Donegal is known for its stunning beaches, some of which stretch out for miles, while others are small cove beaches that remain largely undiscovered. Within a 2-minute drive of the cottage, you will find the beautiful Blue Flag beach of Fintra Bay. You can see from the cottage whether the tide is low or high. Other stunning beaches can be found in Muckross (10-min drive), Doonin (20-min drive), Glencolmcille (25-min drive), Malin Beg (Silver Strand) (30-min drive) and Maghera (35-min drive). The last-mentioned is one of our favourites, as it stretches out for miles during low tide. You will also find stunning caves at Maghera beach, which are definitely worth a visit.
Within a 25-minute drive you will find stunning Sliabh Liag, generally referred to as Slieve League, a mountain of 601 metres (1,972 ft), which has Europe’s highest accessible sea cliffs. Although less famous than the Cliffs of Moher in County Clare, they are far more spectacular. To find Slieve League, drive to the village of Carrick and take a left in the village, right before the Slieve League Lodge. Aside from seeing the cliffs, you can also approach Slieve League by following the Pilgrims Path and hiking up the mountain.
Glenveagh National Park
A great day trip from the cottage is a visit to Glenveagh National Park, a remote and beautiful wilderness of rugged mountains, pristine lakes, tumbling waterfalls and enchanted native oak woodland in the heart of the Derryveagh Mountains in the north west of County Donegal. The drive from Fintra to the Park takes about 1 hour and 25 minutes. At the centre of the Park on the edge of Lough Veagh is Glenveagh Castle, a late-nineteenth-century castellated mansion, built as a hunting lodge.
Donegal Garden Trail
Donegal is home to a well-established tradition of ornamental horticulture, which began in monastic and castle gardens and continued in cottage and country houses. Twenty-two gardens scattered across Donegal, united in the so-called Donegal Garden Trail, continue this rich tradition. One of the gardens, Cille, is only a 5-minute drive away from Bumblebee Cottage.
Glencolmcille Folk Village
This thatched-roof replica of a rural village, also known as Father McDyer’s Folk Village Museum, offers a glimpse into historic daily life of a small Donegal village. The Folk Village includes several small cottages, called a ‘clachan’, perched on a hillside overlooking Glen Bay Beach. Designed, built and maintained by the local people, the Folk Village is one of Ireland’s most fascinating living-history museums.
Located in the centre of Donegal Town, Donegal Castle was built by the O’Donnell chieftain in the fifteenth century, along the River Eske. The Castle has extensive seventeenth-century additions by Sir Basil Brooke. The Castle is furnished throughout and includes Persian rugs and French tapestries. Information panels chronicle the history of the Castle owners from the O’Donnell chieftains to the Brooke family.
Killybegs International Carpet Making & Fishing Centre
This Centre has the largest hand-knotted loom in the world and offers live demonstrations of how hand-knotting is done. They also provide the opportunity to test your own skills at the loom.
For more places to visit in the area, please consult the website of the Killybegs Information Centre.