Things you must do in Donegal
Glenveagh National Park:
The largest tract of land in the wildest part of Donegal, Glenveagh National Park, which is conveniently located less than 20 minutes from Oakland’s Bed & Breakfast, incorporates moorland, mountain, lakes and woods within its 40,000 acres of wilderness. The Park – the second largest in Ireland – was once owned by the American millionaire Henry P. Mcilhenney and is now in the hands of the Irish government. Tours of the castle, as well as guided tours of the Italianate formal gardens are available, or you can join a ranger-led walk along footpaths through the grounds. You may be lucky enough to catch sight of soaring golden eagles which have been reinstated into the area chance upon a shy red deer.
“Stand at the top of Donegal”
The distinctive white conical peak of Errigal, (from the Irish translation, Aireagal meaning ‘oratory’) the highest point in the country, is a potent symbol and has a grip on the imagination. Pull on your walking boots for a pleasant hike across heather and grass before joining a stony path to the summit at 2,466 ft., where two cairns are connected by a narrow path. Anyone with a reasonable level of fitness, and the right gear, will be able to complete the walk to the top in less than two hours. It’s well worth the effort. You will be rewarded with an uninterrupted panorama of Bloody Foreland, a countryside speckled with sheep and white cottages, and lying out to sea, the islands of Inishbofin, Inishdooey and Inishbeg. The foot of Mount Errigal is conveniently located less than 35 minutes from Oakland’s Bed & Breakfast.
Sparkling rivers, well stocked lakes and the fruits of the sea, attract anglers from many countries. Donegal is noted for game and course fishing and its coastline is washed by some of the cleanest and clearest seas in Europe, offering shore and deep sea angling. Many species, including pollock, mackerel, wrasse, gurnard, tope, ray and shark have been caught in the sea. Shore angling enthusiasts enjoy the sheltered waters of Lough Swilly and many other locations along the coast right round to Donegal Bay. Trout and spring salmon are found in abundance at fisheries such as that found at the River Lennon – conveniently located less than 10 minutes from Oakland’s Bed & Breakfast – The Leannan is one of the few fisheries in the county that opens on the 1st January.It fishes well in springtime with salmon weighing approximately 9lbs on average. The largest recorded salmon was 33lb
“Drink in some of the best views in Europe”
A narrow road twists steeply up from Teelin to the dramatic Sliabh Liag cliffs and mountains. From the viewing point, you look across one of the finest panoramas in Europe that will set your heart racing. An information panel, part of the Donegal Interpretative Project, sets out the details of what you see. This area of Donegal is also part of the famed Appalachian Trail that leads eastwards along the Bluestack Way and joins up with the Ulster Way and the causeway coast. The nearby cultural centre, Ti Linn, is a rich source of information on the area and its archaeological heritage.
“Hire a pedelo at Portsalon beach”
Goden sandy beaches and rolling farmland threaded by narrow roads set the scene in the secluded Fanad peninsula squeezed in between Lough Swilly and Mulroy Bay and leading to remote Fanad Head. Families can enjoy a day of watersports at picture-postcard resorts such as Rathmullen or Portsalon. Take your pick from spinning for mackeral off a pier, learning to fly-fish for rainbow trout, hire a pedeleo or paddle a kayak. If you are feeling energetic, why not saddle up and gallop along the shores of Lough Swilly on the pristine Rathmullen strand which is conveniently located less than twenty minutes from Oakland’s Bed & Breakfast.
“Ireland’s most Northerly Point”
Catch a cloudless evening and you may be enchanted by a night sky display of the Aurora Borealis, the Northern Lights. The celestial light show, with it’s ghostly wispy rays of dancing colours has been seen hanging like a fluorescent curtain over Malin Head – what better reason to go than to witness the astonishing sight. As you make your way around the 100-mile circuit of the scenic Inishowen peninsula, you will find many attractions and distractions on the journey to Ireland’s most northerly point. Those with an interest in military history will want to see Fort Dunree Military Museum near Buncrana. Further along, Doagh Famine Village, an outdoor museum, provides a thought-provoking look at the area from the tragedy of the famine in the 1840’s up to the present.