While we have all been spending a lot more time at home over the last year, we have been working behind the scenes on our Interiors Collection, which is made in Ireland.
Our beautiful range of throws, accessories and fabrics are designed and woven in our mill in Donegal Town and will add the perfect Spring refresh to your interiors. Drawing on the land and seascapes that surround us in Donegal, our experienced in-house design team work closely together, carefully selecting appropriate yarns and colours for each piece.
The two latest additions are our Brigid’s Cross and Wigwam Throws.
The Brigid’s Cross Throw – The intricate design of this 100% wool throw is inspired by the iconic Saint Brigid’s Cross. Synonymous with the beginning of Spring, this well-known symbol in Irish heritage is presented here in a rich textured weave combining luxurious shades of blue, grey and unexpected flecks of colour inspired by the Donegal coast. Also available in a rich brown combination, a reflection of the rugged landscapes of the north-west.
Wigwam Throw – Bright, fresh colours for spring. Our energising range of Wigwam Throws make a statement. The eye-catching geometric design in 100% lambswool creates a rich texture, highlighting the vibrant tones and enhancing the colourful Donegal flecks. With nearly every colour of the rainbow represented, you will find a throw to compliment your interior scheme.
One of the easiest ways to refresh your interiors is with accessories. Our selection of tweed cushions, available in lambswool or a lush cashmere lambswool blend, come in neutral earth tones. The classic and delicate herringbone Donegal tweed is woven at our mill and the cushions are filled with a luxurious duck down filling.
Our collection oftweed by the metre offers endless opportunity for upholstery, drapery or soft furnishings. From our core range of signature Donegal Tweeds to special, limited edition collections, these furnishing specific fabrics are designed to last, and provide a sustainable option perfect for commercial or domestic projects.
We’re all looking a bit closer to home for our getaways this year, and we might be bias, but Donegal really does have it all. Voted ‘Coolest Place on the Planet’ by National Geographic in 2017, whether you’re looking for adventurous outdoor pursuits, a bit of luxury or breathtaking scenery, there is something here for you.
Here are some of our family’s top tips for things to see and do on a three-day staycation in Donegal.
Base yourself at the Lough Eske Castle Hotel, this 5-star award winning hotel and spa is nestled at the foot of the Blue Stack Mountains just five miles from Donegal Town. From Cedars Restaurant you can take in sweeping views of the castle gardens and surrounding woodland while enjoying simple, exquisitely fresh ingredients prepared to perfection.
After you get settled at the hotel, take the short, 10-minute drive into Donegal Town – a lively spot all year round. The epic Donegal Castle, built in 1474 sits on the banks of the River Eske and was the stronghold of the O’Donnell clan, one of the most powerful Gaelic families in Ireland. Pop over the bridge and you’ll find the start of the Donegal Bank Trail, a pleasant scenic stroll along the river that takes you out to Donegal Bay and back.
The Diamond is the main hub of Donegal Town, surrounded by café’s and restaurants and our Magee of Donegal shop, which stands on the site of the original drapers shop, founded in 1866. Here we specialise in Magee men’s and women’s wear and accessories – designed and made in Ireland. Other brands include – Barbour, Dubarry, Seasalt and luxury Irish made gifts including Newbridge Silver. Call ahead to arrange a weaving demonstration in our heritage room or take a break at the Weaver’s Loft café where we focus on a seasonal menu and home baking.
Time to explore the Wild Atlantic Way. Just up the coast is Mountcharles Pier, stop for a coffee at the small café there, and have a splash in the ocean if you feel up for it. After enjoying the views across the bay, head toSalthill Gardens, built within old stone walls, this contemporary garden is bursting with flowers, shrubs and vegetables. Wander the paths, peer through rod iron garden gates, and feel as if you’ve stepped into the pages of The Secret Garden. (Open 1 May to 30 September 2020).
