeside centre reconstructs the home of Manus Ferry, the last of the local weavers who died in 1975. Visitors can watch all the stages of weaving in operation and then go outside to see assorted farm animals, walk along the shore, and take a boat ride with a storyteller on board to fill them in on local history, geology and folklore. During the summer months there is music on occasions. There is an excellent café with a turf fire and a shop selling everything from sweaters to traditional music tapes.

  • City of Derry, www.derry.net. On the river Foyle, Derry is a lively and prosperous city with a fascinating history dating back to its foundation in the 6th Century by Columcille. Just four miles from the border with Donegal, Derry is a very vibrant city with more than its fair share of artists and festivals. Derry's, still very much intact, walls datie from the early part of the 17th century and are an impressive 8m high and 9m thick and have seen several sieges over the years. Today no visit would be complete without a stroll along these historic walls, which incidentally were never breached, hence Derry's sobriquet, the Maiden City. Other visitor attractions are, the excellent Power Museum, which tells the story of Derry from the days of Columcille to the present, St Columb's Cathedral, the splendid gothic Guildhall, the Foyle Valley Railway Centre and The Ulster Science Centre. 

  • Causeway Coast, Bushmills, Tel: 0044 (0) 28 2073 1159www.causewaycoastandglens.com. If time is on your side then why not take a day trip to the Giants Causeway, often described as the eighth wonder of the world. The Giant's Causeway is without doubt Northern Ireland's number one tourist attraction and Ireland's first World Heritage Site. In legend its 40,000 hexagonal basalt columns were stepping stones created by the giant Finn McCool on his way to Scotland, although another explanation tells that they were formed from the crystallisation of red hot lava some 60 million years ago. It is also the site of the Spanish Armada treasure ship, the Grona. The small town of Bushmills is synonymous with whiskey making. 

  • Old Bushmills Distillery was established in 1607 and is the oldest licensed distillery in the world. The visitor can experience the production of whiskey with almost 400 years of tradition behind it. After a tour you are rewarded with a tasting session when you get to compare Bushmills whiskey with other brands. 

  • Dunluce Castle:Tel: (048) 2073 1938 (landline code when dialing from Republic of Ireland is 048.  When dialing within Northern Ireland the code is 028). Dunluce Castle is located dramatically close to a headland that plunges straight into the sea, along the North Antrim coast. There is archaeological evidence of a village that surrounded the castle which was destroyed by fire in 1641. The site was also witness to the sinking of a colony ship that broke up on the rocks off Islay in 1857 with the loss of 240 lives. The 17th Century mainland courtyard, containing domestic buildings, leads downhill to a narrow crossing to the rock, formerly protected by a drawbridge to the gatehouse. The buildings on the rock are 116th and 17th Century. There is limited disabled access for wheelchair users as the site has a cobbled, uneven surface. Last admission is 30 minutes before closing. Address: 87 Dunluce Road, Bushmills, County Antrim, BT57 8UY. Website: www.doeni.gov.uk/niea Email: nieainfo@doeni.gov.uk. Opening times: 1st Oct 2011 – 31st Mar 2012 10am – 4pm daily; 1st Apr – 31st May 2012 10am – 6pm daily; 1st Jun – 30th Sept 2012 10am – 6pm daily; 1st Oct – 31st Oct 2012 10am – 6pm daily;1st Nov 2012 – 28th Feb 2013 10am – 4pm daily; 1st Mar – 31st Mar 2013 10am – 6pm daily.  Prices: Adult - £5, Children/Seniors – £3 Children under 5 years old - Free, Family (2 adults and 2 children) - £13, Group Rate – (10 plus must be booked) £3 per person.

  • Newmills, Letterkenny 074-9125115 - Step back in time with a visit to one of Donegal's oldest mills situated in the banks of the River Swilly just outisde Letterkenny. Exhibition in visitor's centre. Guided tours available.

  • The Workhouse, Dunfanaghy 074-9136540 - Part of the original workhouse during the time of the Great Famine in 1845 and exhibition recalling life inside and outside during this time. Audio-visual presentation, coffee shop. 

  • Lifford Courthouse Visitors Centre, Lifford 074-9141733 - Original Courthouse and Jail restored with fascinating displays, audio-visuals etc.

  • BallydaheenGardens, Portsalon. A six acre private garden opened to the public with access to the Seven Arches - a set of interconnecting caves formed by erosion of waves on limestone rocks.

Historical Interest, Culture & The Arts - Heritage Centres, History Museums,Folk Museums, Archaeological Sites and National Monuments abound in Donegal, providing interest and enjoyment of Donegal's past. Letterykenny is home to the recently opened An Grianán Theatre, one of the finest theatres inIreland. Remarkable folk art can be seen onToryIslandat the Tory School of Primitive Art. Strabane's American Trail Tour follows the fortunes of influential Irish Americans from the Northwest, beginning at the ancestral home of James Polk, 11thUSPresident. With Enya, Clannad, Daniel O'Donnell, Dana, Joseph Locke and many others coming from this part ofIrelandthere are strong music ties with traditional sessions in many pubs.

