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My 5 Favourite Places to Visit in Donegal

Deirdre’s Diary

Glenveagh Castle & National Park

Sweet September is just around the corner. For many of us, ‘back to school’ means back to routine and that’s not a bad thing. There are only so many summer camps and endless days of waiting for the sunshine to peep through the dark clouds. For many young people, it’s a time of new opportunity with the start of school, college or that first job in the big world. For us in the hospitality industry, we look forward to having a bit more time to engage with our discerning guests. The weather is most likely to be fine on two occasions during the year – early June when the Leaving Cert is on and early September when it’s back to school time! So with that in mind, I think a wee break-away escape is on the cards!

Donegal is even more breathtakingly beautiful in Autumn with spectacular changes in the colour of the leafy landscape. It is the perfect opportunity to unwind and experience a more tranquil pace of life. A time to appreciate the enchanting beauty of nature and recharge the batteries.

I would like to share with you some of my favourite places to visit in Donegal this Autumn. Although there are so many wonderful attractions in Donegal, I have selected those that don’t involve too much driving in order to leave you enough time to rest and relax in the luxurious surrounds of Harvey’s Point.


Slieve League - Discover DonegalSLIEVE LEAGUE
No visit to Donegal is complete without a visit to one of our most iconic attractions, Slieve League – recognized as the highest accessible sea cliffs in Europe, reaching a height of 1,972 feet/601 meters. They are nearly three times the height of the more famous Cliffs of Moher in County Clare and judging by my recent visit there, Slieve League is rapidly gaining in popularity, being one of the Signature Discovery Points along the now world famous Wild Atlantic Way.

The forty minute drive from Harvey’s Point to Slieve League takes in the scenery of Donegal Bay along the way, Killybegs, Irelands largest fishing port and Kilcar of Sarah Jessica Parker fame. I recommend taking the route back to Donegal Town via Glengesh Pass and perhaps stopping in the pretty town of Ardara for a bowl of chowder in Nancy’s traditional Irish bar.

Arriving at Slieve League, it is now possible to drive almost to the very highest point as much work has been carried out at the cliffs in recent years. At the top there is now a car park and a large viewing platform. The view is breathtaking. You can look out across Donegal Bay and all the way to County Sligo and beyond. Forget online shopping – you can purchase Donegal Tweed from an attractive pop-up shop at the viewing platform. And don’t pass the ice-cream van!

The great thing about Slieve League is that you don’t have to be an experienced hiker to enjoy the view. There is a short walk option along a well-marked path. However, it is recommended that you have a guide with you for the hike to ‘One Man’s Pass’, wear appropriate footwear and exercise caution in relation to the weather forecast.

Boat trips are available around the cliffs from nearby Teelin on the ‘Nuala Star’. Last year, a group of international bloggers took the boat-trip and out of the blue, a pod of dolphins appeared. Some of the guests jumped into the water and swam with them. Now that was something to write home about!

The Diamond - Donegal TownDONEGAL TOWN
Just ten minutes drive from Harvey’s Point, Donegal Town has a lovely buzz all year round. There are lots of colourful shops, great bars and restaurants. Enjoy watching the world go by from a bench in the Diamond. A visit to Magee of Donegal is well worthwhile with special discount extended for guests of Harvey’s Point. Donegal Bay Waterbus has a daily sailing and is the perfect way to spend a leisurely hour. Donegal Castle is a haven of history and the nearby Bank Walk is a lovely experience.

Miles and miles of sandy beach make for a perfect morning walk or evening stroll. Perhaps try a spot of surfing in Rossnowlagh or a round of golf at Murvagh or just sip a glass of something nice in either Smugglers Creek or the Sandhouse Hotel. Donegal has the longest coastline in Ireland and is blessed with twelve Blue Flag beaches. If the tide is right, you can walk the two beaches in one go.

