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Difficulties putting together (a week's drive tour) Donegal return itinerary after 25 years

Difficulties putting together (a week's drive tour) Donegal return...

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Group: Community Member Last Active: Tue 25 Apr 2017 2:05 PM Visits: 35
Hi,

Our Irish vacations's includes County Donegal week ( a return for me since last I camped in the Bloody Foreland area ) and my wife's first visit in the northern region). This is a bit trickier than some of the other counties as not all roads are as "quick to maneuver" and distances can accordingly become deceptive relative to time.

Additionally, I've included some amazing natural (peninsula and the like) wonders that MIGHT tend a little (unnecessarily) redundant, especially if we would possibly like to lighten our distances to more relax with at times a  somewhat less demanding  schedule. If some of these coastal and ocean views echo each other a bit, where might you first consider a suspension for a slower more appreciative pace? Alternatively if nothing of the kind should/could be missed on the list, so be it.

I would so appreciate some possible editing ideas and/or any other evaluation including alternate inclusions. This has been our hardest of many weeks to set and thus far the most research (almost a month thus far with many books and much time on the internet doing research) has been put into the especially beautiful County Donegal. Much time both with books and on the internet has already gone into serious research. I promise full attention and thorough respect for any and all ideas and alternatives.


1) Leave Ballycastle, County Antrim 9/9 (parts of Inishowen100) Grinian of Aileach/ Buncrana/ Dunree/ Mamore Gap/ Doagh Famine Village/ Cardonagh/ Malin Head/ Moville/ Muff/ Arrive for week at Lough Errig, Donegal 294.5km/183miles 5 hrs+

From here all itinerary days(#s 2-7) before 16/9 departure begin and end in our Lough Errig self cater

2) LOUGH ERRIG Killybegs/ Kilcar/ Teelin /Carrick/ Slieve League /Malin Beg/ Glencolumbkille/ Glengesh Pass /Ardara for dinner only 141km 3hr2m

3) LOUGH ERRIG (Poisonea Lake and Glen) Doochary/ Glendowan (Glenveagh Nat. Park) / Gweedore/ Dunlewy (Errigal Mt.)/ Annagry/ Bunbeg/ Derybeg/ Bloody Foreland / Dunfanaghy/ Horn Head/ Creeslough Doe Cottage (We have National Heritage Passes) 194k 3h 45m

4) LOUGH ERRIG ~Note: We want a"HALFISH/SHORTER" day. As currently it's constructed: Burtonport /Dungloe / Portnoo/ Ardara revisit 112 km 2 hr 9 min -as currently constructed. If this gets too lengthy for a shorter day, besides Ardara, what changes/cut(s) first?

Or among (#2,#3,#4 days with an especially busy days #2 and #3, where to perhaps better fit (as in thin out and not overload) or- if better served- simply drop some from among places like Annagry/ Burtonport/ Dungloe/ Dunbeg ?

5) LOUGH ERRIG (Fanad Peninsula). Ramelton/ Rathmullan/ Portsalon/ Fanad Head/ Rosnakill/Milford 163 km 3hr 4min

6) LOUGH ERRIG LOCAL DAY Narin / Glenties/ Donegal Town, Castle & Craft Village/ possibly w or w/o Ardara 103 km 1 h 55 m

7) Free/local) day for relaxing, the Lake area and Ardara.

Note: Numbers 2-7 are in are in no particular order just yet. Weather will factor, especially with these two: (free/local and shorter) days

8) Departure for Connemara next

Thanks for your efforts and thoughts. I promise all will be much appreciated and studied carefully.


Posted Thu 30 Mar 2017 5:13 PM
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Hi Bebri,

Welcome to the community!

It's wonderful to hear that you are planning a weeks stay in the beautiful County of Donegal. It looks like you have definitely spent a lot of time on your research to have such a full list of places to visit.

Driving times in this area can be a bit of a guessing game, as most of the roads are true country roads. The first of your days from Ballycastle to your destination of Lough Errig will indeed take you most of the day, especially if you decide to stop at the places you have named for a wee look around.

The following days would be the same, although a lot can be seen as you drive around, certain places such as Slieve League and the Glengesh Pass will certainly require a stop to see the spectacular views.

Glenveagh National park is a must see, and of course Mount Errigal. Some of the other places, simply drive through to take in the charm of the area.

Fanad Head, with its wonderful lighthouse, is again a big favorite and Port Salon is a great place to stop for a look around.

I hope that you can see all that you have on your list as it stands, but time is a factor especially to appreciate all the wonders of County Donegal.

I have put together a scrapbook of some of the places you have mentioned. I will leave it up to our community members to recommend their favorite must-see stops as well.

I hope everything goes to plan and your week in County Donegal is as wonderful as it can be.

