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Advice for Aug. trip to Ireland, Donegal?

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Advice for Aug. trip to Ireland, Donegal?

I have been to Ireland 2 times and love it. The first time was with a friend on a horse buying expedition so mostly went where she needed to go, the second time was a vacation trip with family. Saw Galway, Gap of Dunloe, Cliffs of Moher, Burren etc, all lovely and a great time.

I am going again in Aug. with my husband and his golf buddies and they will be golfing. We are going to take some extra time and travel around a bit ourselves, so my question, I would like to see Donegal as I have heard it is very scenic and perhaps a bit more "authentic" than some areas. True?

We will have 5 days before we have to meet the golf group and are flying into Shannon. Any particular route we should take? We are meeting the group in Shannon again. My husband has never been to Ireland and the golf tour will take us to Dunloe area and Kerry. Any suggestions for things to see in Donegal also would be appreciated.


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Ventry, Ireland
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1. Re: Advice for Aug. trip to Ireland, Donegal?

As you will know from your previous visits, Donegal and Kerry are at either ends of the West Coast. So it depends how much time you have available. If you have just a few days, I would concentrate on one area and enjoy it as your leisure.

Donegal tends to get fewer international visitors in August, but it is extremely popular with domestic tourists, particularly from Northern Ireland. I'm never quite sure what posters mean when the use the term "authentic" - the scenery and the people are "real" everywhere in Ireland

Scunthorpe, United...
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2. Re: Advice for Aug. trip to Ireland, Donegal?

Definitely head for Donegal. As a fellow tourist I know just what you mean when you ask about it being a bit more authentic - yes it is. It isn't geared up for the foreign tourist market in the way that Killarney and Dingle are. If you enjoyed the west you will love Donegal. We would go back there like a shot.

Do visit Slieve League cliffs - even more stunning (and bigger) than Cliffs of Moher.

Drive down to Glencolumbkille and spend time soaking up the scenery

Do the drive round Bloody Foreland.

Visit Glenveagh House and Gardens

Drive some of the smaller roads between Glentilies to Balleybofey or Letterkenny. Find somewhere to park up and just wander and enjoy the scenery.

Do the drive round Inishowen peninsula

AND do go and find Grian of Aileach....

...and I am sure others will be able to add many more ideas.

Pictures of our trip to Donegal are here:





As you've probably guessed we visited in September and it was a good year for fungi.

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3. Re: Advice for Aug. trip to Ireland, Donegal?

Nowhere in Ireland is too touritst, if you slow down and take the time to look at places a little off the beaten track. People say that they want to see the "real Ireland" and then stick strictly to the main tourist places like Blarney Castle, Cliffs of Moher, Rock of Cashel.(All places I'd avoid,in summer, because they are packed with tours.) Glenveagh Castle will be busy, for example,but if you choose to explore a bt further, you can get away from the hordes on the whistlestop tour buses. I'd head for somewhere like AranMore island(not to be confused with the Aran Islands in Galway) for a night, have had some almighty craic there,after the ferry goes home.

The Poision Glen and Errigal are worth getting out of the car for. The beaches like Rossnowlagh are just begging to be walked-it's miles long, so even if there is a crowd at the carpark you can find your own private corner.

Great surfing place too.If you are anywhere near to Ballyshannon at the August bankholiday weekend, the folk festival is always great fun-and not widely known, so not too many tourists.The 34th annual folk festival will again provide the best of Irish traditional & folk music, song and dance over the August Bank Holiday Weekend.Not sure if you'll have landed by then though. This year it's Start Date: Fri 29.Jul.2011/End Date: Sun 31.Jul.2011

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4. Re: Advice for Aug. trip to Ireland, Donegal?

Didn't mean to offend anyone with the "authentic" I guess to be more precise, less-touristy and less well-known but interesting would be more accurate. I have been to Blarney Castle and enjoyed it (no, did not kiss the stone, I shudder to think about that lol). It was fun and scenic but of course, touristy, not a bad thing, but I want something a bit different this time. Probably will just take our time and drive the small back roads. Please keep the suggestions coming!


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5. Re: Advice for Aug. trip to Ireland, Donegal?


I spent 10 days in Donegal last summer (Aug. 2010) with my family and we had a marvellous time. Highlights:

Day-trip to Tory Island:



Slieve League Cliffs, Glengesh Pass and Glencolmcille:



Glenveagh National Park and Glebe House:



Inishowen Peninsula: Malin Head and Grianan of Ailleach:




And all the beautiful sandy beaches, almost deserted in the height of summer (it was a bit chilly, even in August!), rocky headlands, drives across mountain and bog . . . . . marvellous!

fyi: Shannon to Donegal town is at least a 4-hr drive, which you may or may not wish to do after a long flight?

For accommodation, some nice places listed here:



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6. Re: Advice for Aug. trip to Ireland, Donegal?

EESW, loved the fungi! Great pics and now I can't wait to go. SarniaGirl, yes I will probably look for a place say in the Galway area to sack out before the drive. I just don't think I can drive 4 hours after that flight.

I am very appreciative of everyone's suggestions, keep it up!


Co. Kildare
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7. Re: Advice for Aug. trip to Ireland, Donegal?

Hi, I also have a bit of a problem with people asking for "authentic" Ireland. Everywhere in Ireland is "authentic", only folk parks will give you a taste of times gone by which might be what you're looking for. Ireland is "authentic" Ireland, for better or worse. Some places might be nicer than others (depending on personal view) but it's ALL Ireland.

Anyway, I think Donegal will fit the bill. Considering the golfing interest I can wholeheartedly recommend the Coastguard Cottages in Downings (irishcottageholidays.com). They're right on the Rosapenna Golf Links. August might be a busy time but they might consider letting one of the cottages short-term. We were there last year in early March and are going again this year, we loved it so much.

From Downings you would be able to explore much of Donegal while being in a not-overrun place.

Whatever you decide I hope it will be a great holiday!

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8. Re: Advice for Aug. trip to Ireland, Donegal?

My advice is don't waste your time looking for something off the beaten track, go instead to the biggest traditional music event of the year.

The Cavan Fleadh Cheoil 2011 is Irelands biggest and best traditional music festival from 13th - 22nd August. The entertainment is free and the craic is only fantastic. Over 250,000 people came for last years best ever festival. You haven't lived until you come to the Fleadh.

Edited: 20 January 2011, 21:35
9. Re: Advice for Aug. trip to Ireland, Donegal?

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