This is one of my favourite walks in the area. Turn right at the gates of Harvey’s Point and walk along the lakeshore road, up a hill and cross the bridge which will lead you to a path that loops through the oak forest. You can also drive to the bridge but parking is limited. It’s a great place for foraging and in Autumn there is a plentitude of wild mushrooms such as chanterelles and ceps. The duration of the walk is a leisurely hour and a half. If you are visiting Harvey’s Point on a Tuesday or Thursday, then this is the ideal way to spend the time between breakfast and our complimentary cookery demonstrations and wine tasting events.

Glenveagh Castle & National ParkGLENVEAGH NATIONAL PARK
Remote and yet not hard to get to – Glenveagh Castle and National Park is located about an hour from Harvey’s Point. Think of the hauntingly beautiful music of Clannad or Enya and you will picture this rugged wilderness in the heart of the Derryveagh Mountains, near Letterkenny. The park and gardens are open every day of the year from dawn to dusk and admission is free. There is a lovely 4km walk from the car park along the shores of the lake. I highly recommend a tour of the castle and some tasty treats in the tea-rooms.

Make Harvey’s your home for five relaxing and enjoyable days in the lap of luxury. We have created a lovely programme, showcasing the rugged beauty and iconic attractions of county Donegal. Using Harvey’s Point as your base, explore this wonderful part of the Wild Atlantic Way with our tailor-made day trips. You can mix and match the activities, do it all in a day or two or go at your own pace. The warmest of welcomes awaits.

Your Home-made Holiday Package Includes:

5 relaxing nights in a palatial suite including fabulous breakfast by the Lakeside, Sunday Carvery Lunch on arrival, 2 Dinners in our 2 AA Rosette Restaurant, Dinner Cabaret on Wednesday night until October 31st (or dinner in the restaurant during the winter months)
Complimentary wine tasting & cooking demonstration

Valid Sunday – Thursday
From €519 pps in an Executive or Lakeshore Suite (November 2018 – March 2019)
From €599 pps in an Executive or Lakeshore Suite (April 2018 – June 10th 2019)
From €679 pps in an Executive or Lakeshore Suite (June 17th 2018 – October 2018)

We can tailor make a three or four night short break for you featuring recommended trips and must see attractions.

Optional Extras:

Guided chauffeur tour ~€120 per day for driver & Mercedes or similar car
Hill walking guide ~€75 per day
Ticket to Donegal Bay Waterbus €15
Admittance to Glenveagh Castle €5, Donegal Castle €4
Picnic Basket per person €18

Terms & Conditions
All beverages and extra meals to be paid direct
The itinerary is subject to change

You can also avail of Afternoon Tea, all day dining in Harvey’s Bar or indeed try our new seven course Tasting Menu with wine pairings. Chris, Colin and our team of chefs are working on our new Autumn Menu which will showcase some amazing seasonal dishes, using the finest ingredients from the land, air and sea.

Our Sales Team is at your service to assist with any queries you may have in planning your Autumn escape. We hope to have the pleasure of welcoming you to Harvey’s Point.


August 2018

Autumn Breaks Ireland - Autumn Offers at Harvey's Point
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Romantic Autumn Escape

Enjoy a Romantic Autumn Escape in one of Ireland's most stunning locations, whether it's strolling hand in hand on a country walk, relaxing in a private hot tub for two or lounge in front of one of our many log fires...

Dinner Cabaret Show

Dust off your party frock and pull out your dancing shoes and join us. Our superb Cabaret runs from 27th June to 31st October.
Sunday Sleepover at Harvey's Point

Sunday Sleepover

Enjoy a chilled out Sunday with our Sunday Sleepover Offer. Take in the views of Lough Eske while enjoying a scrumptious five course lunch in our Lakeside Ballroom before checking in to a palatial suite for some "Us Time".
Girly Breaks

Girly Getaway

Whether it's a girly getaway with your girlfriends or a Mother & Daughter treat or pre-wedding wedding get together Harvey's Point is the ideal location to get the girls together.