Donegal: An insiders’ guide to food, activities, wilderness and walks

Enjoy picturesque beaches, surfing hotspots and top eateries in the north-west

Stunning: Tory Island,  Ireland’s most remote inhabited island. Photograph: Brian Flanagan

Stunning: Tory Island, Ireland’s most remote inhabited island. Photograph: Brian Flanagan

For most of my younger life, Donegal felt faraway and remote, at the end of long drives on bad roads. Thanks to the EU’s road-improvement largesse, the county feels closer – but thankfully still no less remote. It’s the dramatic wildness of it all, a landscape of bare peaks and lonely valleys wrapped in a filigreed coastline of stunning headlands and remote beaches that, depending on the weather, can feel like paradise on earth or the end of the world.

Donegal’s best-known getaway is the hurdy-gurdy resort of Bundoran, all amusement arcades and fun zones, and fish and chips. But Bundoran is also a surfing hotspot, with the best of them trying their luck on the Peak, a break directly in front of the town. Less experienced surfers should stick to the still-wonderful Tullan Strand, 2.5km north of town and reached via the scenic Roguey Cliff Walk.

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