  • Slieve League Cliffs - Sliabh Liag cliffs, situated on the southwest coast of Donegal, are said to be the highest and one of the finest marine cliffs in Europe. To fully enjoy the spectacle of Sliabh Liag it is best to leave your car at the car park and walk the few miles to the cliffs so as not to miss the exciting scenery of the area. There are terrific views of the Atlantic Ocean, the Sligo Mountains and Donegal Bay as you walk towards the terrifyingly high top of Sliabh Liag where the cliff face of Bunglas rises over 600m above the raging ocean.  Address: Carrick, County Donegal Ireland. Telephone: +353 (0)749521297. Web: www.sliabhleague.com/ 
  • Salthill Gardens - This contemporary garden whispers stories of walled gardens past, but today stands ndependently of trends and restorative themes. Since 1985, four walls, gravel paths, a greenhouse and continual green lawn have been gradually transformed to the present individually styled garden. The evolution continues season by season, always featuring a good selection of perennials, vegetables and shrubs. Address: Mountcharles, County Donegal Ireland. Telephone: +353 (0)749735387. email: etemple@eircom.net  Web: www.donegalgardens.com/.
  • Rossnowlagh Blue Flag Beach - Rossnowlagh beach is a very popular beach attracting thousands of visitors in the summer time. It is located about 8km south of Donegal Town. Address: Rossnowlagh, County Donegal Ireland. Telephone: +353 (0)71 9841350 
  • Donegal Castle - Built by the O Donell chieftains in the 15th century on the river Eske at the centre ofDonegalTown. Rebuilt in Jacobean style in 16th century by Sir Basil Brooke after Hugh O Donell burnt it to the ground rather than let the castle fall to enemy hands. Information panels chronicle the history of the castle and guided tours are available. The castle opens each season from mid March to the end of October.   Address: DonegalTown, County DonegalIreland Telephone: +353 (0)74 9722405  Fax: +353 (0)74 9722436. E-mail: donegalcastle@opw.ie   Web: www.heritageireland.ie .
  • Donegal Railway Heritage Centre - Visit the Donegal Railway Heritage Centre and find out just what it was like to travel on the narrow gauge railways of County Donegal. Address: The Old Station House, Donegal Town, County Donegal Ireland. Telephone: +353(0)749722655  Fax: +353(0)749723843  E-mail: railway@gofree.ie   
    Web: www.countydonegalrailway.com
  • Dunmore House and Gardens -  very remarkable traditional walled garden associated with a 1742 country house. Many wonderful gardens are to be found within one large walled area (3 acre), rich collections of ericaceous plants, early 20th century terraced rose beds. A towering redwood stands sentinel towards the centre with paths radiating from it. Imaginative use of plants over arches; traditional fruit and vegetables laid out in terraces with ponds and an intresting collection of sundials.  Contact: John and Maryette McFarland. Address: Carrigans  Tel: 074 9140120. Email: sean@donegalgardentrail.com Web: http://www.donegalgardentrail.com/index.html.  Opening times: June 1st to 10th from 2pm to 6pm. Tea provided for groups (if requested) in local church hall. Admission: Voluntary donation to charity. Directions: Through Carrigans village on Derry road. House on left, just outside village. Large stones outside gate.
  • St Eunan's Cathedral – The Cathedral stands on a commanding site overlooking the town. Looking at it we are at once impressed by the excellent proportions - the symmetry and architectural  style of the building being self evident. The general use of the pointed arch, the subdivision of large window areas for glazing purposes, the decorative importance of flying and rudimentary buttresses, the ornamentation of structural forms, the natural realism of the stone carving are all features indicative of a late period of the Gothic Style. Entering the main door one is struck by the beauty of the interior. The decorative symmetry of the arches and the stone carvings together with the intricately designed stained glass windows and paintings blend together to give a calm restful dignity. The most striking interior features are the main Alter and the side alters all of which are carved from Carrera Marble brought fromItaly. Carrera and Conemara Marble have also been used with exquisite taste in the Pulpit - which depicts statues of  the Four Evangelists and the Four Masters. There are 2 'Busts' of O'Neill and O'Donnell (of Flight of the Earls Fame).  Address: Cathedral Road, , Letterkenny  Tel: 353 (0)74 9121021  Email: steunanscathedral@eircom.net
