ROCK&ROAM IN THE STUNNING GAELTACHT HILLS OF DONEGAL

Article from Donegal Daily 18th September

We hear all the time that the natural resource we have in Donegal is simply spectacular and world class.

The beaches, the mountains, our lakes, rivers, the coastline, endless green landscape, we really have it all here. But do we experience it? To travel from one end of the County to the other can take more than two hours. Awful if it’s for work, but great if it’s for a weekend break!

Rock & Roam is a weekend break in the Gaeltacht, a concept developed by mng.ie and in association with Unique Ascent and Walking Donegal. An active weekend break with 2 activities; rock climbing and hill walking over 2 days for from €60.

Rock & Roam poster for DD.jpg

The idea behind Rock & Roam is, you don’t have to go very far to feel like you’re in a different place and get everything you need from a weekend break; activities, culture, fresh air, time to relax, local seafood and a good night out. The Gaeltacht is perfect for that, and ticks all the boxes without costing a fortune.

Rock & Roam is available the last weekend of every month and is already proving a hit with Donegal people. So far, groups have come from Letterkenny, Inishowen, Ballyshannon, Strabane and Derry saying things like;

“Thanks for organising the Rock-climbing with Ian and the Hillwalking with Seamus throughout this weekend we really enjoyed Rock & Roam. It was wonderful and brilliantly organised from start to finish. Such a great night at the Cabaret Craiceailte on Saturday to top it all off! Will deffo be back, keep me posted of future events!!”. Sally Murphy, Letterkenny.

Hailing from Donegal myself I was a little embarrassed to discover that we had such amazing outdoor adventure opportunities on our doorstep that I was unaware of! All credit to mng.ie for developing local and national tourism with Rock & Roam sa Ghaeltacht. A really fun weekend that I would highly highly recommend!! Roxanne Keaney, Letterkenny/Dublin.

I am not an adventurer nor a gaeligor but I had a fantastic time rocking and roaming in the Gaeltacht with mng.ie. everything was organised really well and Seamus gave me a big stick to get up the hill . I felt like an adventurer by the end and got some gaelige on my tongue too. Go Raibh Maith Agat! Louise Ozbay, Strabane.

 

Rock n Roam'rs about to hit the hills

Rock n Roam'rs about to hit the hills

Now also part of Donegal Flybreaks from Dublin and Glasgow, here’s 10 reasons to come on a Rock & Roam weekend:

1. See Donegal
To experience the crisp clean air and dramatic landscape of the Donegal Gaeltacht, rain or shine you will feel immersed in the mountainous landscape, the culture, and the Atlantic coastline. (Only one days’ rock climbing was cancelled due to the weather this year).

2. Brush up on your Gaeilige
If you have a “cúpla focal” and would like to practice, the walking guide is fluent and will amuse you with local folklore in Irish and English. Plus, most people you meet will speak the lingo. A class can easily be arranged as part of your Rock & Roam weekend.

Between our distinctive three parishes we have one of the largest Gaeltachts in Ireland

Between our distinctive three parishes we have one of the largest Gaeltachts in Ireland

3. Best climbs in Ireland
Northwest Donegal has some of the best rock climbs if the not the best in Ireland, according to Iain Miller of Unique Ascent “there is more rock in Donegal than anywhere else in Ireland”. Another claim to fame for Donegal.

4. World renowned history
Seamus Doohan from Walking Donegal knows every route in the locality and will be happy to tailor a walk to bring you to archaeological sites, legendary folklore landmarks, ancient graveyards, no shortage of local history.

5. Golden Eagles
One of the most popular walks is Poisoned Glen, Dunlewey, where there are two resident Golden Eagles and a new addition of late. You can often see them flying above which is a spectacular sight.

View for Rock n Roam'rs of Errigal Mountain from Poisoned Glen

View for Rock n Roam'rs of Errigal Mountain from Poisoned Glen

6. Accessible
Getting to these parts of Donegal is easy by car or by coach (Mc Ginley coaches from Dublin via Monaghan or Tyrone, Mangan Tours from Letterkenny twice daily, Bus Feda from Galway via Sligo or Patrick Gallagher from Belfast via Derry, via public transport, transfers can be easily arranged).

Donegal Airport operates from from Dublin, Glasgow and recently London. Check out www.DonegalAirport.ie/specialoffers for Rock & Roam Flybreaks, with special group offers.

7. Nightlife
There is some of the best Irish music nights in the country here, including Caberet Craicailte (Electric Picninc, EAF). Teach Hiudaí Beag is renowned for having the best trad seisiúins in Ireland. Many cosy drinking holes with friendly folk ready to tell a story or sing a song.

8. Party time
It’s a unique stag and hen alternative, with plenty of time to party in between activities. Email us if you would like help with organizing this.

9. Local Seafood
After the activities you can head for Sean Ógs/Teach Sheain Óigs for some of the best Seafood chowder ever, among other culinary delights. This is a great venue for a party too and great for catching the match. Always a warm welcome and a good time had at Sean Ógs.


10. Relax
If one of your group would rather do something relaxing there is a spa nearby at An Cúirt. Other activities can be easily arranged, such as a day’s sailing with Selkie sailing/Seoltóireacht Selchie, our local sailing gurus. Or chill at the lovely Caife Kitty with a hearty breakfast.

Selkie Sailing our local sailing gurus

Selkie Sailing our local sailing gurus

Arrive Friday evening or Saturday morning, leave Sunday night feeling completely refreshed. Or extend your stay. There are many people living here, who came and never left and say there is something about this place that makes you want to stay.  

Bígí linn le Rock & Roam sa Ghaeltacht.

If you have a tourism related business and would like to develop a similar concept, email moira@mng.ie. Further info, booking form, testimonials and images are available on www.mng.ie. Support to find accommodation that will suit budgets and group size is also available on request. Minimum group of 6, special offers for larger groups, and max group size 20.

Rock n Roam is available the last weekend of every month, early booking advised

Rock n Roam is available the last weekend of every month, early booking advised