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Exploring the Wild Atlantic Way

Janet Redler recently returned from a tour of the Wild Atlantic Way in Ireland, with thanks to Failte Ireland, the National Tourism Development Agency for Ireland. This is Jan’s blog about her legendary journey.

DNFSwNTWAAAR8QZ.jpgMalin Head on the Wild Atlantic Way

We began our tour in Derry-Londonderry, the only remaining walled city in Ireland and one of the finest walled cities in Europe. We enjoyed a guided walking tour around the city, taking in the finest buildings, including the Guildhall, located in the heart of the city. Our tour guide Michael was fantastic and, as well as sharing his in-depth knowledge of the city, helped us all enjoy some great Irish craic along the way.

DMwYlNjXUAAD0FT.jpgThe Guildhall in Derry

Our next stop was Donegal, named the number one cool place to visit in 2017 by National Geographic Traveller magazine, and where the Wild Atlantic Way really gets going. We headed towards Malin Head, Ireland’s most northerly point, and saw where the new Star Wars movie, The Last Jedi was filmed.

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We then visited Farren’s Bar in Malin Head, Ireland’s most northerly pub, which is an old-style family run bar that has a great atmosphere and offers a warm welcome in front of a roaring fire. When we were there, we learnt to make Irish Coffee in the traditional way, just like mother used to make!

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Our next stop was the incredible Farad Lighthouse, which reaches out bravely into the Atlantic Ocean, and climbed the 79 steps up the tower to see the light. We then visited a local craft shop, Donegal Designer Makers, which had work on display from 25 different makers from across the county and watched them weaving wonderful Donegal tweed.

DM0e9unW0AE6tXs.jpgAt Farad Lighthouse

We experienced the warmest of welcomes at Nancy’s Bar in Ardara, which has been in the McHugh family for over seven generations, and again we were delighted to warm ourselves in front of the log fire. 

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As our tour of the Wild Atlantic Way continued into County Sligo, we witnessed the amazing art of sheep herding with Jack the border collie and shepherd Martin – what an amazing experience! Then we enjoyed a fascinating afternoon foraging along the seashore, harvesting and eating seaweed on Streedagh beach. Very tasty it was too, and good for you they say!

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In peaceful Drumcliffe, we saw the grave of W B Yeats, the famous Irish writer. While he may not have been born in Sligo, he spent many childhood years in the area, the landscapes of which have been immortalized in his writings. Drumcliffe is also the site of an ancient monastery, founded by St Columba, and some of the Celtic crosses there date to the 9th Century and are decorated with carvings of Adam and Eve and Daniel in the lion’s den. 

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It just remains to thank Failte Ireland and the tour operators involved who provided us with such wonderful experiences on our five-day tour. This beautiful part of Ireland really is worth a visit at any time of year and the sights and sounds you will see there are unforgettable.

If you or your group would like to enjoy a tour of the Wild Atlantic Way as part of a visit to Ireland, then please do contact our friendly team.

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