  • Glenalla House Gardens  -  established c. 1815 with layout of the present garden established in 1920's. The Gardens cover 10 acres with formal and informal elements. Walled garden and orchard cultivated to supply house. 'Robert's Shrubbery' is a mixed informal planting with bamboo and escallonia; recently planted beech maze, rockery and herbaceous planting in front of house; 'Michael's Shrubbery'n- diverse rhododendron collection, an enormous Euchryphia specimen, Davidia involucrata, bog gardens and wild flower meadows.Address: Ray,  Milford. Tel: 086 6064409  Email:  sean@donegalgardentrail.com Web: http://www.donegalgardentrail.com/gardens.html. Contact: Patrick Burkitt. Opening Times - open select days of the year.  Please call for dates and times. Admission: Donation to St Vincent de Paul & Donegal Pet Rescue (groups by appoint.). Directions: From Ramelton, take Rathmullan road for 5km (3miles) to Ray bridge, take left after bridge, drive 1 km to grotto, take right fork and continue for 2km, past gate house, take next right turn over cattle grid. 
  • Nunan Gardens- This is a town garden in the centre of Ramelton. It is long and narrow on a north facing slope. A natural spring at the higher end fills a well and is piped by gravity to ower ponds. The garden id gradually revealed as one walks through a courtyard area, separated by a bam to the upper sections. The planting emphasis is on herbaceous borders, with a small rose garden and raised vegetable beds. Some sculptural pieces enliven the scene. An oasis od Horticultural arts.  Address: The Mall, Ramelton. Tel: 074 9151465. Email: sean@donegalgardentrail.com Web: http://www.donegalgardentrail.com/index.html. Contact: Tommy & Karena Nunan.  Opening Times: open at select times of the year.  Please call directly. Admission: €5 toward Ramelton Community Action Group. Directions: Coming from Letterkenny, at the bottom of steep brae entering Ramelton, turn right, continue 60 yards, Light Blue House with Grey door on the right between Gambles Shop and Nat. Irish Bank.
  • Greenfort Gardens- Tradition has it that the first house built on this site in 1711 by the Babington family. The Bartons expanded and remodelled the house in the early 1800's and the perrys in 1965, renovated and added to the buildings. TheWalledGardenand mature trees date from the early Barton era, with the great ponticum bushes being about a century old. In the 20th century the walled garden supplied fruit and vegetables to the Barton's Hotel at Paortsalon. The Perry Family moved from Bunlin,Milfordin 1965 and Lionel Perry undertook extensive remodelling and replanting which has been continued by his successors. There are many species and hybird rhododendron, azalea and camellia and large areas of naturalised spring bulbs, acres of snowdrops, narcissi & bluebells in woodland. 15 acres of new broadleaf woodland planting. There are four areas for picnicking. Stout shoes/wellies are needed for walks.Address:  Kerrykeel  Tel: 074 9159123  Email: sean@donegalgardentrail.com  Web: http://www.donegalgardentrail.com/gardens.html.  Contact: Nicky Braddell & Patrick Perry. Opening Times: select times of year, please call in advance. Admission: €5 donation toward the Fanad Accordion Band. Directions: Coming from Kerrykeel towards Portsalon turn right at the crossroads about 1 km before Portsalon - signposted Knockalla Caravan Park/Tra/Beach. After 300m fork left down lane with no through road" sign at top.
  •  Glebe Gallery-  Built in the early 19th century for the Church of Ireland Rector St.Columb's overlooks the shores of Lough Garten. Mature trees surround the house, there are notable specimens of beech and chestnut. The house and grounds were transformed into a haven of artistic beauty by the late Derek Hill who planted many rare and unusual trees and shrubs. This informal parkland style garden has very good birch trees such as Betula utilis, B.pendula 'Youngii' and B.albosinensis septentrionalis. Also very good examples fastigiate oak and beech. Good specimens of Hydrangea villosa, Hyrangea sargentiana together with naturalictic herbaceous planting. Now in the care of Historic Properties OPW., Churchill Tel: +353 (0)74 9137071  Email: adrian.kelly@opw.ie Web: http://www.donegalgardentrail.com. Contact - Michael Galligan or Gallery Reception. Opening Times - Access to grounds every day, dawn to dusk, all year round. Gallery open late May to late September and Easter. Admission Free entrance to grounds and Gallery, Admission fee to house. Directions On the shores of Lough Gartan, belowChurchillVillage. Sign-posted.
  • Letterkenny Regional Cultural Centre - The Regional Cultural Centre, a fabulous new multidisciplinary arts facility developed by Donegal County Council, has opened adjacent to An Grianán Theatre. Described by the Irish Times as a ‘cultural beacon’, the distinctive glass and aluminium structure was designed by the Letterkenny based, award winning MacGabhann Architects. It presents a programme of exhibitions, concerts, film, digital media, education and outreach. The Centre incorporates: A first floor art gallery, an auditorium with 150 retractable seats and full cinema facilities, Three multi-purpose workshops, Two dedicated digital media suites, Two small music rehearsal rooms and Two Foyer galleries. Address: Port Road, , Letterkenny  Tel: +353 (0)74 912 9186   Email: rcc@donegalcoco.ie  Web: http://www.donegalculture.com/index.html