Best wishes,

Martin





Posted Thu 30 Mar 2017 9:41 PM
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Hi Martin and thanks for your encouragement. I see and appreciate your disciple as the group's orchestrator leaving the details analysis to other members. Please advise as to where/how I might find your scrapbook for study. I'm looking forward to getting those specific editing comments from other kind spirits as well. 
Posted Thu 30 Mar 2017 10:04 PM
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Hi Bebri

The link to the scrapbook in the original post can be found by clicking on the word scrapbook found in blue. I have added it again here for your convenience.

I hope this helps

Regards

Martin
Posted Fri 31 Mar 2017 7:59 AM
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Hi Bebri

County Donegal is beautiful and it sounds like a great trip you have planned. However, if you are travelling along this North Western region you may be considering a trip to the Walled City of Derry-Londonderry. Located on the doorstep of the Inishowen Peninsula, The Walled City of Derry-Londonderry is a place steeped in history and culture with many attractions such as the 17th Century City Walls, Guildhall, World Famous Murals, St Columb’s Cathedral as well as many fascinating museums and exhibitions. The city also provides great options for tours, leisure, shopping and dining. With a wide variety of hotels, B&B's, guesthouses and hostels the city also provides excellent accommodation options if you choose to spend the night here. More detailed information on what the city has to offer can be found in our official visitor guide here.   

We would also invite you to contact us should you have any inquiries or questions at all. We are more than happy to help. Our details are:

Visit Derry
44 Foyle Street, Derry, BT48 6AT
Web: www.visitderry.com
Tel: +44 (0) 28 7126 7284
Email: info@visitderry.com

Kind Regards

Barry           
                                
Posted Sat 1 Apr 2017 11:51 AM
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Thanks Barry. I perhaps should have mentioned Derry, Galway and Belfast have been negotiated in prior trips. This week's exclusively a Donegal return and we're especially looking for a)ways to possibly trim coastal redundancy as a few of our days are quite long b) any alternate Co Donegal ideas---
Posted Sat 1 Apr 2017 2:36 PM
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Donegal, Ireland
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Dear Bebri

You are planning a truly wonderful trip to Donegal and we have no doubt you will enjoy your time in our beautiful county.
To further help you with the planning, I'm sending you link to our Donegal Tourism Brochure / Holiday Guide where you will find further information about Things To Do and Places To Go. On pages 24-29 you can find details & specially designed maps of 6 Scenic Touring Routes in Donegal that will help you with your planning:
http://wildatlanticdonegal.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/%C2%A9-Donegal-Tourism-Holiday-Guide-2016.pdf

Regarding your itinerary, here are further suggestions:

Day 1) You will mainly follow the Wild Atlantic Way (WAW) route, as well as the Inishowen 100 route. There are plenty of the WAW Discovery Points along the way. They are a great photo opportunity; information panels are available at each point. All of them are marked with red star on our map. On arrival, I would suggest that you call into one of the local Post Offices to pick up the Wild Atlantic Way Passport that will allow you to collect stamps from all visited Discovery Points along the way.

I would highly recommend stopping by at Buncrana Tourism Office and speak to Visit Inishowen Team. Here is also their website, if you wish to make contact with them in advance about Inishowen specifically: http://visitinishowen.com/

When in Greencastle, you should definitely visit Inishowen Maritime Museum & Planetarium: http://inishowenmaritime.com/

Day 4) On your shorter day around Burtonport/Dungloe area, we would recommend that you take a Blue or Red Ferry from Burtonport to Arranmore Island, which is approx. 15min crossing. You can take your car with you. This would be a fantastic opportunity to visit one of Donegal's Islands. Alternatively, you could book a Sea Safari & Marine Heritage Tour (boat trip) around the island with lovely Jim Muldowney. Here are further details: https://www.divearranmore.com/sea-safari.php

Perhaps you could leave Portnoo for your relaxing day 7. As you are going to be in the area that day, we would also highly recommend visiting Port Famine village, an abandoned picturesque village in a very remote location north of Glencolmcille, a real hidden gem. You could do it on your way back from Glencolmcille but your day 2 looks pretty busy already or you could leave it for the very last day and really enjoy the experience: https://www.tripadvisor.ie/Attraction_Review-g186602-d7788058-Reviews-The_Deserted_Village_of_Port-Donegal_Town_County_Donegal.html

Also, just outside Ardara - don't miss the Maghera Beach & Caves: https://www.tripadvisor.ie/Attraction_Review-g212511-d4436995-Reviews-Maghera_Beach_and_Caves-Ardara_County_Donegal.html


If you have any further queries, please contact me on: iga@countydonegaltourism.com I will be more than happy to help you. If you wish, you could provide me with your postal address and I will send you a hard copy of our brochure & map.

I hope this will be of help.
Best wishes
Iga
Donegal Tourism


Posted Mon 3 Apr 2017 11:32 AM
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Iga,

I've sent you a note about your comments and thanks ever so much.

For any and all others out there, my biggest concern is that at least three to possibly of our Donegal itinerary days may be coastally a bit redundant or otherwise trimmed a bit at no great loss. This is in consideration of the old adage of "less being more".
Posted Mon 3 Apr 2017 4:09 PM
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