Into the West

Last weekend we headed west for a short weekend break. Our destination was Rathmullan, a small town in Donegal which forms part of the Wild Atlantic Way, a 2500km stretch of coastline along Ireland’s west coast from the county of Donegal to Cork. It’s a part of the world I am less familiar with but after listening to my 80 year old neighbour talk about it’s beauty on his numerous road trips there, my desire to visit has been getting stronger.  My maiden name hails from this part of the world too, so in some ways, a visit has been long overdue !

We set off early on Saturday morning. It’s approximately a 2 and a half hour drive from Belfast to Donegal and as we were just staying one night at the hotel, we wanted to make the most of our short visit. With the radio on and admiring the scenery along the way, it wasn’t too long before we crossed the border and stopped at our first point on the Wild Atlantic Way, the sleepy picturesque town of Ramelton on the River Lennon.

Ramelton warehouses

Ramelton was an important trading point in the 18th and 19th centuries. Ships prepared for voyages to New York and Jamaica at the small quayside and it was at this time that these warehouses were built, giving the town a lovely character.

warehouses at Ramelton
warehouses at Ramelton

Conways Bar Ramelton

We wandered around, enjoying the architecture and the distinctly Irish charm of the place.

Georgian house at Ramelton

Sweeneys Bar Ramelton
Cottage at Ramelton
the river at Ramelton

Then, feeling like our weekend break had properly begun, we jumped back in the car to drive out along the Fanad peninsula to our destination, Rathmullan.

Rathmullan is a small seaside town on the western shore of Lough Swilly and is home to a stunning stretch of golden sandy beach. We checked in to our hotel, a period property called Rathmullan House, from which you could walk down a shingly path to reach the beach beyond.  The skies were cloudy and it was doing it’s best to rain but it made for dramatic views…

View from Rathmullan Beach
We walked along the beach into town, where we stopped off for a drink in the Beachcomber Bar.  Then, a while later, as we left to make our way back along the beach to our hotel, the sun came out from behind those dark clouds, rewarding us with beautiful views of the beach, the lough and the hills beyond.

a walk along Rathmullan Beach

sand dune at Rathmullan

Rathmullan Beach

We must have walked for two hours along the beach, enjoying the feel of sunshine on our faces.  By this point, we were ready to head back indoors again, into the cosy warmth of the hotel and looking forward to dinner and a drink by the fire…the perfect way to round off our first day on the Wild Atlantic Way

Have a lovely Sunday.

12 thoughts on “Into the West

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