County Donegal Journals

County Donegal, Ireland

An August 2000 trip to County Donegal by lisamcgu

Killaghtee Old Church and Heritage Sites Photo, County Donegal, Ireland More Photos
Quote: County Donegal is said to be the most unpopulated part of Ireland. However, with its horse treks, surfing, castles, and rugged beauty, I found parts of this area to be the most commercial and tourist-populated in all of Ireland.

County Donegal, Ireland

Overview

Deane Headstone (located in Old Killaghtee Church) Photo, County Donegal, Ireland
Quote:
The town of Donegal is a real tourist mecca with its restored Donegal castle tour. Then there is the long, beautiful drive from Malin to Malin Head, the most northerly point on the island, and there are hardly any other tourists.

This area is known to be the "roughest" with weather and seas included. Back down the coast, past the town of Donegal, is where you will find Ireland's surf beaches which are fueled by that rough north sea.

Quick Tips:

Best Way To Get Around:

Once again, rent a car. There is just too much to see to be stuck on a tour bus.

Portnason House

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Hotel

Portnason House Photo, Ballyshannon, Ireland
Quote:
This is another "House" that was more like what we, here in the United States, would call a Mansion. In fact, it had belonged to a wealthy landowner and is still surrounded by about 50 acres of land with, supposedly, private access to a sand dune beach (I couldn't see it from the house). There are horses to pet out back. Off to the side of the house there is what looked like an old, falling down, entire village! The village seemed medieval with an old church and other buildings, and parts of it seemed to be undergoing a restoration process. I stayed two nights in this B&B. The first night, my room was one of the basement rooms. It was not very appealing in location, view or fu...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 7, 2001

Portnason House
Ballyshannon, County Donegal
Ballyshannon

Malin Hotel

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Restaurant | "Malin Hotel - the Pub"

Malin Hotel Photo, County Donegal, Ireland
Quote:
Malin Hotel has both a pub and a restaurant. I had a quaint lunch in the pub. It was a classic pub with low windows in the front, where one can sit and look out on the town square outside. I ordered my usual tea with a ham and cheese sandwich, which you will always find in a pub. The bar itself was clean and quiet, just like the town. It seems Malin has even won Ireland's "tidiest" town award. Even with a few locals at the bar in the corner, there was only the occasional boisterous outburst. The other patrons were older, well-dressed family groups, quietly enjoying their tea and the sun streaming in from the large front windows. The service was gracious and friendly, and...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 7, 2001

Malin Hotel
Malin Town
Inishowen, County Donegal, Ireland
074 9370606

Malin Head

Attraction

Malin Head Photo, County Donegal, Ireland
Quote:
Malin Head is the most northerly point in all of Ireland. It is presumed to be near the roughest ocean waters that surround the island. One reason to go is for the beauty of getting there.

Starting from the town of Malin, and even more so as you get nearer Malin Head, it is truly a most beautiful ride with view points all along the way - definitely bring a picnic lunch.

When you get there, you'll find a monument which explains that the unique rock formations below the cliffs were formed 15,000 years ago by glaciers. Supposedly, geologists from major universities come out all the time to do research on these unique formations.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 7, 2001

Malin Head
Malin, County Donegal
County Donegal, Ireland

Donegal Castle

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Attraction | "Donegal"

Donegal Castle Photo, County Donegal, Ireland
Quote:
The town of Donegal was one of the most popular and, I am sorry to say, tourist-infested towns that I found in all of Ireland. The Irish Tourist Board office was crowded; small yet jammed with tourists reserving tours, accommodations, etc. Knowing of this great load of tourists, the parking lot next door had become a haven for indigents and street urchins. The children would, without asking, wipe greasy rags on the tourists' front car windows, looking for change because they "cleaned" the windows. And, healthy, even overweight, young women, with an obvious ability to work, would try to bum money. I was in shock and only encountered this type of begging in one other town (see my Coun...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 7, 2001

Donegal Castle
Donegal, County Donegal, Ireland
County Donegal, Ireland

Killaghtee Old Church and Heritage Sites Photo, County Donegal, Ireland
Quote:
This church and cemetary are great for picture taking and having a picnic. You will be surrounded by the most wonderful stonework. Named after the Parish of Killaghtee, where it is located, the church is listed as one of Ireland's official Heritage sites and is posted as such. Except for in the old, medieval town of Carlingford, on the other side of the country, this church had some of the oldest gravestones I saw in all of Ireland. (In Carlingford, some of the markers were just plain rocks.) They have even named one of the gravestones with a Heritage sign calling it the Killaghtee Cross - it has been dated to the time of the vikings, 650 AD, showing its age with a large celtic cross on top....Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 7, 2001

Killaghtee Old Church and Heritage Sites
County Donegal
County Donegal, Ireland

Donegal Castle

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Attraction

Donegal Castle Photo, County Donegal, Ireland
Quote:
Donegal Castle is a little castle, in a little town, that showed the other little towns in Ireland what would happen if they restored their castles - if you re-build it, they will come. Now other towns are scrambling to restore their own rundown castles, and they all seem to have at least one. This castle sits with part of the structure hanging over the river. It was redone perfectly, showing each stage of development as the castle went from Irish ownership to English. It was built by the O'Donnell kings who, it seems, had only war on their minds. Thus, they constructed the castle with such features as narrow windows, so arrows could be shot out but rarely find their way in, and nar...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 7, 2001

Donegal Castle
Donegal, County Donegal, Ireland
County Donegal, Ireland

About the Writer

lisamcgu

lisamcgu
Orange County, California

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