This is a respectful renovation of the cottage that was home to a spirited spinster known as Lily. The result is a wonderfully atmospheric modern home that is the perfect romantic escape.
From here you can explore Donegal’s renowned Surf Coast, stunning strands and windswept cliffs on the Wild Atlantic Way’s land of legends.
Chalky tones and contempo tweeds
In a cottage of two halves, the main entrance is now via a roomy well-lit lobby around the side of the house, that links the old to the new – classy and uncluttered.
The original thatched roadside home remains the main living area with much of the traditional artisan feel of thick white plastered walls, petite windows, and a seductive stove at one end, all perfectly crafted.
AT A GLANCE
Sleeps Up to 4 guests
From €900 per week
Bedrooms One double & One twin bedroom
Family shower room
Other Rooms Open plan Sitting/Dining room
Features Rear patio with lawn
Contempo Flat screen TVs, WiFi internet
Good Cell phone reception
Availability Weekly: Saturday to Saturday
Weekends: Friday to Monday
Midweek: Monday to Friday
A formally furnished dining area completes the other end of this charming open space.
Through the original front porch, a time-honoured split stable door frames neighbouring dunes that announce the ocean beyond.
The balance of this historic part of the cottage, is now a cosy twin bedroom.
The cottage lies half way between Ballyshannon and the coastal resort of Bundoran at the foot of County Donegal, on a narrow strip of the republic separating Northern Ireland from the Atlantic.
The county, and Bundoran in particular is world- renowned for its golden surfing beaches, such as the Peak, Tullan Strand, Murvagh beach, and nearby Rossnowlagh, which is one of Europe's finest. The European Surfing Championships have been held here on three occasions. Donegal Bay’s funnel-like shape encourages huge Atlantic rollers, occasionally as high as 7 metres, putting the Wild into Wild Atlantic Way.
There has been an 18-hole golf course in Bundoran since 1894. Located on the historic Great Northern Railway Company site, old railway sleepers encompass the par 70 course which enjoys the most breathtaking and scenic views of the Atlantic Ocean.
The town has a number of popular cliff walks, and the one that borders the golf club passes unusual rock formations known locally as the Fairy Bridges.
During the Second World War this area experienced a lot of airborne activity as sanctioned flying boats from Lough Erne in the UK flew missions out over the short Republican corridor into the Atlantic. It was a Catalina from Lough Erne that spotted the notorious German battleship Bismarck out in the Atlantic – and this led had been in pursuit but had lost contact in heavy fog.
The word Éire remains crafted in white stones on headlands around Donegal, which acted as navigation aid for those flying above.
A magnet for salmon and trout anglers, there are several high quality fisheries in the region, with the first Irish salmon of the season frequently caught locally in the Drowes River on 1st January.
Ballyshannon is regarded by some as 'Ireland’s oldest town' and the museum has artefacts and memorabilia stretching back from the recent past to 10,000 BC.
Though reared in Cork, guitarist and singer Rory Gallagher was born here and the town centre contains a statue erected in his memory.
The stunning sea cliffs at Slieve League are worth a visit. At 600 metres high, they are nearly three times higher than the more famous Cliffs of Moher. A narrow twisting precipitous road about an hour West of Donegal town will take you to the best viewing point at Bunglass.
photo Giuseppe Milo
Donegal town, about 25 minutes away by car, home to the recently restored Donegal Castle, built by Red Hugh O’Donnell in 1474. The town can get very busy in high season, with great pubs and live music.
Donegal was invaded by the Vikings in the 8th century and they used it as a port – hence its Gaelic name Dun na nGall, which means ’Fort of the Foreigners’.
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Just 15 minutes south in county Sligo the iconic and dramatic Benbulben mountain has an easy walk from the southern more gentle side. From the summit there are stunning views over the coastal plain. Below on Mullaghmore Head, is Classiebawn Castle, the home of Lord Louis Mountbatton until his dramatic assassination in 1979.
This is Yeats country. William Butler Yeats was a Sligo boy who, with his brother Jack, evoked the Sligo countryside with great beauty and genius in poetry and painting. As children the boys visited Lissadell House - now becoming a popular destination - for cricket matches and horse racing, and often stayed there during the years 1893-5.
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How to get there - Car advised..
By Air: Flights to Dublin, Belfast or Donegal airports.
Donegal Airport – is about one and a half hours from the cottage.
Knock Airport – is about one and a half hours from the cottage.
Dublin Airport – is just under 3 hours from the cottage.
Belfast Airport – is approx 2 and half hours from house.
Shannon Airport - is just under 3 hours from the cottage.
By Sea: Ferry crossings
Dublin City Port/Holyhead has a fast crossing and is just over 3 hours from the cottage
The Belfast Liverpool ferry is approx 2 and half hours from house.