Relax and admire Donegal’s breathtaking coastal delights

My husband and I are planning to take a weekend break in Ireland without the kids but we just can’t decide where to go. While we want to go somewhere quiet where we can relax and unwind, we also want to be able to enjoy a night out. Where would you recommend that will offer us the perfect balance for our short break?

My husband and I are planning to take a weekend break in Ireland without the kids but we just can’t decide where to go. While we want to go somewhere quiet where we can relax and unwind, we also want to be able to enjoy a night out. Where would you recommend that will offer us the perfect balance for our short break?

If you are looking for somewhere to recharge the batteries, look no further than Co. Donegal. You will be blown away by the sheer beauty of this county with its rich scenery and spectacular coastal views. This picturesque county has a wonderfully laid-back atmosphere and is the perfect place to unwind and take advantage of a break away without the kids.

While in Donegal the perfect place to stay is in Letterkenny, which is the largest town in the county. While not the oldest town in Donegal, it is centrally located with many key areas and sites in close proximity.

Just a 30-minute drive from Letterkenny, Glenveagh National Park lies in the heart of the Derryveagh Mountains and is the perfect place to unwind for a few hours and enjoy a romantic walk. You can follow the track from the stunning Glenveagh Castle overlooking Lough Veagh, to the head of the Glen which is a pleasant walk along the lake shore, through oak woodland and upwards into the open mountain land.

To enjoy the splendid coastal scenery that Donegal has to offer, a drive around the Inishowen 100 is a must. On this 100 mile circular route around the Inishowen Peninsula, you certainly won’t want to break any speed limits as you savour the many historical gems along the way.

There are many scenic highlights along the route including the breathtaking Gap of Mamore, a panoramic roadway that rises to a height of 800 feet above sea-level following a twisting corkscrew descent with views of the entire northern coastline. Be sure to stop off at Malin Head, which is Ireland’s most northerly point, to really enjoy the views.

Once you have soaked up the stunning scenery that Donegal has to offer, next on the list is a spot of shopping. You’ll be spoilt for choice with Letterkenny having three large shopping centres which house all the leading high street names. For gifts and souvenirs, Victor’s Giftshop on the Main Street should be visited and you must check out the stalls and other craft shops on offer.

There are numerous good restaurants in Letterkenny town that you are sure to love. The Brewery Bar and Restaurant, the Lemon Tree and the Yellow Pepper are all well worth a visit and are reasonably priced. If you are looking for something a little different, the Ramada hotel is worth mentioning as it offers a menu with crocodile and kangaroo meat incorporated into some dishes.

Letterkenny is known for its lively nightlife and there are plenty of bars and clubs to choose from. The Cottage Bar which has all sorts of bric-a-brac hanging precariously from the ceiling is never lacking in atmosphere and is a great place to unwind after a day sightseeing. For something a little more modern, visit the Cavern Bar which is a large vibrant bar and is a great place to go during the weekend.

Where to Stay

Mount Errigal Hotel Conference & Leisure Centre (***)

Prices start from €60 per room per night on Hotels.com

*Prices are subject to availability at the time of booking.

This three-star hotel is situated on the outskirts of Letterkenny town and is within walking distance to all the main attractions. You can relax and unwind in the hotel’s health club which has an indoor pool, steam room and spa. Guests can choose to dine in one of the two restaurants or grab a quick bite to eat in the coffee shop or the hotel bar.

Station House Hotel (***)

Prices start from €69 per double room per night on Hotels.com

*Prices are subject to availability at the time of booking.

The contemporary three-star boutique hotel is ideally located in the centre of the town. After a day of sightseeing and shopping enjoy a meal in The Depot Café Bar which offers a relaxed and casual dining experience. The hotel is renowned for its Sunday night dance so be sure to stay an extra night and enjoy this great night of dancing.

Gallaghers Hotel (***)

Prices start from €50 per room per night on Hotels.com

*Prices are subject to availability at the time of booking.

Situated in the centre of Letterkenny, this three-star hotel is perfectly positioned to enjoy all the main attractions that the town has to offer. Guests can enjoy a meal in The Ard na cGeapairí Bistro and Carvery or a quiet drink in McCarry’s Bar where you can also enjoy live music every weekend.

For more information and travel tips on planning your holiday visit www.hotels.com or call 1800 55 3338 to wake up happy on your holiday!