Posted by: daisycottage | August 5, 2009


Killybegs ~ population 3000 approx.

Killybegs in Gaelic (Irish) is ‘Na Cealla Beaga’, meaning ‘small cells’ which refers to the small cells built by monks who onced lived in the area.

Because Killybegs is a fishing port, freshly caught fish can be bought most days from a man on the pier.  You never know what fish will be available each day but it is fun deciding which you will try.  There is usually more common fish like mackerel, haddock, etc., and maybe ling or pollock, and usually squid too.  Occasionally there can be much more unusual fish.  There is also a fruit and vegetable stall just over from the pier where lovely fresh veg can be bought to accompany the fish you have bought.  The stall also sells fresh eggs, jams & preserves.





This family-friendly interactive bridge and exibitions are ideal for younger visitors and all visitors. Explore maritime skills and technologies past and present, from learning about the fishing history to steering a ship into port.”


Situated within what was once the famous Killybegs Carpet Factory, the Heritage Centre is home to the largest hand-knotted loom in the world. Visitors will see live demonstrations of weaving of the hand-knotted carpets, a chance to meet and talk with one of the few hand-weavers remaining in this part of the country, and enjoy a step-by-step account of how each carpet is individually designed and produced. Visitors are taught the unique craft of hand-knotting, and have the opportunity to try their skills at one of the hand-looms on display in the Factory.  Enjoy a fascinating insight into the history of one of the largest fishing fleets in Ireland, and take a journey into the past via audio visual and listen to the experiences of some of the Killybegs fishermen who give their own personal account of life in bygone days. Visitors will also have the opportunity to enjoy a hands-on audio visual display in a fishing trawler wheelhouse, allowing them to step into the fishermans shoes and imagine the wonderment of the ocean and the skills needed to live alongside nature in its true sense.”


St. Catherine of Alexandria is the patron saint of Killybegs and it is said that a group of monks were sailing along the west coast of Ireland when they hit a storm.  Thinking they would never reach land, they prayed to St. Catherine to save them and made a promise to her that should she save their lives, they would build a Well in her honour.  The monks did make it to dry land ~ Killybegs and kept their promise to St. Catherine and built the Well in her honour.  Above the Well you can see the ruins of Kit’s Castle which was the home of Bishop McMonagle who built the castle around 1355 and was the Bishop of Raphoe at that time.  Looking up and to the right of the Well you can see the remains of St. Catherine’s Church which was built circa.1620 but it is believed a much older church stood on this site.  There is also an old graveyard at the church and a number of victims of WWII are buried there though in recent years many have been exhubed for reburial in the land of their birth.  The graveyard is no longer in use, the last local having been buried there in 1902.

To get there drive through Killybegs along the seafront until you reach a small roundabout.  Drive through the roundabout and to your right you will see a carpark and the Well above it.  The path to the Well is wheelchair accessible but the rise up is quite steep.


The stones for building this church were taken from the ruins of MacSwynes Castle at St. John’s Point a few miles away.  Building commenced in 1842 and completed and first used on Christmas day 1843.  The dedication of the church was delayed due to the Great Famine after which it was dedicated to Dr. Cullen the then Archbishop of Dublin.  Just inside the gates of the church there is a sandstone Slab Stone which is said to have covered the grave of Niall Mor McSwyne (MacSuibhne), who a grandson of the first Chief of Bannagh (south west Donegal).  The Slab Stone was taken to it’s present location from the ruined Franciscan Friary at Ballysaggart, St. John’s Point in 1868 by the Parish Priest of Killybegs & Killaghtee, Monsignor James Stephens.  The McSwynes were a warlike Clan who came to Ireland from Scotland as gallowglasses (mercenary soldiers).  They built a castle in Killybegs at ‘Castle Point’ where now stands Mooney Boats boatyard.  Niall Mor McSwyne had a castle at St. John’s Point and remains of this castle, consisting of the south wall only, can still be seen there.


 KILLYBEGS SET DANCING WEEKEND 6th ~ 9th Ocotober 2009

Distance from Daisy Cottage 6 miles/9 km CLICK HERE FOR MAP  (Type in From: Dunkineely, Donegal To: Killybegs, Donegal).


Distance from Daisy Cottage 5 miles/7 km For CLICK HERE (Type in From Dunkineely, Donegal To: Killybegs Harbour, Donegal)

Posted by: daisycottage | July 22, 2009



Bundoran Main Street

Bundoran Main Street

Bundoran ~ Population approx. 2000

Bundoran is a very busy seaside town in south Donegal and attracts many tourists each year both to stay and as day trippers.  There is plenty for the day tripper to do including amusement arcades, ten pin bowling, surfing, pubs, eateries, and so on.  For those who like walking, the walk along the sea edge called Roughey Walk is worth doing.  The path is concreted and there are seats to rest on along the way.  You can walk from the lower end at the Tourist Office to the height overlooking Tullan Strand.



