When it comes to travel, there aren’t many places in the world that have been left undiscovered. But some are still out there and surprisingly, some are closer to home than you think. Last month I enjoyed week away travelling along the North West coast of Ireland, otherwise known as the ‘Wild Atlantic Way’. This little corner of the world is a hidden gem with incredible beauty, natural landscapes and the friendliest locals I’ve ever met. Here’s what I got up to in Donegal during Part 1 of my Wild Atlantic Way adventure.
After a brush with death on the most turbulent flight EVER, I landed at Belfast Airport on Sunday night, ready for an early start the following day. Exhausted from a weekend of partying in London, my arrival at the Stormont Hotel Belfast couldn’t have been more heavenly. A very spacious room, king size bed, luscious white bedding, White Company toiletries and a cracking Irish breakfast too. A crash pad fit for a king.
Sliabh Liag Cliffs
The following morning I met the group I would be doing my tour with, who all worked in the travel industry. We met our lovely driver Alan, tour guide Mary and coordinator Caroline and made our way from Belfast to the county of Dongeal. It was here we took a boat trip out to visit the Sliabh Liag cliffs, one of the highest cliff faces in Europe. The calm waters in the bay were surrounded by absolutely stunning scenery, and as we ventured further out the waters began to get a bit more choppy.
We also got to see the cliffs from above too, which was one of the most incredible views I’ve ever seen. There were a few other people scattered around, but most of the company we had up on those cliff tops were the sheep! I couldn’t believe that a place of such staggering beauty was so uninhabited. Following our nautical adventure we spent the night at the Raddison Blu in Letterkenny, a chic hotel in the town centre with spacious rooms, a fab breakfast and pretty cool celebrity filled wall of fame!
The following day, we visited the quaint town of Ardara, which many people call the heart of Donegal as it’s conveniently positioned 30 minutes from everywhere in the county of Donegal. It’s famous for its tweed and I was amazed to hear that it’s used for high fashion clothing and designers in Milan! So what better than to watch a local master tweed maker at work? We met Eddie Doherty, who invited us into his workshop for a demonstration on how he made his famous tweed.
Next we travelled up to Glencolmcille where we met with a lovely tour guide at the Glen Folk Village. The museum was made up of period houses dating back to the 15th century that showed what life was like in rural Donegal all those years ago. It was a great opportunity to learn more about Ireland’s famous potato famine and to hear some history about the beautiful area I was in. The museum was small, welcoming and located on the backdrop of a stunning beach. As we left the museum the weather got a bit crazy, as did the sea. The waves came crashing into the bay and I saw the photo opportunity and took it, despite getting soaked in the process!
Find out where I travelled to next in my Wild Atlantic Way Adventure Part 2!