Imagine getting away from the hustle and bustle of modern life, back to a time and place where the smell of turf smoke, heather and the sea drift across an unspoiled rural lanscape of small stone-walled fields and quiet country roads where the only sound you're likely to hear is birdsong and the wind in the grass or waves on the shore. Picture a thatched cottage, tucked under a towering hill where hawks hover and stoop in the crystal-clear air. Think of tranquility, of solitude, of relaxation. An ideal place to relax and unwind, to get in touch with nature.
Let your mind wander to where you stroll the beaches or explore winding bog roads that take you through wild unspoiled Donegal hills, along towering cliffs with stunning views of the restless Atlantic ocean and around silent, dark and deep mountain lakes. Taste the sea air and the salt spray.
Are you ready for that? Yes? Then pack a bag and come sample some Island living...
We can all talk about wanting to get away from it all and living in a little cottage in the country or by the sea, but most of us are used to our home comforts, too. This cottage offers the best of both worlds - a high degree of 'authenticity' with all the mod cons discreetly hidden away. A mixture of comfort and simplicity that will allow you to feel like you've stepped back in time by about a hundred years.
Featuring a double en-suite (electric shower), open-plan kitchen/dining/living area with stove and a truly impressive stone fireplace, two bedrooms with double beds, bedroom with 4 bunk beds and a seperate bathroom featuring solid stone tub and Victorian shower, this is ideal for a medium to large family. Set well back from the road, there is generous secure parking and a covered drying area to the rear, with patio and garden furniture - ideal for barbecues or just whiling away a pleasant evening outdoors.
Take a quick tour of the gallery (no, make that a leisurely tour - start as you mean to go on) and browse the rest of the site - there's lots of information about the cottage, the island, things to do there and other useful information and links to other sites that may be of use or interest.
A vertiable wealth of recreational activities await all who visit. The geography, flora and fauna, both above and below the water (yes, it's an island - so why restrict yourself to the bit above the water if you dive, swim, fish, windsurf, kayak or otherwise enjoy the marine environment?) offer myriad opportunities for bird watching, painting, photography, hiking and sight-seeing. It's not uncommon to see seals, dolphins and occasionally whales around the island - even from the shore. Local operators offer charter angling, whale and bird-watch trips around the island, with spectacular scenery - cliffs, beaches, caves and so on.
For those who get enough solitude wandering the island by day, there's also a lively pub scene at night, often with live music of various genres (trad and folk, with a bit of country for the most part) and for the more adventurous or young (or young-at-heart), you can also do a little clubbing at the weekends - best sampled at peak holiday times, but there's always a bit of craic to be had somewhere. Everywhere is within walking distance if you don't mind a mile or two. If the day's exploits have taken a toll on your stamina, there are taxis. Rustic and rural it might be as a place, but you dont have to walk home.
The links page has all the information you ought to need on where shops, restaurants, bars and other facilities are. Also listed are local taxi numbers, links to ferry timetables and other transport related stuff like local bus operators , airports, car and bike rental, angling/boat charters, internet facilities, library, children's playpark, pitch & putt, medical services and so on. If we've missed anything, ask a local or inquire when you book.
Arranmore Island, crouched against the North-West coast of Donegal - itself the most North-Westerly county in Ireland is the largest inhabited true offshore island in Ireland. Sparsely populated, (it's home to about 500 inhabitants) it has retained a quite unique way of life, balanced with the comforts of modern living. Just isolated enough not to be tainted by modern life yet still quite accessible.
Similar in many ways to the Donegal hills it enjoys spectacular views of, it's very much a cluster of hills rising from the Atlantic ocean, bounded largely by impressive cliffs on it's more exposed side to the West and North, with numerous beaches and inlets on the South and Eastern sides which face the mainland. Most of the interior and Northern/Western side are covered by blanket bog, giving way to stony peaks and a number of dark, peaty mountian lakes.
In common with many offshore islands, Arranmore has an unsurprising lack of many mammals and amphibians common on the neighbouring mainland. However, this has led to quite a unique ecology where many birds, plants and rare types of flora and fauna can flourish.
Opportunities abound for the ornithologist, angler, botanist, geologist, hikers, ramblers, beachcombers or anyone who just wants to see something a bit different, a bit special.