Donegal Adventure Centre is Irelands best surf school & outdoor activity destination.  They provide surfing lessons, adult surf weekends, Multi-activity weekends, Teen surf / Activity camps, School and youth group, trips, surfboard hire and instructor training courses and Corporate team building.  The Family that plays together, stays together! DAC offers many options for families who want to enjoy an activity break together, or who are looking for different things to do on holidays to keep all ages happy!  Family groups can book an activity session, day or weekend. Indoor Climbing Wall, Low Ropes Course, Archery Session, Nightline + Indoor Climbing Wall, Body boarding, Surfing, Raft Building, Kayak Lesson, Learn to Skateboard, Climb and Abseil Tower, Trapeze Swing and Balance Pole,  Canoe/Orienteering.”

ADVENTURE PARK 071 9829963 

Whatever your idea of a good time is, Bundoran Adventure Park has it all for you, Seven to Seventy, Tots to Teens, families, groups and parties can all have a fantastic day out at the North Wests best holiday destination.  Along with our brilliant new rides and our new Adventure golf course, this year the exciting sport of go-karting comes to the park.  We have fun and safe activities for the youngest in family, rides all the gang can enjoy together and Adrenaline filled thrills for the daredevils among you! Have a look through the page to see the selection of rides activities & thrills we have in store for you.  From Trampolines to donkey rides, cars to carousels, bouncy castles and slides weve got everything you need to make the smaller people in your life have a fantastic day in Bundoran.”

CINEPLEX 071-9829999

The Bundoran Cineplex has six screens, all fully air conditioned and with wheel chair access.  We have parking available to all of our customers.”

DIZZY DENS 071-9833668

Dizzys Den currently has a large climbing frame where children from as young as four can let their imagination take hold from being a pirate finding buried treasure to being the monkey in a jungle. To top it off, there is a huge slide to bring you all the way back down, where the adventure starts all over again.  For the younger ones, we have a smaller area, where they too can climb and slide and play in a pool full of balls.  All play areas are equipped to the highest standards of safety and have been approved by ROSPA (The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents).”


DAC Surf School 071-98 42418

Bundoran Surf 

GLOBOWL 071 9841919

The futuristic Glowbowl houses 8 lanes of fully computerised Tenpin Bowling and the fantastic Amusements Complex has something for all the family. We have all the latest Driving Games, Dance Machines, Video Games, Pool Tables, Air Hockey Tables and a fantastic Video Jukebox with 8 TV Screens! We also have a special Kiddies Corner, full of interactive rides.”

WATERWORLD 071-9841172

An award winning Aqua Adventure Playground for children of all ages. Facilities include two leisure pools, a wave pool with five wave patterns and rapids, plus a slide pool with the Tornado Flume and the super fast Whizzer Slide. Other facilities: Sauna and steam room for adults.  All children under 8 years of age must be accompanied, in the water, by an adult (ratio: 1 adult to 2 children). All non-swimmers and weak swimmers must wear buoyancy aids – available from Reception or Shop.  The Aqua Mara sea baths and health suite are next to Waterworld on the Bundoran Seafront. Facilities include: Bathing Rooms. Steam Cabinets, Sea Baths, Sea Water Drench Shower Treatment Rooms, Rougey Walker Room, Sunbed Relaxarium, Juice Bar, Relaxation Bar.”


Distance from Daisy Cottage 30 miles/48 km CLICK HERE FOR MAP  (Type in From: Dunkineely, Donegal To: Rossnowlagh, Donegal).

Posted by: daisycottage | July 20, 2009



Donegal Town from Pier

Donegal Town from Pier

 DONEGAL TOWN ~ Population approx. 2,500

Donegal Town is a busy shopping and tourist town 11 miles/17 km from Daisy Cottage.  Along with many shops, cafes, bars and restaurants there are a number of place to visit and I have listed these below.  The town’s name in Gaelic (Irish) is Dun na nGall which means ‘Fort of the Foreigners’ referring to the invasion of Donegal by the Vikings in the 8th century.  Theybuilt a garrison which is thought to have been in the grounds on which O’Donnell’s Castle (Donegal Castle) now stands.  Indeed a few years back remains were found in the grounds of the Castle which were thought to be of Vikings.


Famine Graveyard

Famine Graveyard

On the Ballybofey road out of Donegal Town, just near the edge of the town and down to the left there is a Famine Graveyard where vicitims of the last famine (1845-49) are buried.  There is a signpost on the road pointing to the graveyard.


The Diamond is the central pedestrianised plaza in the town.  It was designed by Captain Basil Brook who also built the Jacobean style extension at O’Donnells Castle (Donegal Castle) when he was given the Castle by the English Crown during the Plantation of Ulster and for his part in the Nine Years War.  He was also given Lough Eske Castle which is now an hotel, Solis Lough Eske. 

