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The magnificent North West has breathtaking scenery, rich traditions and elegant ruins and offers endless opportunities to immerse in nature, culture and history. If you wish to partake in the outdoor activities on offer or if you simply want to take a relaxing break away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, spend time in the three counties of Donegal, Leitrim and Sligo, and you’ll experience the warmth of the welcome that awaits you. The spectacularly beautiful countryside, the coast that has been etched by the Atlantic Ocean, the rambling hills and mountains and the lovely lakes provide a wonderfully interesting location for the leisurely visitor.Outdoor activities are in abundance for anglers, golfers and walkers. Try your hand at surfing, sailing or kite surfing or go horse riding on the beaches, mountains or moorlands. Lots to do and plenty to see but don’t just take our word for it: Come and see for yourself.
There’s a lot to keep you busy in Donegal, from 4,000-year-old-ring forts to Ireland’s most northerly point
1) Atlantic Tour Drive Donegal This self drive tour starts from Letterkenny, on to Ramelton, a Heritage Town on Lough Swilly. Then on to Milford, and Carrigart, on the isthmus separating Mulroy Bay and Sheephaven Bay. Follow the Atlantic Drive signs around the Rossguill Peninsula, to Melmore Head where there are great views.Then head for Carrigart and right to Creeslough where you will see the ruins of 16th century Doe Castle. The drive continues through Portnablagh, where boats leave for Tory . Drive through Dunfanaghy via Horn Head, and on toFalcarragh in the Irish speaking area of West Donegal. The road passes the Derryveagh Mountains and Glenveagh National Park. Turn left for Kilmacrennan where there is Lurgyvale Thatched Cottage a 150 year old restored buildiing.Then back to Letterkenny. 2) Fanad Scenic Drive The Fanad Peninsula scenic tour is a 72km circuit of the area, which is well signposted and is a splendid drive. Follow the R247 from Ramelton and enjoy the views of Lough Swilly all the way to Rathmullan. Continue for a short distance along the coast to the harbour where the Flight of the Earls Heritage Centre is located. A fully equipped sea angling boat can be hired at the nearby pier and the glorious beach at Rathmullan flies an E.U blue flag. Follow the Fanad Drive and Portsalon signs, passing the Otway 9 hole links, where golf can be played all year round. Keep right at the fork for Portsalon. As the road rises around Knockalla Mountain enjoy the breathtaking views across Lough Swilly. Below you is Ballymastocker Bay bedecked with a trilogy of golden beaches and punctuated by fingers of grassy dunes. Portsalon lies across the bay. Resume your drive turning left into Portsalon. A left turn in the village will take you to Fanad Head via the coast. Follow the signs for the lighthouse. From the attractive lighthouse grounds you can see the rugged horn of Dunaff Head across the bay and further east, the long finger of Malin Head, the most northerly point in Ireland. Retrace your steps, this time ignoring the sign for Portsalon and keep the coast on your right. Turn left, signposted Kerrykeel 13km. Keep following the Fanad Drive signs past the inner lakes of Mulroy Bay and over a small bridge. Joining the R246 follow the sign, right, for Milford, which lies at the foot of Mulroy Bay. At the T - junction a left turn takes you into the village of Milford and right is the road to Carrigart ( R245 )
Whether your passion is golf, fishing or splashing about on a surfboard, Donegal is a perfect location - with surprises around every corner, a backdrop of stunning coastline and beautiful countryside, and a whole host of thrilling activities.
Don't get us wrong. Donegal does great fish and chips, locally sourced and available straight from bustling seaports in Greencastle or Killybegs. But that's half the story. Donegal also has some of the finest restaurants offering excellent food, from budget to fine dining.
Many of the coffee shops in Donegal are independently owned offering delicious homemade cakes and treats. A trip to Donegal will not be complete without sampling homemade scones and jam. Donegal also does great coffee!
Donegal is world-renowned for its traditional products and crafts, rich in history and offering fantastic quality. Textures and vibrant colours of wool & tweeds that blend in naturally with Pottery, Crystal and Art. You'll find these types of shops dotted throughout the county.
Part of Donegal's enduring charm is the comfort and warmth of pubs - serving fresh food, providing an authentic Irish music and dance experience.
A full list of festivals for the year can be found on www.discoverireland.ie/whatson
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