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County Donegal in late September

by anniseed Online Now Apr 4, 2008 at 6:12 PM

Can anybody help me.
I will be in County Donegal from 27/09/2008 to 04/10/2008. I have booked a bungalow in Burtonsport for the week, to use as a base, and will be travelling by car with 3 others, all pensioners and unable to walk very far. Driving is not a problem but walking is, and I am looking for scenic and photographic locations within easy walking distance of the car. Here is my criteria which is very flexible.
1:- Scenic drives and views.
2;- Mountain passes and Glens.
3:- Costal routes with scenery.
4:- Castles and gardens that can be viewed.
5:- Travelling times from Belfast Ferry Terminal to Burtonsport and Burtonsport to Giants Causeway.
6:- Travelling times to different locations suggested.
7:- Local to Burtonsport Irish music establishments that are open this time of year.
8:- Weather condions for this time of year and what kind of clothing required, and are the daylight hours.
9:- Do the ferries to the Islands from Burtonsport run at this time of year, and can I take the car.
We shall be doing our sightseeing during the daylight hours and relaxing at night in local establishments where we can eat and possibly hear music.
It will be much appreciated for your replys to my numerous Questions.

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9 Answers
  • Beausoleil's Profile Photo

    Re: County Donegal in late September

    by Beausoleil Online Now Apr 4, 2008 at 9:27 PM

    We haven't been to Ireland but I can help with travel times. Go to the following web site and click on driving directions. You type in the "to" and "from" cities or sights and you will get a little map, written directions and an information box giving you mileage and any tolls. It's a great resource.
    http://www.viamichelin.com/

    Here is another one I like nearly as well but the tolls are not quite as accurate.
    http://www.mappy.com/

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  • WhispersWest's Profile Photo

    Re: County Donegal in late September

    by WhispersWest Online Now Apr 7, 2008 at 9:36 AM

    Hello,

    Donegal is a beautiful County, especially in teh Fall. You will find that sunset will be at approximately half past seven to about eight o'clock in the evening during the time that you are venturing there. As to the weather, it can be unpredictable no matter the month. In October, you can expect highs in the 59/15 (farenheit/celcius) range and lows in the 44/7 range.
    You can use the aaireland site, http://www.aaroadwatch.ie/routes/, for driving distances but their driving times are not reliable. A good rule of thumb is to take the driving distance, convert it to miles, and then divide it by 35, which is the estimated mph you will be traveling. This will give you a better approximation of your actual travel time.

    As for what types of clothes to pack, I always recommend a good pair of comfortable, sturdy, waterproof walking shows and a lined, preferrablly hooded, windbreaker or jacket, also waterproof. weather can be fickle, sunshine one moment and a downpour the next. I always recommend that a traveler dress in layers so that they can adjust to whatever the weather faeries bring.

    There are approximately 237km (147 miles) between Belfast's Ferry Terminal and Burtonport. Between Burtonport & the Giant's Causeway, 191km, with Derry in between which might make for a nice stopping point. This site, arranmoreferry.com/Timetable..., will give you the Ferry schedule for Burtonport. All Ferry schedules are dependent on weather conditions. Yes, you may take your car on the Ferry to Arranmore.

    You might look to Skipper's Tavern in Burtonsport for both a good evening meal and, perhaps, some traditional music. As you are traveling in the off-season, you would be best to inquire of either the host of your lodgings or the tourist information center as to the availability of Trad music.

    Whilst in Co. Donegal, I hope that you find time to visit the Slieve League Cliffs, as they are breathtaking. You can get a good view of them from approaching pull-outs. The road up to the carpark might be a bit dodgy for you to tackle but I could be wrong. My mother is eighty and still feels wild enough to drive the smallest jeep track! In that same area, around Adara, you will find some amazing natural wonders: Lough Ros Point, Ard – an – Amharc, and the Dorleens, an outcropping of white rocks off Lough Ros Point rounded by time and elements, being three that come most readily to mind. There is also Glen Veagh National Park, http://www.glenveaghnationalpark.ie/, in which you will find both a Castle and amazing Gardens. Here is a map, irishfireside.com/images/IFg..., that is being built by my friends who host Irish Fireside. It shows a few GArdens in Co. Donegal and in Northern Ireland, as well. You also have the Inishowen Peninsula,http://www.visitinishowen.com/, well worth the Day trip.