The Obelisk

The Obelisk

The Obelisk which is to be found in The Diamond (central plaza in the town) commemorates four monks called the Four Masters who compiled and wrote the Annals of the Four Masters between 1632 and 1636.  The Annals of the Four Masters covers Irish history from 2242 BC to 1616 AD and remains one of the most important historical writings in Ireland.  The chief author was Micheal O’Cleirigh who was assisted by Peregrine O’Clery, Fergus O’Mulconry and Peregrine O’Duignan whose names are carved into the lower part of the Obelisk.  Micheal O’Cleirigh would travel around Ireland during the summer months gathering information both historical and mythological, and return to the Friary in Donegal Town at the end of summer where the winter months would be spent correlating and writing up the information gathered.  Manuscripts of the works can be seen in Trinity College, Dublin and Univeristy College Dublin as well as the Royal Irish Accademy.  A copy of part of the Annals can be viewed in the museum at the Franciscan Friary, Rossnowlagh.


O'Donnells Castle (Donegal Castle)

O'Donnells Castle (Donegal Castle)

The castle was built by Red Hugh O’Donnell in 1474 .  Red Hugh was  “Principal of the great royal family, who ruled the Kingdom of Tir Conaill (Donegal) from 1200 until 1601.  It was built on a bend on the Eske for defensive reasons, the river protecting it on two sides.”     



From their site: “A developing museum and heritage centre concentrating on the CDR (County Donegal Restoration) and, as it grows, bringing in the Lough Swilly and GNR(I) lines in Donegal. The headquarters for the society’s project to restore a section of original CDR track and operate original vintage stock. Rolling stock on site undergoing restoration: Class 5 loco Drumboe; Brake/3rd no 28; Trailer no. 5. Not on site and unavailable for viewing: Railcar no. 15.”


From their site: “From the helm, Skipper Billy Bustard gives a lively commentary on the sights of special interest, freely illustrated with his own humorous asides and anecdotes. His witty observations bring to life events which shaped our country’s destiny. The waterbus passes the battle-scarred ruins of the Abbey – once the home of the legendary chieftain Red Hugh O’Donnell, and his saintly wife Nuala –  where the first history of Ireland was penned by the scholars called the Four Masters. St Ernan’s island is linked to the mainland by a causeway, built as a thank-you from his tenants to a benevolent landlord who saved many from starvation.” 


Franciscan Friary

Franciscan Friary

These can be found at the end of the pier and it is here that the Annuls of the Four Masters was written.  “The Franciscan Friary of Donegal founded 1474 and richly endowed by the Lady Nuala O’Connor and the Lady Nuala O’Brien, wives of successive O’Donnell Chieftans.  The Friary followed the usual Franciscan layout of church on the south side, with it’s cloisters and conventual builds to the north.  It’s present ruinous state dates from 1601 when it was turned into a fortress by Niall Garbh O’Donnell when his English allies and besieged by Red Hugh (statue of Red Hugh on Pier).  Donegal Friary and it’s possession were confiscated in 1607 following the Flight of the Earls.”


Walk to Boyce’s Bridge (on the Killybegs road) just out of the centre (The Diamond) in Donegal Town and to your left you will find the Bank Walk.  It is a path of about 2.5 km along the west bank of the River Eske leading to Donegal Bay.  Take some bread to feed the ducks!

DONEGAL GOLF CLUB ~ Murvagh 074-9734054

The golf club is situated 7 miles/11 km outside Donegal Town off the main Donegal Town to Ballyshannon road (N15). “This outstanding links golf course offers a genuine challenge to the accomplished golfer and is an all round “true” test of golf. Being one of the longest golf courses in Ireland and Europe, it is ideally suited to big hitters of the ball. The reputation of Donegal Golf Club at Murvagh, designed by the legendary course architect Eddie Hackett, has been further enhanced by the new designs of Pat Ruddy.   Continually featured in Golf Worlds Top 100 Courses in Ireland & Great Britain, this is a real challenge not to be missed. Darren Clarke, one of the heroes of the resent Ryder Cup held at the K Club, has described Donegal Golf Club as “one of my favourite courses in the World”.” 

DONEGAL CRAFT VILLAGE 074 9722225 “Donegal Craft Village is a showcase for contemporary arts and crafts in Ireland. Stop off and indulge in the award winning restaurant renowned for its freshly ground coffee, delicious home made cakes and gourmet lunches. The beautifully landscaped grounds include a picnic area, a charming courtyard, and spacious, free, car & coach parking.”

DONEGAL ART GALLERY 074-9725887  “The Donegal Art Gallery is located on Upper Main Street, Donegal Town, and is open Monday to Saturday, from 9am to 6pm.  Exhibitions change each fortnight, commencing on Fridays from 7pm onwards from March to December displaying paintings, ceramics, bogwood sculptures, tapestry, sculptures, glassware, photography and wall hangings, as well as paintings.  The Gallery is opened all year. All exhibitions feature either local artists or local scenes of County Donegal.”


Distance from Daisy Cottage 11 miles/17 km CLICK HERE FOR MAP  (Type in From: Dunkineely, Donegal To: Donegal Town, Donegal).