  • Rathgory Gardens- Two acres of Sheltered woodland garden, established over 30 years ago, with many new trees planted in the last 12 years. Containing over 75 varieties of trees. Also grasses, bamboo and a magnificent Gunnera manicata. A garden to encourage birds, bees and butterflies. Some plants for sale. Wellies advisable.  Address: Rosnakill, Letterkenny. Tel: 074 9159275  Email: businesswithnoemail@internetalia.com Web: http://www.donegalgardentrail.com/gardens.html. Contact: Judy Bliss. Opening Times - select times, please call directly for opening times. Admission: Donation toward Cystic Fibrosis.

  • Donegal County Museum - The role of Donegal County Museum is to collect, record, preserve,communicate and display for the use and enjoyment of the widest community possible, the material evidence and associated information of the history of Donegal. By doing so it aims to enrich the lives and sense of identity of every person in the county. Donegal County Museum has two exhibition galleries. The first floor gallery contains a permanent exhibition which tells the story of County Donegal from the Mesolithic to the Medeival and of the people places and events from the Penal times, through the Famine and the Land War to the First World War and the Emergency.Temporary exhibitions are held all year round in the ground floor gallery. Letterkenny  Tel: +353 (0)74 9124613  Email: museum@donegalcoco.ie Web: http://www.donegalcoco.ie/services/informationpoints/communityandcultural/museum.  Admission free. Open year round. Directions - In Letterkenny from the hospital roundabout, go in the direction of the town and theCountyMuseumis on your right hand side.DonegalCountyMuseum  is housed in what was once the Warden's house of the Letterkenny Workhouse, which was opened in 1845.

FANAD

Walking/Hillwalking: Fanad is well-known for its scenic, peaceful walks along the coast of Lough Swilly. It's rugged, hillside landscape provides a perfect atmosphere to relax and unwind. There's a wide variety of walks to suit everyone, both experienced and less experienced. More details of some of the more well-known walks in Fanad can be found by clicking this link. Please remember that if the walks are on private land then you must get permission to walk the land, and leave the the ground in the same condition that you found it i.e. no littering and closing all gates/fences behind you.

Birdwatching: The Fanad coastline is home to one of the rarest species of European bird: Columbia Livia, commonly known as the European Rock Dove which is the ancient ancestor of the modern day racing pigeon. If you fancy a challenge, trying to find one could be just what you're looking for.

The Fanad Scenic Drive: The Fanad Peninsula scenic tour is a 72km circuit of the area, which is well sign-posted and a splendid drive. As the road rises around Knockalla Mountain enjoy the breathtaking views across Lough Swilly. Below you is Ballmastocker Bay bedecked with a trilogy of golden beaches and punctuated by fingers of grassy dunes. Portsalon lies across the bay.

 Local Crafts:

  • Curlew Café & Crafts: Quaint little café located in Kerrykeel. Experience some of the typical delicacies of the Fanad area especially home cooking and baking. All baking is done using locally sourced organic products. Nuala, your host, will be sure to entertain you with her stories & chat!! Telephone: 074 9150998. Email: nualabradley@eircom.net. Or contact them on facebook. 

  • O'Kanes of Kerrykeel: For the finest local crafts around! Come and get a souvenir which will help you to remember your time in Fanad. There is also a wide range of furniture, gifts, kitchenware, fishing tackle and much, much more. Tel: 074 9150879. Email: okanesofkerrykeel@eircom.net 

  • Gallagher's of Rossnakill: Local shop and post office with some local souvenirs and gifts as well as a wide variety of local crafts. The shop is located in the old-style village of Rossnakill. Tel: 074 9159003.

 

 

Grassrootes Electric Bike Hire

 

Grassroutes is an electric bike hire facility based at the Craoibhin Community and Enterprise Centre in Termon Co. Donegal. Grassroutes aim is to enable tourists to explore the beautiful landscapes of Co. Donegal on bicycle. Grassroutes provide both Electric and Hybird bikes so tourists can go at their own pace through designated trails and experience the wonderful scenery within this county for themselves.

 

The designated routes on offer include the Glenveigh National Trail, Errigal & Derryveagh Mountain Trail, Fanad Head Trail, Glendowan Trail and Downings Trail.

 

Email address: grassroutesebh@yahoo.ie  Call on 074-9119988 or 087 66 555 99.  Web Page: www.grassroutes.ie

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

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