Tag

Travel

Browsing
Summer is officially here, and it’s a good time to take a look at some of our favourite things to do in Donegal, our home.  
Take a Dip

We are spoiled in Donegal with fantastic beaches, over 100 of them in fact. They’re so good, Donegal features not once but twice in Condé Nast Traveller’s list of the top beaches in Ireland. Donegal also boasts the joint highest number of Blue Flag Beaches in Ireland for the 2021 season at 14. 

Whether you’re interested in swimming, surfing, stand up paddle boarding, or if you’re a book under a parasol type, there is a beach for you!  

Murvagh Beach Donegal
Murvagh Beach, Donegal

Among our favourites is Murvagh Beach, just south of Donegal town. Stretching for nearly 2km, and backed with sand dunes, there’s plenty of room to stretch out and enjoy.   

At the mouth of Lough Swilly, Portsalon beach is sheltered from the North Atlantic, making it the perfect spot for a swim.  

We can’t leave out Mountcharles Pier, our local beach where the Temple family grew up and spent many happy summer days as children. Chairman Lynn Temple swims in the ocean all year round with his Labrador Riley. We recommend warming up post-swim in Salthill Cabin with a hot cuppa and take a walk around the petting farm, complete with Donegal’s very own lamas! 

The pier is also where the family boat sets sail from. A traditional, wooden Galway Hooker, Sandpiper has even played host to a couple of Magee 1866 photoshoots. 

 

 Take a Stroll

Be it exploring the 1,000 kilometers of coastline or climbing the ‘hills of Donegal’, there are always plenty of walks to discover.  

Ireland’s highest sea cliffs, Sliabh Liag is located along the Wild Atlantic Way and offers breathtaking panoramic views across Donegal Bay. With multiple walking trails to choose from and a wealth of history and culture to explore, a trip to Sliabh Liag is well worth it. 

For a day out, Glenveagh National Park has it all. The rugged mountain landscape is contrasted by the beautiful walled gardens of Glenveagh Castle, nestled beside Lough Beagh at the centre of the park. Enjoy the network of trails for walking or cycling as well as the breathtaking scenery, waterfalls, flora and fauna.  

If you are looking for some hills to tackle, head out to Lough Eske, the gateway into the Bluestack Mountains. CEO Rosy, often nips out after work with a map and trail runners for an escape into the unspoiled wilderness of this area. Look out for the odd grouse or cool off with a swim in the magical Lough Belshade.  

 Take a Bite

Our location on the North West of Ireland means we’re famous for our fish, with Killybegs being Ireland’s premier sea port. Try out the Killybegs Seafood Shack and enjoy fresh fish and chips sitting on the harbour wall. Or take a drive out to Mullinasole and check in to the Salmon Inn for delicious seafood with views over the bay.  

Take it Easy

We love a wander around Donegal Town on a summer’s afternoon, exploring the architecture of Donegal Castle and walking along the banks of the River Eske. 

There is no place quite like it when the sun shines on The Diamond – the main hub of the town, surrounded by cafés, bars, restaurants and our Magee of Donegal store which has stood on the same site since first opened as a draper’s store by John Magee in the 1800’s.   

A true destination shopping experience, at Magee of Donegal we showcase our Magee 1866 men’s and women’s collections alongside our accessories and home interiors collections – designed and made in Ireland.

Our Made to Measure area offers an oasis of calm while you select the perfect combination of luxury fabrics and trims for your own tailor-made pieces. For tired shoppers, The Weaver’s Loft Bistro* focuses on a seasonal menu and home baking and is the perfect stopover. 


 

If you want to be in with a chance to win a holiday in Donegal, we have partnered with Harvey’s Point Hotel for an exclusive giveaway. 

We are offering one lucky winner a Magee 1866 Summer look to the value of €600 and a midweek stay at the magnificent Harvey’s Point Hotel consisting of  2 nights  B&B as well as an evening meal for two on the night of your choice. 

To enter head over to our Facebook or Instagram profiles and follow the instructions on the post. 

Giveaway closes at 11.59pm GMT on Wednesday, 30 June 2021. 

* Currently closed in line with Government restrictions.   

From the 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!

Spend your first day near Donegal Town, which is a lively spot all year round.

TAKE YOUR TIME AT MOUNTCHARLES & SALTHILL GARDENS

In the 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 Gardens just 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.

ENJOY 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.

EXPLORE DONEGAL TOWN

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.

STAY AT HARVEY’S POINT

Situated on the banks of Lough Eske, Harvey’s Point offers 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! 

On your second day in Donegal, head out the coast road and enjoy the coastline that Donegal is famous for.

TAKE A SCENIC SPIN ALONG THE COAST

In the 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.

EXPERIENCE 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.

For the 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!

STOP AT 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.

HEAD TO A LOCAL PUB

What trip 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!

On your third day in Donegal, it’s time to head north into the country.

VISIT 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. 

Park your 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.

If you’re 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.

As always, we hope you enjoy your visit to our beautiful county and come away saying, as we do… Donegal has it all! 

Pin It