County Donegal is one of the most unique and fascinating parts of Ireland. The region is a hotbed of Irish culture, history, and rugged, breathtaking beauty. If you have it in mind to take a vacation to Donegal in 2019, these are the top five activities you can do while you’re there:
Doagh Famine Village
In the 1840s, the entire country of Ireland suffered its worst famine in history. Thousands of Irish people starved to death while many more were forced to feel to a better life in the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. This tumultuous period in the country’ history is put on display in Doagh Famine Village. Tour guides show how families in Ireland have lived and survived from the 1840s until the present day. You’ll be impressed by the lifelike exhibits of the everyday lives of people, their work and their families. There are attractions such as the Eviction scene (which shows Irish peasants being forced off their land), Orange Hall and the Republican Safe House.
Local Hands Gallery and Gift Shop
If you truly want to experience some of the local artisan cultures, there’s simply no better way to do some than by taking a trip to Local Hands Gallery and Gift Shop. You can view (and purchase) work by famous local artists Barry Sweeney, Rory Gallagher, and many others. Should you be after an unusual gift, there’s plenty to choose from in here.
Many visitors have stated how impressed they are with the drive up to this rugged coastline. Hike through the nearby forests and see majestic mountain lakes and cool waterfalls. Perhaps you’d be interested in relaxing or swimming in the refreshing waters of one of the nearby attractive beaches, which are renowned for having some of the largest sand dunes in Europe. There is an abundance of history to see in this part of Donegal. If you’re an avid golfer, hit the links at Inishowen. On a clear day, you can see Scotland from here.
Beltany Stone Circle
It’s a well-known fact that Ireland is steeped in ancient history. Beltany Stone Circle dates back to 2100-700 BC. This gathering of Neolithic monuments resembles Stonehenge in some respects and is a true hidden gem. The site is well-marked and there is an amazing tree tunnel you can walk through to reach the site. Keep your eyes open for the mystical ‘Fairy Tree’ that is close to the fields. If you’re looking for a very secluded space to get away from the crowded tourist sites, Beltany Stone Circle is your best bet.
Glenveagh National Park
Glenveagh National Park is where some of the last vestiges of true Irish wilderness and ancient history collide into an area that is Heaven on Earth. Walk through remote mountain forests and view wildlife such as foxes, elk, and deer. Glenveagh Castle was built in 1859 by John George Adair, a wealthy land speculator. During the warm months, the castle gardens are blooming with colorful flowers. There are also fishing, cycling opportunities and an educational center in the park.
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