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Ardara or Ramelton as a base for 1 week?

Dundalk,Ireland
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139 posts
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Ardara or Ramelton as a base for 1 week?

Looking to book summer holidays and have decided on a week exploring Donegal. Narrowed it down to Ardara or Ramelton, have enquired about rental properties in both places. I know Ramelton is good for North Donegal, Fanad, inishowen etc and Ardara is best for West Donegal. But which is a nicer town and which base more suited for us and an 18 month old? Also is a week too long or is there plenty to do? Is there more to see/do based in Ramelton? Thanks

Belfast, United...
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1. Re: Ardara or Ramelton as a base for 1 week?

I'm a big fan of Ardara - the beaches in the area are fantastic which is good for your 18 month old (Maghera, Naran, Tramore, Fintra). There's plenty of bars and restaurants and good rental properties. Donegal town is within close proximity - and Killybegs which I really like. The Bayview Hotel has apparently reopened - I haven't been back yet but their food was always good and plentiful. Castlemurray House Hotel does gorgeous dinner but a wee bit pricy some say (not me I love it!). The Woodhill, Nancy's and Nesbitt Arms are all great places to visit. For me, northern Donegal suffers a bit from bungalow blight - the south of the county is more wild and rugged.

Belfast, United...
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2. Re: Ardara or Ramelton as a base for 1 week?

As a post script - I wish Tripadvisor would remove that picture of a toilet that they have on for Ardara!!!

Dundalk,Ireland
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139 posts
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3. Re: Ardara or Ramelton as a base for 1 week?

Thanks for that. We actually changed our plans and are now staying a few nights in Ballyliffin, Letterkenny and strangely enough..... Bay view hotel, killybegs! Got a decent price so decided to book it, it's been refurbished (as you said), has a pool. Reviews here are mixed but hopefully it'll be nice. Has anyone stayed there recently?

As for Killybegs, I heard there's not a whole lot to do, it was a thriving port but a bit of a ghost town now. We'll just use it as a base to explore the area but hopefully there'll be a good buzz about the place as we're going end july/start August which should be peak tourist season.

Looking forward to it especially those beaches mentioned above. Any other tips for things to see /do around that area and Donegal in general? I'll be doing plenty of research before we go!

Edited: 20 March 2014, 21:12
Belfast, United...
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296 posts
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4. Re: Ardara or Ramelton as a base for 1 week?

Slieve League is a must see - hope you get a good clear day when you can see Croagh Patrick. Drive right up to the top car park (drive through the gate if it's closed). It's a nice walk from the bottom carpark but too far for 18 month old or pushing a buggy.

Glenveigh Castle is a good day out (nice tea room) and the Glebe Gallery and House is good for a wet day. The house is decorated in William Morris fabrics and has loads of art to look at if you are in to that sort of thing.

I really like the Glencolmcille museum - cottages through the ages, schoolhouse, pub/ grocers. Again nice little simple tea room. The drive from Glencolmcille to Ardara will take you through the Glengesh Pass - truly spectacular - little parking place and picnic tables at the top to let you enjoy the view.

And finally if you do go to Glencolmcille (another nice beach opposite the museum through the car park and down some steps) you HAVE to drive to Trabane or the Silver Strand at Malinbeg which is at the end of the road on the far side of Glencolmcille. It's a beautiful horseshoe shaped beach down 167 steps. We spent a magical July day there a couple of years ago when some dolphins came into the bay and splashed around for ages before heading back out to the ocean.

Dundalk,Ireland
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5. Re: Ardara or Ramelton as a base for 1 week?

Great suggestions there,thanks. Will definitely try to do all of them. That lovely beach near Glencolumbcille with the 167 steps might be a little difficult for us with a buggy but we'll have a look anyhow!

Any recommendations for eating?Breakfast, lunch. dinner, snacks etc?

6. Re: Ardara or Ramelton as a base for 1 week?

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