Posted by: daisycottage | July 19, 2009


Donegal has around 780 miles/1235 km of coastline on to the Atlantic Ocean and as a result, a long history of fishing.  The shores of Donegal as well as being on the Atlantic benefit from the warmth of the Gulf Stream sweeping past and that brings a great variety of fish.  For the visitor to Donegal there are now many people offering charter boat trips around our coast whether for fishing, diving, or simply sightseeing.  A day out on a boat is a great experience even for the non-fisher folk.  The taste of the salty air and the fabulous scenery is memorable and really worth the time and money.  I have been on one such fishing trip and even as a total novice to fishing, managed to land many fish including mackerel, ling, pollock and even red gurnet.  Give it a go ~ you’ll love it.

Teelin Pier

Teelin Pier

 Here’s a list of some of the charter boats in Donegal:


Welcome to An Duanai Mara Charters.  We offer Deep Sea Fishing, Shark Angling, and Sightseeing trips in Donegal Bay, along one of the most picturesque stretches of coastline in Ireland.”


Fishing out of Downings means the choice of shallow reefs for light tackle spinning for Pollock, deep water bottom bouncing for numerous species, sandy bottoms for “flatties”, 109 Wrecks for Pollock, Ling and Conger. Some of these Wrecks are “virgins” that haven’t been fished on at all. Deep water reefs for Conger Eels, rocky bottom for massive Common Skate etc. Also shark and blue fin tuna later in the season.”

 BUNDORAN STAR 087-4198323

Bundoran Star is available for charter from April to November for half day or day long trips, usually 09.30 a.m. to 17.00 p.m. Rod and Reel hire available. Shorter evening mackerel fishing trips are available as well.  We cater for all sorts of groups: from Individual anglers to fishing clubs to corporate groups. We invite you to further explore the activities we are offering. It may be for one day or we can arrange a complete package for you comprising of transport, boat and accommodation. Tell us what you would like and we will do our best to organise it.”

 THE CRICKET 074-9135062 or 086 8331924 email:
Reef, wreck, shark, tuna and general inshore fishing.”

CELTIC DAWN 087 2727538
Skipper Rodney Lomax has many years experience fishing the waters of Donegal Bay. The Celtic Dawn was custom built for Charter Angling, and was the first boat to be granted a passenger and angling license by the Department of the Marine. Her license number is 001. Celtic Dawn is available for general fishing, e.g. cod, pollack,ling, wrasse, pouting, etc. from April to the end of October, and for game fishing, mostly blue shark, from August to the end of October.”

Whether you’re a novice fisherman, an experienced angler, or an enthusiastic sightseer, you can experience the thrills of deeps sea fishing in the Atlantic.  West Donegal Sea-Angling Charters offers you the chance to sail and fish off Donegal, on Europe’s most scenic and rugged coastline.  It’s a region full of history with many islands and a strong marine tradition.”


Donegal Bay is the ideal sea-angling venue; from our base Donegal Town we have easy access to the entire bay which is one of the most diverse fishing grounds in Ireland. On our doorstep are famous tope marks where we can fish skate, ray, tope as well as flatties and even monk.  This area is full of estuarine channels with a sandy muddy bottom and deep scoured holes, the bottom dwelling fish congregate in these holes waiting for lunch to come to them on the tide. We sit uptide on a heavy sand anchor with a rubby dubby bag on the anchor chain and set ground baits. While we are waiting it is the norm to fish light tackle for flatties.  A little further west we fish reefs where there are nice ledges and drop offs. Sometimes we drift the reefs and at other times we fish on the anchor at the reef edge or on sandy bottom areas between the reefs or patches of hard ground. Here we target john dory, wrasse, pollock, cod, gurnard, pouting, ling, conger, bream, coalies, garfish etc. We have even caught squid and two different types of octopus on these marks. We fish shark from June to October, the area is very good for big blue shark who cruise the north east atlantic all year and move inshore this time of year. Porbegle, mako, thresher and six-gilled shark are also known in the area.  Recently we have equipped the charter boat with trolling gear and will be targeting albacore when they next show up off our coast. The giant bluefin tuna is of course hot on our list of priorities and to this end we are fully equipped and ready to go. I have been picking Adrian Molloy and Michael Callaghan’s brain in this regard and am confident we will put one on the boat if they play ball this year.  Doorin and St John’s point shelter the inner bay from the north and west and abound in good hard ground fishing and spectacular dive sites. The harbours at Mountcharles, Inver, Killybegs and Teelin are an easy steam and provide ideal pick up points for fishermen and divers staying in the surrounding areas.  Murvah, Rossnowlagh, Creevy, Ballyshannon, Bundoran, Tullaghan and Mullachmore are to the south of the bay and these areas provide great surf fishing.  We can bring the boat right inshore and fish the surf on a heavy sand anchor. The species of note here is bass but the prospect of fishing mackerel on fly-fishing gear is also very exciting.  We also pick up in Creevy, Bundoran and Mullachmore if that is more convenient.”


