Donegal town, about ten minutes away by car, is the nearest centre for pretty much anything from groceries to fishing tackle. The centre of the town is known as The Diamond, and can get very busy in high season, with great pubs and live music.
photo Avramescu Marius
You can’t miss the recently restored Donegal Castle, built by Red Hugh O’Donnell in 1474, but there is also a charming harbour which you can reach along the Bank Walk beside the River Eske as it flows into the bay.
The town was invaded by the Vikings in the 8th century and they used it as a port – hence its Gaelic name Dun na nGall, which means ’Fort of the Foreigners’.
The county is renowned for its golden surfing beaches, such as Murvagh beach, and Rossnowlagh which is one of Europe's finest. The European Surfing Championships have been held here on three occasions. Donegal Bay’s funnel-like shape encourages huge Atlantic rollers, occasionally as high as 7 metres (20 ft).
County Donegal is the largest in Ulster and the only one that is not in the UK.
Population decimated during the famine, still only about half of what it was in the mid-19th century.
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Only half an hour away, Killybegs is home to Ireland’s largest off-shore trawler fleet, so it’s not surprising that some of the best fresh fish food is to be found here. The town is famous for its tapestries and carpets, some of which were produced on the biggest carpet loom in the world at the Donegal Carpet Factory. The carpets, known as Donegals, are hand-knotted in the Turkish style.
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