Farewell to the Donegal den

Very comfortable window seat, with a view!
Farewell to the Donegal den
The cottage is the middle of the three buildings.
Horn Head is to the left.

For the past week we have stayed in a “charming and romantic cottage that has been tastefully restored and updated over the years as a comfortable and cosy home. The kitchen is a spacious, light-filled room, with an Aga, lots of natural wood, and a south-facing window seat, where you can sit and look out at the scenery, read, or relax in the sun”.

We were lucky with the sun in Donegal and that helped us see the county, especially its northern regions, at its best, but it was lashing rain when we left Baile an tSlÊibhe and drove down to Downies for the last time. Yet when we reached Donegal Town the sun was trying to break through and it was blue skies as we passed Bundoran.

The cottage is at the end of the road and not even a tarred road at that. It has great views out over Sheephaven Bay and Horn Head. Not easy to reach but the views coming down each sunny morning were stunning.

Then you had the birds coming to the feeders every day, all day: sparrows, robins, even the odd magpie, but most of all the greenfinches (never saw so many of them together). The cottage has a lot going for it, the helpful owner, the AGA, the box bed and the four poster and so on. The only thing that wasn’t great was the bathroom – very very small. A six foot 14 stoner would find it impossible methinks!

In fairness, the location is not really that remote. Downies, just a few minutes away, has two hotels and golf courses and more while there is a hotel and a cafe in nearby Carrigart.

Dining out in Donegal is excellent but, this time of the year, book ahead, as quite a few restaurants are open only at weekends. The likes of La Fantasia in Letterkenny, The Cove in Dunfanaghy and the Olde Glen in Glen would give the best Cork restaurants a run for their money. And the people are very friendly, much the same as ourselves, as one hotel receptionist in Downies said to us. You’ll be at home in the hills of Donegal. And in its glorious peninsulas. We certainly were and will be back.

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