There are a wide variety of bottom fishing to be found within one hour steaming from Downings pier. The reefs around Tory Island are renowned for large pollock, coalfish, and conger eel.  Mulroy Bay, which can be fished in stormy weather, has an abundance of ray, large plaice, dabs, turbot, and dogfish. Our record number of turbot caught in one day stands at 30.  Shark fishing from July until September. Our record Blue shark stands at an impressive 168lbs. A good variety of bottom fish can also be caught while fishing shark.  There are a large number of ship wrecks off the Donegal coast. Between Arranmore Island and west of Portrush 50 degrees north there lies a total of 138 recorded wrecks, of which 38 are U boats. The Skipper Sammie Scott’s expertise at wreck fishing is well known. The most common variety caught while wreck fishing are ling, pollock, coalfish and torsk. Most of our fishing is done on the drift, bigger fish can be caught on anchor.”

HUNTRESS BLUE  074-9731401 or 087 2871423 email:
General, Shark and reef fishing.”

INISHFREE CHARTERS 074-955133 or 086-2209508

Inishfree Charters provide services to the commercial and recreational marine sectors in the area aound Burtonport and Northwest Donegal.  We provide promotion, development and support for rectional diving. Training and diving experience are offered as are equipment sales and service.  Ferry services are provided to the small islands and tours are available for the those who want to explore unspoiled atlantic shores.  For commercial users contract services are provided for access to the islands, diving services and submarine survey and maintenance.  In all our activies safety, professionalism and service are our guiding principles.”


Killybegs Angling Charters is based at the Blackrock Pier in Killybegs, Co. Donegal, Ireland.  The MV Meridian is a 40′ Louchin purpose built for Sea Angling in 2000.  Brian McGilloway owner and operator of Killybegs Angling Charters has over 30 years experience in charter angling and is chairman of the Killybegs Sea Angling club.  The boat leaves daily for full or half day angling charters, sight seeing trips of the Bay or longer trips to the majestic cliffs of Sliabh League.  We offer angling charters for Cod, Pollack, Ling, Conger, Brill, Turbot, Blue Sharks and now even Bluefin Tuna – the first Bluefin Tuna ever taken on road and line in Irish waters was caught aboard the MV Suzanne (Brian’s former boat) by Alan Glanville.  The MV Meridian is fully equipped with the latest navigational, fish finding and safety equipment.  Tea and coffee served aboard, rod and fishing tackle hire available.”

NUALA STAR 074-9739365 or 087-6284688

The Nuala Star is a 36 – foot fiberglass Ocean tramp purpose built sea angling boat with a 300hp engine and a top speed of 18 knots.  Onboatd we have all the up to date safety, navigation, fish finding equipment and an experienced skipper to bring you to where the fish are anywhere in Donegal Bay and beyond.  The boat is licenced and insured for up to 12 anglers.  For larger groups we can arrange hire of other licenced boats in the area.  The skipper Paddy has over 20 years experience in both commercial fishing and leisure angling and has all the necessary qualifications and training to make your trip a safe and memorable one.  Paddy is a member of the North West Charter Skippers Association (N.W.C.S.A.) who have 14 members in Sligo and Donegal and who work together to promote angling in the north west of ireland.”

PINALIA 074-9731569 or + 086 8600736 email:

Reef, shark and general inshore fishing.”

RATHMULLAN CHARTERS 074-9158129 or 0870507464

Lough Swilly is a sheltered sea lough stretching from its mouth at Fanad Head, inland some 20 miles to Letterkenny.  A British naval base during both world wars, Lough Swilly has a long and interesting history.  It is in this magnificent setting that we provide a variety of lough tours from sightseeing and historical tours to bird and seal watching and relaxing evening cruises.  You will visit the site of “The Flight of the Earls”, Dunree, Fanad head lighthouse, Knockalla caves and Macamish fort and enjoy the spectacular scenery that is Lough Swilly.  We also offer day trips to Tory Island, a unique offshore island with some rare bird life and great views of the mainland.  We want your trip to be a memorable one and we will be happy to cater for your particular requirements.”

ROSGUILL 074-9155080

Rosguill is a “State of the art” charter vessel equipped with twin 310 HP Caterpillar Diesel engines and all the best in electronic equipment.  Designed for the total comfort of her passengers, the RosGuill has: Fully functional galley, Bench seats for 6 at a large table, Extra large windows giving a feeling of airiness & spaciousness, Roomy toilet with hand washing facilities, 2 bunks, Sheltered seating for 5 + behind wheelhouse, Huge deck area, Fully insured, 30 Mile Government License.”

SAOIRE MARA 087-9870266

Onboard there are toilet & cooking facilities with tea/coffee & light refreshments provided free of charge and our Radio/CD/MP3 player allows you to listen to your favourite music and provides a guided talk on our sightseeing cruises. The boat is also equipped with a dive platform & ladder allowing easy access for divers. Her wide beam makes her a very stable boat and provides ample deck space like such on a bigger vessel. Under foot the Tek Deck provides a comfortable non-slip platform.”

