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Breath-taking beaches and charming coasts
There is no shortage of beaches and coastal utopias worth visiting in County Donegal. Bundoran and Rossnowlagh beaches are always a popular choice among families as they are home to water sports such as surfing and coasteering. Inishowen is a popular spot for fishing and cycling excursions, while Dunfanaghy beach offers horseback rides along the coast and there are summer programs in place to keep kids entertained through various water sports.
Ards Forest Park
This forestry reserve is run by Coillte and is famous for its scenic trails through wondrous woodlands and beautiful beaches. It hosts an impressive 481 hectares of land to venture through at your own pace. Whether you wish to visit this area for a family picnic, spend some time relaxing among flora and fauna or wish to go for some nature walks along the many routes available, this park is ideal for some family fun of the outdoor variety. It also has play areas ideal for little ones making it an ideal day-out during your stay.
Entry is free of charge, with a €5.00 fee for car parking. See coillte.ie/site/ards-forest-park/ for more information on the park.
This completely enclosed indoor waterpark is ideal if you’re in search of some summer fun when the Irish weather is its usual less than sublime self. This park has a variety of attractions suitable for varying ages ranging from the Toddler Pool for smallies, or The Whizzer for older children, which is the country’s fastest indoor waterslide. Meanwhile you can relax in the on-site Seaweed Baths and experience all the clinical and relaxing benefits that this natural treatment has to offer.
Entrance fees for adults €13.50. Children aged eighth to 17 is €12.50, while kids ages three to seven years old are €11.00. Children aged two years and under is €1.50. For more information see waterworldbundoran.com.
Gartan Outdoor Education Centre
This adventure sport centre is ideal for families in search of adventure and exploration during their break away to Donegal. Whether it’s an adventure day-out or tailoring a weekend long program especially suited to your family, your experience here is sure to be unforgettable. With options including kayaking, canoeing, sailing, windsurfing, archery, orienteering, mountain biking and more, you are bound to find activities which suit your family’s particular needs.
For more information and full list of activities on offer see gartan.com. For prices and bookings contact [email protected].
Doagh Famine Village
Through genuine artefacts and authentic thatched cottages, experience the life and reality of those who lived through the famine age all those years ago. Experience the way of life during 1840s Ireland and onwards and improve your family’s knowledge and awareness of those who came before you. A guided tour through yesteryear, including tea and biscuits and allowance to wander through the village at your own accord when the tour is finished, this attraction is one rich in historical significance and is both educational and enjoyable for children and adults alike.
Entrance fees from €9.50 for adults and €4 for children. Children under the age of four go FREE. For more information see doaghfaminevillage.com
Boat trips and tours
There are a variety of boat trips and oceanic excursions departing from Donegal’s bays and harbours which are undoubtedly worth embarking on. The Donegal Bay Waterbus is a staple trip among visitors and locals as it gives you a guided and informative insight into the history and geography of the area and allows you to view the coastal county through a whole new medium. Donegal’s off shore islands are also worth sailing out to. Arranmore Island is Donegal’s largest inhabited island and is host to adventure and excitement such as diving, dolphin watching, sea-stack climbing or simply relaxing among the Gaeltacht area’s culture.
Fees for a 75 minute tour aboard The Donegal Bay Waterbus are €20.00 for an adult, €7.00 for chilldren, with children under four going free. Additional discounts apply for students. For sailing schedules and enquiries see donegalbaywaterbus.com.
For information on Arranmore island see arainnmhor.com.