Things to do in West Donegal this summer

Donegal is one of the most stunning counties in Ireland, and there is no shortage of things to do here this summer.

West Donegal.

West Donegal.

mng have been busy linking in with our many local festivals to include a bit of adventure and designing other experiences to enjoy this remarkable county and to entertain our visitors!

Night walking in Glenveagh.

Night walking in Glenveagh.

Kicking off the summer with a spectacular series of walks titled “Roaming in Glenveagh” with a full moon night walk this coming Friday the 13th. We’ve all had a look around the castle grounds in the daylight, but by night it’s a whole other world. Unforgettable night views of the castle's surrounding grounds accompanied by an experienced guide, this walk will be tailored to requirements, ambitions and aspirations.

"Roaming in Glenveagh" continues with a guided summit walk on Saturday and a family walk on Sunday for Fathers day.  Further walks arranged throughout June, July and August. Booking essential via mng.ie.

If you think you like walking in Glenveagh, then you have to try cycling. Donegal based enterprise Grassroutes are at Glenveagh Castle grounds every day with a range of Hybrid and Electric Bikes to rent. Grassroutes also have a spectacular range of cycling tours, complete with maps, safety kit, picnic destinations and they deliver the bikes to your door! This is the perfect way to experience the Wild Atlantic Way. They deliver to your front door and  will also help you design your Own Tailored Cycling Holiday Package.

Rock climbing site on Gola Island

Rock climbing site on Gola Island

Our Donegal islands are a prominent feature of events this summer, which started last month when Rock Agus Roam – mng’s cultural adventure in West Donegal took place on Gola Island. Over two days groups were taken to Gola Island, which is the largest island in the archipelago off the coast of Gweedore in North West Donegal. There was Rock climbing, sea foraging and lots of roaming as well as hearty feasts of seafood chowder and other home baked delights. The Boat trip around our stunning islands alone is something everyone should enjoy this summer. There will be another chance to visit Gola and try some outdoor adventure as Rock agus Roam will take place there again on the 28th and 29th June in association with Gola’s annual festival and Goitse Go Gaoth Dobhair.

Rock agus Roamers from May 31st. All the way from Ardara.

Rock agus Roamers from May 31st. All the way from Ardara.

Goitse Go Gaoth Dobhair – is your invitation to come and visit the Gaeltacht and enjoy the language, the culture and the music. As well as talks and workshops specifically based around the preservation of the Irish language, there will be family events at Ionad Pádraig Dobhair and evening entertainment in all the pubs. A community inspired effort to boost the local economy with a weekend that celebrates our native language and culture. If you ever thought about coming to Gaoth Dobhair this is the weekend to do it. Check Facebook for more info.

View from the Lighthouse on Arranmore island

View from the Lighthouse on Arranmore island

More islands action on Arranmore, as the first year of Swell Festival takes place on the 11-13th July. This is not just another festival this is exactly the type of festival that West Donegal needs, music, art, spoken word, dj’s, outdoor adventure activities as well as weekend camping. A festival village is being created and artists are hard at work designing awesome sculptures. Rock agus Roam instructors will be on the island throughout the weekend so you can try radical rock climbing, sea kayaking, windsurfing and more. With headline acts such as In their Thousands and Duke Special and over 70 other bands and artists, there’s going to be one hell of a weekend on Arranmore. It’s only 1km from the mainland, but it feels like a different world, you will be blown away with your first visit. We cannot wait for the Swell! Did you know they have a resident snowy Owl?? The Blue and Red Ferry companies will be running day and night throughout the weekend.

In the piple line are Island hopping trips around Arranmore and smaller islands, stay tuned to mng for more details and dates.

Sailing on Arranmore le Cumann na mBád.

Sailing on Arranmore le Cumann na mBád.

Look out for regular water based events by Cumann na mBád Arranmore, sailing, sea kayaking around the islands. Simply spectacular.

The Swell leads us nicely into the 26th Earagail Arts Festival, which as always has an interesting selection of arts and culture around the 12th - 26th of July. The festival this year has linked with Falcarraghs music and arts festival – Festifál, after the success of last years street art and the eclectic musical line up ranging from ska to country, July is going to be very exciting indeed.

On the 29th July mng are taking the beautiful Marys’ on a sea cliff climbing adventure as part of the annual Mary From Dungloe Festival. Everyone is welcome to come and have a taste of rock climbing on the day. We’ll be on the cliffs at Cruit Island with all the gear, all you need are a pair of trainers and a sense of adventure, it’s the most exhilarating feeling, often beyond words. Mojo Gogo are the headlining act at Mary From Dungloe as well as Hot Press Runners up Rackhouse Pilfer. Mojo Gogo also host their own music festival on Arranmore island from August 16th, another reason to visit.

Horse riding on Maghery Beach

Horse riding on Maghery Beach

Have you been to Maghery yet? Maghery is best described as a hidden gem.  A small village perched on the Northwest Donegal coast between Dungloe and Gweebarra, is an area of outstanding natural beauty. With a stone age portal tomb, bronze age stone circles an early monastic site, a Napoleonic signal tower and an extensive system of famine walls, there’s more than enough to see for a day out. The driving along this area is simply spectacular. The week after the Mary From Dungloe Festival, the Maghery Festival will take place. This is an area you have to discover.

Bunbeg, Gaoth Dobhair.

Bunbeg, Gaoth Dobhair.

Gaoth Dobhair’s renowned music and culture festival Loinneog Lúnasa will take place on 7th- 10th August.  Musical workshops, concerts and a full day of Sean Nos entertainment, the popular currach day and rock climbing on Gola Island. With musical sessions in all the pubs there's something for all the family to enjoy.

This is just a taste of what’s on in West Donegal this summer. If its anything like last summer its going to be brilliant. We wish all the festivals the best of luck, lets spread the word with friends, family and visitors!

Mng presents Rock agus Roam the last weekend of every month. An unforgettable cultural adventure that can be specially arranged for groups of 6 or more any time and will be part of all the above festivals.

For bookings and further details on any of the events above, contact Moira@mng.ie

 

Getting to Donegal has never been easier with Donegal Airport flying to destinations throughout Ireland, the UK, France, Germany, Switzerland, Holland and the Channel Islands. Take a closer look and book here. And why not rent a car, great deals with Enterprise. You can also get here by coach from Derry, Belfast, Galway and Dublin.