SMITHY’S MINI CHARTERS 074 9739889 and 087-2759731

Smithy’s Mini Charter service is specifically designed to cater for small angling parties of up to 5 anglers, and those who are unable to get 10 anglers to club together for the expensive larger charter boats.  If you are a small group and do not want to be cramped up in a big boat with tangled lines every 5 minutes, this could be for you.”

MORE READING North West Charter Skippers Association

Posted by: daisycottage | July 16, 2009



Silver Strand

Silver Strand

A great new initiative just kicking off in Killybegs.  Bus tours are being run 5 days a week taking in the coast road from Killybegs, stopping off a scenic points along the way to allow photographs.  The tour travels to Muckross, Silver Strand, Carrick etc. and stops at the Glencolmcille Folk Village for break and then up Sliabh Liag.

The tour takes around 4 and a half hours so is not too arduous, starting from Killybegs at 11am and back around 3.30pm.  The start time ties in with the bus from Donegal Town to Killybegs, arriving in Killybegs around 10.15 am allowing time to buy the tour tickets.  The fare is €20 per adult and reduced fee for children.  Enquiries to the Tourist Office on the Shore Road, Killybegs 074-9732346

The bus is wheelchair accessible.

Well done the people involved in organising this tour.






Posted by: daisycottage | July 16, 2009


A Blue Grass Festival is on in Ardara this weekend 17th – 19th July

Ardara Bluegrass Festival  
 Appearing: Bluegrass Patriots (Colorado, USA), Gary Ferguson (Philadelphia, USA),  Janet Holmes (Belfast), Colin Henry (Belfast),  Woodbine(Athy).  More Artists to be Announced


The Mary from Dungloe Festival starts next weekend 25th July and runs to 3rd August

Music from Classic Beatles to traditional, the best of American and Irish Female Country singers, top Irish Country Music Artists, the Miami Showband, The Fureys with Davey Arthur and our headliner for the ’09 Festival, The Saw Doctors. Once again we pride ourselves on our “La Gaelach” (Fri 31st July) with the Main Street taken over for a mini Fleadh where Irish dancing, Ceilí dancing and traditional music and culture continues from 11am – midnight.

We welcome all our Mary’s to the 2009 Festival and hope each Mary will take home fond memories and new friends from Dungloe. May I extend a very special welcome to Una Rooney (Armagh) our 2008 Mary from Dungloe who will be our ambassador during the 10 day festival.”



On Saturday the 25th of July a cruise ship will dock in Killybegs and there will be live music in the Harbour Bar near the pier all day.  There will also be a Crafts Fair in the Bay View Hotel which faces the pier.

More cruise ship arrivals:M/S Saga Rose – 25th July

M/S Minerva – 29th July

M/S Marco Polo – 31st July

M/S Saga Ruby & Black Watch -17th Aug

M/S Spirit of Adventure – 19th Aug

M/S Alexander Von Humboldt ll – 3rd Sept

M/S Saga Rose – 13th Sept

M/S Marco Polo – 28th Sept




Posted by: daisycottage | July 15, 2009



Rossnowlagh Beach

Rossnowlagh Beach

Rossnowlagh, Ros Neamhlach in Irish, means ‘Heavenly Cove’ and it certainly is that.  The beach at Rossnowlagh is one of the largest in Donegal and indeed Ireland and is roughly 2.5 miles/4 km long.  Rossnowlagh is an EU Blue Flag beach which means that “… it has a high standard in Water Quality, Environmental Management, Environmental Education and Information, Safety and Services.”
Windsufing at Rossnowlagh

Windsufing at Rossnowlagh

The surfing at Rossnowlagh is some of the best in Ireland and wast the first place in Ireland to be surfed.  The Rossnowlagh Surf Club hold regular competitions here.  In winter waves have been recorded here up to 20′.
Franciscan Friary Grounds

Franciscan Friary Grounds

Nearby you can visit the Franciscan Friary which is open to the public.  It is a place of ‘quiet contemplation’ and is set in lovely grounds where the visitor can walk around enjoying the peace and beauty. 
The museum inside the main building is run on a voluntary basis by The Donegal Historical Society  In the museum there are many artefacts of interest including Stone and Bronze Age findings in the area, coins, documents, photos and uniforms from the War of Independence, and an anchor from one of the ships of the Spanish Armada which was recovered off Burtonport.  There are aslo 2 Famine Pots in which ceral would have been made to feed the starving during the Famine of 1845-49. 
Famine Pot

Famine Pot

For those with an interest in musical instruments there is a very rare set of Uilleann Pipes which were once owned and played by Turlough MacSuibhne, The ‘Piobair Mor’ (the big piper).  These pipes date from the 19th century and are thought to be one of only possibly 3 remaining in the world.  In the museum you can also see a copy of parts of the Annals of the Four Masters.
SMUGGLERS CREEKNestling on cliffs overlooking the beautiful Rosnowlagh Beach, with a seafaring theme, stone walls, timber floors and beams it has a rustic old world charm. The inn has won many awards for it’s food, drink and Craic.”
SANDHOUSE HOTEL It was at this hotel that Mia Farrow and Woody Allen enjoyed holidays when they were a couple.
Or why not take a picnic and enjoy a day on the fabulous beach!