Continuing along the coast you will find Killybegs, Ireland’s largest fishing port. Just in time for lunch, The Seafood Shackwill not disappoint. Famous for their seafood chowder (winner of Ireland’s Best Chowder at the 9th All Ireland Chowder Cook Off in Kinsale in 2019) the rest of their offering is delicious too, freshly prepared local seafood all to be enjoyed al fresco accompanied by views of the sea and busy fishing boats.
Onward to Sliabh Liag, the highest sea cliffs in Europe. Stretching to over 600m above sea level, the views are unmissable. Drive to the top of the cliffs, or park and enjoy the hike.
Take the loop back through the winding Glengesh Pass to the heritage town of Ardara, a must for fans of traditional Irish music and also a town steeped in the wool trade. A busy market town, in the late 19th century our founder John Magee would visit the market in Ardara to buy and sell handwoven tweeds. On your return, treat yourself to a delicious dinner at the Lakeside Restaurant at Harvey’s Point Hotel on Lough Eske. Their seven-course tasting dinner is the perfect way to enjoy the best of Irish produce.
Head north to Glenveagh National Park, the second largest national park in Ireland covering 170 square kilometres of hillside above Glenveagh Castle on the shore of Lough Veagh. The park hosts a variety of walking trails to suit everyone from the novice to experienced hiker. The fresh air and stunning views are guaranteed to blow away all your cobwebs. If hiking isn’t your thing, cycling and fishing are also on offer as well as a relaxed stroll through the castle’s walled Victorian gardens.
We hope you enjoy your trip through our home county and the landscapes that have inspired our talented weavers and designers for more than 150 years.
Green is the colour that best describes Ireland – the green Shamrock is an internationally renowned symbol for our beautiful country and we are known for our rolling green fields of varying shades.
Summer in Ireland captures our ‘green label’ at its best. Our fields and hedgerows, leafy green trees and mossy banks. Take a moment to close your eyes and image the smell of freshly cut grass and listen to the soft sound of rustling leaves in a summer breeze.
Here in Donegal, we are especially fortunate to be surrounded by such a rich and unique landscape. Yes, North-West Ireland does have its summer showers! However without an ‘Irish summer’ we would not have this lush environment of ever-changing colours and seasons. These natural colours have been part of the inspiration for our luxury Donegal fabrics for over the past 150 years.
We continue to be motivated by our surroundings and it’s no surprise that because of this, the colour green features regularly in our collections.
With a base of soft mossy green, delicately crossed with dark olive, soft coral and bubble-gum pink, The Georgie Nehru neck waistcoat and Lily Country Check Tweed Jacket bring a pretty, feminine slant on a traditional micro-windowpane design. This soft lambswool cloth is designed and woven by us in Donegal. Perfect summer tweeds!
The cloth for our 100% Pure New Wool Carey skirt was designed and woven at our mill in Donegal, teaming sage and olive greens with highlights of denim, sky blue, golden oat and magenta in a traditional check. It is easy to see how this versatile piece has become a firm favourite in the Magee 1866 Women’s Collection. Style with our Linsfort coat – a great outfit for autumn racing.
Just as in nature, in weaving, green is the perfect base with which to compliment bright or bold colours like the mauve, gold and claret red featured in our Green Herringbone Donegal Tweed Flat Cap. But green can also stand firmly alone, our Green Salt & Pepper Handwoven Donegal Tweed Classic Fit Jacket epitomises the heritage of and landscape surrounding our mill in Donegal. This green salt & pepper tweed is handwoven by us in Donegal. A Magee 1866 handwoven blazer is a must for your wardrobe! Style with chinos and a linen shirt for a timeless look.
You can always bring the outdoors in by adding a little green to your interiors. A soft green evokes a sense of calm. With a luxurious blend of lambswool and cashmere and a duck down filling, you can imagine snuggling up on the sofa on our Green Herringbone cushion, under a lambswool throw watching the summer showers pass. Our throws are made in Ireland.
