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Donegal and then Northern Ireland

Raleigh, North...
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Donegal and then Northern Ireland

Hi. We will be in Ireland/Northern Ireland in late July. We are flying into Dublin and then driving to Donegal, over to Derry, Portrush and then back to Belfast. Any thoughts/suggestions on special spots/drives in the Donegal area? We are looking forward to Derry, Giants Causeway and the Antrim Coast in Northern Ireland, but any other ideas would be terrific.

Thanks.

Grayslake, Illinois
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1. Re: Donegal and then Northern Ireland

How long is your vacation?

pennsylvania
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2. Re: Donegal and then Northern Ireland

In Donegal you MUST see the Slieve League Cliffs (highest cliffs in Europe at 2,000 feet and much less visited than Moher). A drive over the Glengesh Pass and a couple pubs in Ardara, too! They're all in southwest Donegal. Maybe an hour from the town of Donegal. And you will LOVE Northern Ireland. Check out Dunluce Castle, the Bushmills Whiskey Distillery tour and the Carrick-a-Rede(sic) rope bridge. So much fun!

Raleigh, North...
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3. Re: Donegal and then Northern Ireland

We only have 5 days in Ireland/Northern Ireland.

Dublin
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4. Re: Donegal and then Northern Ireland

Adding to Clarebear's suggestions, Glenveagh National Park is also worth a visit. See www.glenveaghnationalpark.ie.

Given your schedule, you should maybe head from Dublin to western Doengal initially where you can visit Slieve League and Glengesh, then head eastwards towards Derry visiting Glenveagh on the way.

One word of caution - take account of jet lag if you are flying long-haul into Dublin. The drive from Dublin to west Donegal can take about 4 hours and can be demanding if driving on unfamiliar roads immediately after a long-haul flight - if that is the case in this instance.

Western Ireland...
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for Southport, Connemara, County Clare, Portumna
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5. Re: Donegal and then Northern Ireland

I can see a small but expensive problem If you are hiring a Car from Dublin I would return it back to there and Bus/train to Belfast from there. This would avoid the One way Inter country surcharges that would load your fee's. The alternative would be to Hire and return in Belfast. This might actually work out significantly cheaper as car hire in the Republic is rather expensive anyway. Start and finish in Belfast would also negate that long drive cross country straight off the plane if you reversed your route with the 1st night in Portrush. Avarest Guest house is my normal accommodation there.

http://www.avarest.co.uk/portal/

Cavan
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6. Re: Donegal and then Northern Ireland

Enniskillen is well worth visiting, the castle has an excellent museum also the MV Kestral boat trip to ancient monastic Devenish island is a great experience.

www.enniskillencastle.co.uk

Scunthorpe, United...
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7. Re: Donegal and then Northern Ireland

In 5 days there will be a limit as to what you can see/do.

From Donegal, Sleave League cliffs have already been mentioned and must be top of the list. Afterwards drive to the end of the peninsula and visit Glencolmcille which has a lovely oldy worldy feel.

Spend a day pottering round the Donegal coastline from Dunglow to Dunfanaghy.

Travel to Derry stopping on the way to visit Glenveagh and the amazing Grianan of Aileach

http://www.maclochlainn.org/aileach.jpg

accommodationletterkenny.com/classified/wpgr…

From Derry follow the coastline past Downhill Estate and Mussenden Temple, Dunluce Castle, Giant's Causeway and Carrick a Rede rope bridge. Plan for an overnight around Ballycastle.

Next day take the A2 and head down the Antrim coast (for the Antrim Glens) to Belfast stopping at Cushendun, Cushendahl, Glenarrif Forest (waterfalls walk is really good), Carnlough, Glenarm...

If you follow tony2ohones suggestion, this route also works well the other way round. My only reservation would be that Portrush is too far for the first day as there is so much to stop and see on the way. You won't have chance to do full justice to the Antrim coast and glens.

Raleigh, North...
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8. Re: Donegal and then Northern Ireland

Thanks to everyone who responded to this post. Your information is extremely helpful and greatly appreciated. Lots for us to consider on this trip.

Cavan
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9. Re: Donegal and then Northern Ireland

You could stop off at the Marble Arch Caves and geopark on your way to Donegal.

www.marblearchcaves.net

Belfast Ireland
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10. Re: Donegal and then Northern Ireland

When in Belfast take a walk to the top of the Cave Hill where you will see the whole city laid out before you and the view takes in Scotland to the Mourne Mountains - best of all it is free (apart from the bus fare to Belfast Castle - just ask any bus driver at the City Hall and they will tell you which bus to get). In Donegal, I agree with all the suggestions, especially the Glengesh Pass, and the pints of Guinness in Nancy's Bar in Ardara are the best you'll find.

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