Distance from Daisy Cottage 22 miles/36 km 

CLICK HERE FOR MAP  (Type in From: Dunkineely, Donegal To: Rossnowlagh, Donegal).

Posted by: daisycottage | June 17, 2009


I think if I were renting a holiday home I would like to know the sizes of each room.  As we all know, photographs can be adapted to make a room look an awful lot bigger than it is whereas hard and fast measurements tell the true story.  And because of this I want to add the dimensions of each room to my Daisy Cottage blog here.

Here we go:



LIVING ROOM ~ 12’11 x 13’7″
Open fire, flat screen tv with free view, cd/dvd player.

KITCHEN/DINER ~ 19’19” x 12’10”
Table (10′ long), 12 chairs, electric hob & oven, microwave, side by side fridge freezer, dishwasher, coffee machine, fruit/veg juicer, pop corn maker, 4 slice toaster, electric kettle, radio.

Washing machine, tumble dryer, iron, ironing board.

BEDROOM & EN SUITE ~ 12′ x 10′ & 7’10 x 6’6″
Double bed, wardrobe, chest of drawers, 2 bedside cabinets, lamps. En suite has disabled loo, whb, and shower.


BEDROOM 1 ~ 13’3″ x 9′
2 single beds, bedside cabinet, wardrobe, lamp.

BEDROOM 2 & EN SUITE ~ 12’11” x 10’2″ & 6’5 x 6’2″
Queen/king size bed, 2 bedside cabinets, chest of drawers, dressing table, lamps. En suite has shower, wc & whb.

BEDROOM 3 & EN SUITE ~ 12’3″ x 11′ & 6’5″ x 5′
Double bed, 2 bedside cabinets, wardrobe, chest of drawers, lamps. En suite has shower, wc & whb.

BEDROOM 4 ~ 14’4″ x 8’5″
2 single beds, wardrobe, bedside table, lamp.

BATHROOM ~ 7’5″ x 5’5″
Bath, wc & whb.


Pool/air hockey table, dart board, football table.

2 large bench tables – each seats 6.
BBQ beside.

Grass, trees, etc.

Posted by: daisycottage | June 16, 2009


Kitty Kellys

Kitty Kellys

Kitty Kellys is a lovely little restaurant in an old country cottage just outside the fishing port of Killybegs.

My husband and I ate there a few weeks ago when we were staying over in Daisy Cottage.  We had long wanted to go there having heard great reports of the place but somehow had never got around to it.  So following a glorious sunny day spent photographing around The Silver Strand, Malinbeg, Muckross and so on we decided to stop off at Kitty Kellys on the way back to Daisy Cottage.

Outside, sunning himself was the person whom we later found out was our host for the evening.  Unfortunately we were too early for food ~ service starts at 6pm!  Oh, the disappointment.  But after having a look at the menu and assured by our host that I could indeed have scallops that night, we decided to return later that evening. 

The Interior

The Interior

And am I glad we did!  The place is just gorgeous.  Low ceilings, little nooks and crannies all over place, tables set up in these areas so whilst the place is very busy it doesn’t seem that way.  And the ambience.  Wonderful.  The host it transpired is Mr. Showbiz himself, Noel Cunningham, a native of the area, who covers the showbiz gossip on one of our national tv morning shows amongst other things.  What a charmer he is ~ he had his female guests positively purring around him!  His team of staff were equally charming and made us feel comfortable and welcome immediately.

The Reception Area

The Reception Area

Anyway, the food.  The 3 course dinner is €40 per person (there is another option of a main course and a coffee for €25).  I like meals being given a set price, that way you know exactly what your spend will be … well, unless, ahem, you go a bit mad with the wine and brandies.  But we’ll draw a veil over that.

Our Starters

Our Starters

For my meal I started with the promised scallops which were delicious and served coquielles st. jacques style and accompanied with a nicely dressed salad.  For my main course I chose the fish of the day, John Dory which was served with a light lemon butter sauce and was perfect.  Himself started with the very tasty seafood chowder served with brown bread, and followed this with a trio of seafood which included halibut, monkfish, and cod – all of which he enjoyed and I’m happy to report that unlike some places, the monkfish here was cooked perfectly.  Included in the price were side orders of baby potatoes, garlic potatoes, and mixed veg. 

Our Main Courses

Our Main Courses

After all that I didn’t bother with dessert but himself had the “Crêpe Kitty Kelly ~ crepe with de luxe vanilla ice cream, served with maple syrup.”  And he managed to polish all that off too!  We had some really good coffees (and brandies) to finish.  The wine list is very fairly priced and has a decent selection.