Colour is at the heart of what we do at Magee 1866, in the 1960’s our mill started to focus on more colourful fabrics, moving away from the functional, hardwearing tweeds which sometimes lacked colour into more design lead cloths, inspired by our surrounding land and seascape. The ‘true Donegal tweed’ is a salt and pepper which is speckled with bright colours – gorse yellows, sea blues, sky greys, mossy greens, fuchsia pinks and leafy reds and oranges.
Blue is one of my favourite colours and a seasonal classic – summer or winter and a colour that works across men’s, women’s and home accessories. We take much of our inspiration from nature and in Donegal we are surrounded by blues – the sea, the sky (albeit often grey!), flowers and our landscape. The mountains near Donegal town are aptly named the Bluestack mountains.
We use blue across many pieces from the more formal to casual. It is an easy colour to wear and has such an amazing colour palette from classic navies to mid-denim to pale blues. I love this herringbone mid-blue Emma coat – with a soft creamy white contrast.
Blue is a beautiful colour to incorporate into your home, on its own in varying shades or mixed with oats, greys or creams.
dramatic rise of black sea cliffs over the Atlantic to wide, sandy beaches;
from taking the scenic route along winding country roads to exploring vibrant
local towns, it’s no wonder we say Donegal has it all. An absolute haven for
those of us who love the outdoors, Donegal also offers plenty in the way of
relaxation and luxury. If you’re planning a weekend, let us help!
first day near Donegal Town, which is a lively spot all year round.
YOUR TIME AT MOUNTCHARLES & SALTHILL GARDENS
morning, take a five-kilometre spin down the road to Mountcharles Pier. Stop
for a coffee at the small café there, and have a splash in the ocean if you
feel up for it!
After enjoying the views across the bay, head to Salthill Gardensjust up the road, 200m from the sea. Built within old stone walls, this contemporary garden is bursting with flowers, shrubs and vegetables. Wander the paths, peer through rod iron garden gates, and feel as if you’ve stepped into the pages of The Secret Garden.
AFTERNOON TEA AT LOUGH ESKE CASTLE
Served from 12pm to 5pm, a luxurious afternoon tea at Lough Eske Castle Hotel is the perfect place to whet your appetite. Explore the lovely grounds of the castle hotel and then sit down to indulge in home-baked treats, savoury sandwiches, and a glass of bubbly.
For a town
that many would consider remote, Donegal is absolutely bubbling with life. We
often get to enjoy music from talented buskers in the town square, and if the
sun is shining be sure to get an ice cream cone from Little Mamma’s ice cream
shop. For a bit of history, pop into Donegal Castle for a tour.
Of course no trip to Donegal would be complete without a visit to Magee of Donegal (if we do say so ourselves!). The shop has been in that same location since 1866, when we began as drapers shop and traded genuine Donegal tweed. Ask for a demonstration of handweaving, which dominated the tweed market for centuries. Have a peruse of our clothing collections, which features fabrics designed and woven at our working weaving mill just down the road.
Situated on the banks of Lough Eske, Harvey’s Pointoffers a relaxed getaway for your weekend. If the sun is shining, sit out at the Harvey’s Point Bar & Terrace and enjoy the view. Alternatively, treat yourself to a delicious dinner at the Restaurant. Their seven-course tasting dinner is the perfect way to enjoy the best of Irish produce. Retire to a luxuriously comfortable room, furnished and fitted with complete attention to detail – and even fresh-baked cookies delivered to the door!
second day in Donegal, head out the coast road and enjoy the coastline that
Donegal is famous for.
SCENIC SPIN ALONG THE COAST
morning, take your time enjoying the coastal road that brings you from Donegal
Town to Sliabh Liag cliffs. Be sure to head toward Muckross for the spectacular
views across the bay. There’s a beautiful sandy inlet there surrounded by green
fields, well worth stopping the car to get out and stretch the legs.