    I hope this has answered some of your questions.

    Slan Beo (Take Care), Bit

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  • anniseed's Profile Photo

    Re: County Donegal in late September

    by anniseed Online Now Apr 7, 2008 at 4:01 PM

    Thanks WhispersWest & Beausoleic for your contributions. Very much appreciated and very helpful for my visit to County Donegal. Any more suggestions welcome.

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  • lee.evelyn's Profile Photo

    Re: County Donegal in late September

    by lee.evelyn Online Now May 5, 2008 at 7:22 AM

    1:- Scenic drives and views.

    anywhere in Donegal is scenic! Driving from Letterkenny to Burtonport yu could drive through the 'Poison Glen' it is quite a stunning view, driving down from the mountains!


    2;- Mountain passes and Glens.

    as you are driving from Belfast to Derry and on to Letterkenny, you will pass the Glenshane Pass in Northern Ireland. There is a Pub on the top of the pass, it is called 'Ponderosa' it is the highest pub in Northern Ireland. Have a coffee there and you will get a little 'pass' with a stamp that you've been there. You can also buy a plastic bag with Mountain Air for -.50pence



    3:- Costal routes with scenery.

    any coast road in Donegal is scenic! Take the road from Burtonport North to Falcarragh (nice beach there) and traditional music all year round.

    or the road south from Burtonport along the coast: stunning scenery ! always follow the signs for 'scenic road' - although they are narrow, windy and bumpy with some potholes - but you aways have the ocean beside you.

    4:- Castles and gardens that can be viewed.

    Glenveagh Castle and Gardens and Lake
    have a look at:

    glenveaghnationalpark.ie/vis...

    Glebe Gallery & Glebe House with Gardens and Lake (not far from Glenveagh)
    heritageireland.ie/en/North-...






    5:- Travelling times from Belfast Ferry Terminal to Burtonsport

    about 3 hours max.


    and Burtonsport to Giants Causeway.

    about 1 1/2 to 2 hours

    (try not park in their carpark - the parking fee is £20.00)



    6:- Travelling times to different locations suggested.

    30 minutes to Glenveagh National Park
    40 min to Glebe Gallery
    30 min. to Falcarragh

    (the driving time has no reflectin on the distances - the road are narrow and windy and you can't drive faster than 35 mph in some places)


    7:- Local to Burtonsport Irish music establishments that are open this time of year.

    ..most of the pubs in Burtonport are open all year round but might have music only on certain nights.

    Beedies Pub in Dungloe (which is a 10 min drive from Burtonport has tradional music regularly

    Or Teach Jack in Gortahork also about 10 to 15 mins from Burtonport has traditional music on certain nights

    I will try and find out more about the specific nights in the various pubs and post the information at a later date.



    8:- Weather conditions for this time of year and what kind of clothing required, and are the daylight hours.

    The weather can change throughout the day, be prepared for some drizzle as well as sunshine. It can be windy too near the coast.

    Daylight hours: probably from 7.30am to 8pm (or later, if the weather is good)


    9:- Do the ferries to the Islands from Burtonsport run at this time of year, and can I take the car.

    the ferry Aranmore Island is sailing throughout the year and yes, you can take your car:


    Category Price Return
    CAR & DRIVER €26
    CAR & FAMILY (2 Adults & 2 Children) €36
    ADULT €9
    FERRY BOOKING OFFICE
    Telephone: IAC-353-7495-20532
    FAX: IAC-353-7495-20750
    Depart Burtonport


    We shall be doing our sightseeing during the daylight hours and relaxing at night in local establishments where we can eat and possibly hear music.

    you should find all that in or near Burtonport or in nearby Dungloe or Gortahork

    I would recommend a day trip from Burtonport to Ardara - via Dungloe, Gweebarra Bay, Narin Portnoo (The Dolmen Centre) to Rosbeg and Ardara. A must-visit in Ardara is the famous Nacy's Pub (great seafood) and Peter Olivers Pub 'the Corner House' with traditional music every weekend.

    Please fell free to e-mail me if you have any more questions.