Had we not been so full of all that delicious food and less lazy we could have walked along the road a little to the view point there where we could have watched the sun go down over the fabulous views back to St. John’s Point.  We’ll save that for another time because we certainly will be back in Kitty Kellys.

If you would like to check out Kitty Kellys, you can connect to their website by clicking on any of the photographs on this thread.

Posted by: daisycottage | June 15, 2009


 Beaches of Donegal

Coral Beach, St. John's Point

Coral Beach, St. John's Point

Donegal is renowned for having some of the most beautiful beaches in Ireland.  The beaches of Donegal are nearly all sandy and with a coastline of over 1,200 km/800 miles, the longest in Ireland, there are many beaches to explore ~ from vast expanses of beach to tiny little coves.   This year, 2009, Donegal was awarded Blue Flags for 12 of our beaches ~ the joint 2nd with Kerry (the most awards went to County Mayo with just one more beach awarded a Blue Flag.  About Blue Flag Beaches from the Donegal County Council site: 

A Blue Flag at a beach indicates that it has a high standard in:

Water Quality, Environmental Management, Environmental Education and Information, & Safety and Services

During the Blue Flag season the water samples must be tested at least fortnightly and analysed for fecal and total coliform and fecal streptococci. It is important that adequate litter bins, toilet facilities and first aid are available. Environmental management states that the beach and its hinterland must comply with development plans and planning laws. There should be no industrial or sewage discharges into the water. The beach should be supplied with adequate safety equipment and lifeguards if deemed necessary.”

The word for beach in Irish is Tra so keep your eyes peeled as you drive along and you can discover many gems of beaches.  Some of the beaches near Daisy Cottage (with the distance to the beach from Daisy Cottage) include:

(Note you can click on some of these photos to bring you to my flickr site with further pictures of that area).


Coral Beach, St. John's Point

Coral Beach, St. John's Point

 The Coral Beach at St. John’s Point, just around the corner from Daisy Cottage and along the Point, is a lovely pink coloured beach with the ‘sand’ made up of the tiniest crumbs of shells.  It’s very pretty and from there you can take a walk to the end of St. John’s Point down as far as the lighthouse.  The diving at the lighthouse is said to be excellent and amongst the best in Europe, with crystal clear waters.  The promontory that is St. John’s Point, is at 9km/6 miles long one of the longest in Ireland.  At the tip, near the lighthouse, you have 360 degrees of stunning scenery including views across MacSwynes Bay and Donegal Bay and out to the Atlantic.

INVER BEACH ~ 5.5 km/3 miles

Inver Beach

Inver Beach

 Inver is a small, fairly private sandy beach in the tiny hamlet of Inver just off the main Dunkineely to Donegal Town road.  It is signposted to the right as you drive towards Donegal Town.  There is a little pier at Inver and another at nearby Port.


Mountcharles Beach

Mountcharles Beach

The beach and pier can be found by driving down the hill through the village of Mountcharles which is signposted as a right hand turn on the main road from Dunkineely to Donegal Town.  There is also a little pier at the beach with locally crafted stone seats to sit and enjoy the views.

 FINTRA BEACH ~ 14km/10 miles ~ Blue Flag Beach  

Fintra Beach

Fintra Beach

Fintra Beach is located a few miles outside Killybegs on the far side of the town.  There is a signposted turn to the left to take you down to the beach.  The road down is very steep and the view from the road to the beach is fabulous.

SILVER STRAND, MALINBEG ~ 40 km/25 miles

Silver Strand, Malinbeg

Silver Strand, Malinbeg

 A fabulous sandy beach set into a cove and very popular with visitors and locals alike.  The one thing though is that there are many steps down to, and back up of course, from the beach.

ROSSNOWLAGH ~ 35km/22 miles ~ Blue Flag Beach

Rossnowlagh Beach

Rossnowlagh Beach

 Rossnowlagh is a huge, wide sandy beach of at least 3 or 4 miles long.  It is famous for surfing and wind surfing and the European Surfing Championships have been held here a number of times.

It is signposted as a right turn on the main Donegal Town to Bundoran road.

NARIN/PORTNOO BEACH ~ 29km/18 miles ~ Blue Flag Beach

Narin Beach

Narin Beach

 Narin & Portnoo Beach is a huge expanse of sandy beach in the village of Portnoo.  Whilst there you can, when the tide allows, walk to the little island of Inishkeel ~ you must take local advice and do as instructed of course.  From Dunkineely you take the road to Ardara (the road is just across the street from Daisy Cottage).  Once in Ardara you take the signposted ‘Narin’ road to the left.

MURVAGH BEACH ~ 30 km/19 miles ~ Blue Flag Beach

Murvagh Beach

Murvagh Beach

 Murvagh Beach is on the far side of Donegal Town from Dunkineely off the main Donegal Town – Ballyshannon road.  Beside the beach there is a forest where there are picnic tables.

These are just some of the beaches of Donegal.  There are many more but I have just added beaches within an easy driving distance of Donegal.  I will add to this list over time.

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