IRELAND’S HIGHEST SEA CLIFFS
Sliabh Liag (alternatively Slieve League) are the highest sea cliffs in Europe, reaching over 600m above sea level, and unmissable on a trip to Donegal. You can choose to drive your car up nearly to the top of the cliffs, or park and enjoy the hike (and the views!). It’s a few miles, and it’s the best way to fully enjoy the spectacle of the area.
adventurous and experienced walkers, a One Man’s Pass loops around onto the
Pilgrim’s Path, offering a strenuous but rewarding walk. It can be dangerous,
especially in adverse weather conditions, so proceed with caution!
KILLYBEGS SEAFOOD SHACK
The Seafood Shack captialises on Killybeg’s position as a working harbour town. Their seafood chowder won Ireland’s Best Chowder in 2019 at the 9th All Ireland Chowder Cook Off in Kinsale, so you definitely won’t want to miss it. Their box of fried seafood is another option you won’t want to pass up; it’s freshly made and full of local seafood. The place is literally a shack (although a very nice shack), so don’t expect fine dining – but with views of the sea, we promise you won’t mind.
A LOCAL PUB
would be complete without a pint of Guinness and some music? Donegal Town has
plenty to offer in the way of pubs, from small locals to lively bars brimming
with music and energy. McCafferty’s Bar has music seven nights a week if you’re
looking for a place to pass an evening!
third day in Donegal, it’s time to head north into the country.
GLENVEAGH NATIONAL PARK
It’s just over an hour from Donegal Town, but Glenveagh is certain to be one of the highlights of the trip. Given the distance and the amount to do in the area, we’d recommend spending the day.
car for free, and then a free shuttle bus will take you up to the castle. The
tour of the castle will take you through the history of the area. The
surrounding gardens are built on the banks of Lough Beagh, offering a relaxing
stroll with lovely views.
The café on
site offers delicious, affordable food for your lunch. Fully fortified, we
recommend taking a hike through the national park, following the trails. You’ll
see Mount Errigal and other breath-taking views as you go. If hiking isn’t your
favourite pastime, it’s still worth hopping in the car and taking a leisurely
drive around the lough to fully appreciate the beauty of the area.
on the lookout for more to do, don’t miss the Poisoned Glen at the foot of
Mount Errigal, just west of the National Park.
we hope you enjoy your visit to our beautiful county and come away saying, as
we do… Donegal has it all!
Handweaving is a skill that has been passed down through the generations. It is suggested that the art of weaving dates back to the Palaeolithic era, although there is little evidence to support this. Woven linen cloth has been found dating back to the Neolithic period. While there may be a few thousand years in the debate as to when weaving was first developed, we know for a fact it is a reassuringly ancient skill and craft!
Market day in the ‘Diamond’, Donegal Town.
This unique fabric is the backbone of our family company – in 1866 John Magee founded his handwoven tweed business in Donegal, Ireland. At that time weaving was a skill many farmers and fishermen had honed, the cloth they wove on large wooden looms was hardwearing and tough, and the most ‘technical’ fabric of its time – used to keep out the damp and cold in not only Donegal, but across Ireland, the UK and was a staple garment for the early polar explorers and alpinists across the globe.
Photograph of the 1924 Everest Exhibition – photograph from the John Noel Collection. Tweed and wool feature as the ‘ultimate kit’ for these pioneering alpinists. Wool has a natural ability to ‘wick’ away moisture to its vapour state, making it still one of the best and most sustainable technical fibres.
In 2019, we are still designing and producing a unique handwoven fabric – we retain similar, timeless designs – namely the herringbone – inspired by fish-bones and the ‘true Donegal tweed’ – the salt & pepper. We use the finest of yarns – lambswool, mohair and cashmere. Designs are sent to the weavers who work in their homes, the raw fabric is then sent back to the mill to be washed and finished. We wash the raw, oily fabric in the peaty waters of the River Eske, which flows by the mill, resulting in a beautifully soft finish.
The traditional wooden handloom
Donegal handwoven tweed is distinctive with its bright flecks of colour woven through each piece. Heather purples, grass greens, fuchsia pinks, gorse yellows, sea blues, rusty oranges and earthy browns to name but a few colours found in this unique fabric.