Buncrana, Co. Donegal  » Travel  »
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  • If it is good old fashioned 'Irish' one is after, with ' Ceili' and ' Craic' , and thatched cottages, Buncrana is not the best place to find this anymore

    • by Globetrotter
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      Buncrana is a small town in the Inishowen peninsula in Co. Donegal. It’s main attraction is that is lies on the shores of Lough Swilly, which separates the Western Peninsula from the Fanad from the Fanad peninsula.

      It’s a picturesque area surrounded by the famous ‘ rolling green hills’ of Donegal which in summer and autumn are covered in flowering heather. There is plenty to do for the nature lover: Walks on long sandy and often deserted beaches , hillwalking, cycling and fishing.

      The latter is a popular pastime with locals who fish for trout in the Crana river. ( permit required) The Irish weather can be unpredictable, but should not put anyone off exploring the area, as a bit of windy and wet weather can also add to


      the rough charm and wildness of nature here.

      With a bit of luck and patience one could spot seals or porpoises, and a bit further out where the open Atlantic stretches into the distance , whale watcher may be lucky!

      For those who prefer to sit out the rain inside, there is a cinema which shows a different film each week, and plenty of places to eat . My personal favourites are the Fisherman’s Wharf just 5 minutes from the Main Street, which serves snacks, sandwiches, cakes and has an outside deck area which is often crowded in the summer.

      The beach house is another great place to eat and ‘ look ‘ , as it is situated right by the pier with views over the Lough. Once a ...


      • week there is also live music.

        Until about 10 years ago the town would have been described as ‘ sleepy’ and typically Irish, with old style houses and old fashioned supermarkets . Now though the modern world has caught up and there are ( too many) characterless housing estates being built, and parts of the town could be anywhere in the world with ‘ chain’ shops and eateries like Aldi, Lidl, Supervalu and Subway take Away.

        If it is good old fashioned ‘Irish’ one is after, with ‘ Ceili’ and ‘ Craic’ , and thatched cottages, Buncrana is not the best place to find this anymore. ( one has to fo a bit further out to West Donegal for this) The character of the town is becoming more

        modern and more ‘ multi’ European with an influx of Eastern Europeans who come to seek employment.

        However, Buncrana is still a great place as a base to explore from or as a short term stop over. It’s also close to Derry in Northern Ireland with bigger shopping centers and more choice in general.

        should one get bored!

        In summer a ferry runs between Buncrana pier and Rathmullan on the other side, from where one can explore the ‘ wilder’ parts of this County. ‘ Entertainment’ is provided mostly in the form of nature and heritage places, ancient ruins, christian relics , stone circles etc.

        There is no excuse for boredom and after a day out in the fresh air there are plenty of guesthouses and hotels to stay in- for all budgets! Its definitely worth a visit!



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