Welcome to another update from our house swap adventures in Donegal, the beautiful north west corner of Ireland.
Here are a few photos taken on our explorations around the area.
We have dodged the April spring showers (including hailstones) and made the most of the dry spells when the sun shone.
However, we didn’t manage to avoid all of them, and in the interest of “keeping it real” this was the view from the car sometimes too!
This one of a beautiful wee cottage overlooking a tiny beach I had in mind for a friend of mine who dreams of living in Ireland, but I think she has something grander in mind!
One morning we headed with our youngest to Glenveagh National Park right in the middle of Donegal.
Amidst thousands of acres of barren hills and peat bogs there is a little oasis of a castle and walled gardens have been created and preserved.
We opted not to take the shuttle bus, but instead walked along the lough shore to the castle. We were fortunate with the weather as the rain did not start until we were safely inside the tea room.
It is a great wee castle to explore - we even found a swimming pool with a view!
There was a nature centre which my son loved, and we headed around the garden on a spring treasure hunt.
I enjoyed taking some photos of the plants in the green house and walled garden.
We opted for the shuttle bus back to the car and main visitors centre. There was no admission fee unless you wanted a tour inside the castle, and the shuttle bus was only 1.50 Euros per person each way.
Later in the day the whole family went down to the beach at Dunfanaghy – it was almost warm and practically deserted, as many beaches in Donegal seem to be. The tide was quite far out, the sand was beautifully soft and golden.
There was a tidal pool left behind quite far up the beach. Initially only our son went for a paddle, but by the end all 3 were splashing through the water, which was marginally warmer than the ocean.
We really have loved exploring this area – all within 20 miles of our base – the beaches are amazingly empty and apart from a lot of “bungalow blight” – modern bungalows have been built everywhere with seemingly little building or planning control, it is a beautiful area.
Back to Northern Ireland tomorrow, then everyone back to work/school on Monday.
So what are your impressions of Donegal? Do you have a favourite image? Please share/comment below!