    Greetings from Donegal, Lee

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  • lee.evelyn's Profile Photo

    Re: County Donegal in late September

    by lee.evelyn Online Now May 5, 2008 at 7:25 AM

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  • anniseed's Profile Photo

    Re: County Donegal in late September

    by anniseed Online Now May 5, 2008 at 3:55 PM

    Thanks lee.evelyn
    Thanks for the in-depth info that you have given me and we are looking forward to visiting County Donegal. Since I posted this question we have had a slight change of plans. From getting off the ferry at Belfast we are now travelling up to Ballycastle for an overnight stop, via the coast road. The following day we are travelling to Burtonport via the rope bridge, the causeway and then catching the ferry to Greencastle and driving down the Inishowen Peninsular. Does this sound reasonable.

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  • lee.evelyn's Profile Photo

    Re: County Donegal in late September

    by lee.evelyn Online Now May 7, 2008 at 7:22 AM

    Hello Steve,

    I wonder if it is not a bit too much to pack all this in one day?

    please find my answers below:

    From getting off the ferry at Belfast we are now travelling up to Ballycastle for an overnight stop, via the coast road.

    Excellent idea!


    The following day we are travelling to Burtonport via the rope bridge, the causeway and then catching the ferry to Greencastle

    you could also visit the 'Bushmills Whiskey Brewery' it is on your way and worth a visit. You also get to sample the Whiskey :)

    the ferry to Greencastle is a great idea, it is fun and cuts on driving distance and it's only a few pounds

    when you get to Greencastle try to see if the Fort Restaurant is open and have lunch there - it is not expensive and the food is great, with seafood being their specialty. you can sit out in the garden if the weather permits.

    Drive to Kinnegaw Bay - stunning view of cliffs and the sea and wooded slopes. The road down to the bay is extremely steep. You might want to park your car on top and walk down or just take a look (and a picture).

    and driving down the Inishowen Peninsula. Does this sound reasonable.

    Resonable enough, but it is quite an itineray in one single day...from Greencastle it is 45 minutes to Letterkenny and from then still maybe 45 minutes to Burtonport.

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  • anniseed's Profile Photo

    Re: County Donegal in late September

    by anniseed Online Now May 8, 2008 at 4:45 PM

    Hi lee
    Thanks again for your input.
    The reasoning behind this itenary is that if we dont do it this way it will mean travelling from Burtonport and return in a day, which would mean a lot more travelling, as we would like to see both places, all be it for a short time, on this trip to Ireland. We shall be at the rope bridge for approx 1.5 Hrs and the causeway for approx 2 Hrs. I will possibly be the only one that croosses the rope bridge and it will be the bus down to the causeway. I thought this itenary would be the better of the two options to reduce driving time over the whole trip. The following day will be exploring the local area to Burtonport and driving will be at a minimum. As regards to a trip to Bushmills Brewery I will be giving it amiss this trip as I am driving and cannot risk the consequencies. If I stopped there I probably would not get any thurther that day. Looking to get to Burtonport and find a local place to eat and possibly have a Guiness or short to unwind ready for our exploits the next day. Would you agree with this.
    PS: - Sorry for going on so much but I like to get my trips organised.

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  • lee.evelyn's Profile Photo

    Re: County Donegal in late September

    by lee.evelyn Online Now May 15, 2008 at 2:33 PM

    Hello Steve
    I agree, too see Inishowen on the way to Burtonport is the best plan. I was going to suggest spending a night in Inishowen, but you have rented a house in Burtonport and want to get there. You will be able to unwind in the Lobster Pot in Burtonport in the evening.
    Giving Bushmills brewery a miss is probably a good idea..:) (although the Whiskey sample they give you could not even intoxicate a mouse...)
    btw. if you plan to cook yourselves in the place your renting, you can buy freshly caught fish in the harbour. Depending on season you can also get whole lobsters and crabclaws.
    Re. Arranmore Island: there is a people ferry, the 'Fast-Ferry Charter' which takes only 5 minutes for crossing www.arranmorecharters.com
    and there is the Arranmore Ferry www.arranmoreferry.com on which you can take your car along and it will take 15 minutes to cross. For enquiries or to make a booking: tel. +353 7495 20532 or Fax: +353 7495 20750
    Re: Irish traditional music visit Leo's Tavern, it is in Meenaleck, Crolly. It is the home of Enya and Clannad. They serve food and there is traditional music every night.
    I am currently working on my Donegal Page, visit in about 2 weeks. Today I am going to write a page on Arranmore Island.

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