This week we’re off to the wilds of Donegal. Ireland’s most northerly county borders the mighty Atlantic and the landscape is full of drama, majestic beauty and a trip here is unforgettable. The people are warm and full of humour and that famous Irish hospitality is at it’s finest here. It’s also home to some of our favourite makers here at The Irish Store so we’ll be dropping by to say hello and see what delights they have to offer.
1. Glenveagh National Park
Ireland’s second-largest national park covers 16,000 hectares and is a walkers paradise. Feast your eyes on the Derryveigh Mountains and discover the stunning 19th-century Glenveagh castle and gardens in its fairytale setting on the shores of Lough Veagh. One of our favourites from our Summer Collection shares its name with this stunning region.
This stunning corner of south-west Donegal is ruggedly beautiful and tradition, culture and the Irish language are preserved and cherished here. Take in the ever-changing landscape and soak up the unique atmosphere. A veritable treasure chest of stone-walled fields, awesome sea-cliffs and breathtaking beaches. Here’s one of my favourites.
3. Silver Strand Malinbeg
This stunning horseshoe bay with its sandy white strand and bottomless blue waters is such a treat. Descend the many stone steps and find yourself wrapped in majestic cliffs with exceptional views. It was a walk on this very beach with my friend DarylK that inspired the idea for a re-imagining of the classic Aran sweater. The results were stunning.
The DarylK Aran Cardigan. Designed exclusively for the Irish Store
4. Slieve League
Get that edge of the world feeling at some of Ireland’s highest sea-cliffs. Their highest point stands at a staggering 1998 feet- 3 times higher than their cousins in County Clare, the Cliffs of Moher! Venturing beyond the main viewing point to One Man’s Pass is strictly for the experienced hiker. On a clear day, you can enjoy astounding views of Sligo, Leitrim and even the mountains of Mayo.
Before we head northwards we must drop by the townland of Kilcar. Apart from being a beautiful Irish village with a particularly warm welcome, it also has a long tradition of producing the finest hand-woven textiles and Irish knitwear. Here’s one of my Kilcar favourites from The Irish Store Aran sweaters Collection.
Heading northwards now to the jewel in the crown of the Rosguill peninsula, the magnificent Downings beach. This is also the home of another one of our wonderful makers at The Irish Store, Mc Nutt of Donegal. For 60 years they have been producing some of the worlds finest quality weaves with luxurious woollen yarns, continuing an age-old Irish craft tradition. Here’s one of my favourites from our collection of Irish blankets.
7. The Inishowen Peninsula
Time to head further north and Ireland’s largest peninsula, Inishowen. More magic awaits here with a wealth of yet more stunning beaches, the highest sand dunes in Europe, charming fishing villages and countless relics of ancient Ireland. It is also home to yet another of our makers. Rosaleen and her team of world-class hand knitters lovingly handknit the finest Aran sweaters in their Donegal homes near the village of Buncrana. Continuing an age-old Irish craft that has been passed down from generation to generation, Each cardigan comes signed by your personal knitter along with the meanings of the Aran stitches.
This is the Malin Aran Cardigan from our Donegal handknit collection. It takes its name from our breathtaking final destination…
8. Malin Head
So here we are at Ireland’s most northerly point at the tip of the Inishowen Peninsula. Awe-inspiring views of this wild Atlantic seascape surround you and the edge of the world feeling is undeniable.
Thanks so much for joining me on this trip to one of our finest counties. See you on the road next week!
Don’t forget to get a Donegal sweater use BLOG10 at the checkout to get a 10% discount sitewide.
Slán go fóill!
The Irish Store Founder
Love your site. Looking forward to returning to Ireland soon.
Thanks so much for your lovely comment Michael and thanks for reading.
Happy New Year!
My grandmother was from Letterkenny Donegal. She told me she lived in a whitewashed cottage with 2 rooms. Parents bedroom, in 1 room and then in the other room a living, cooking, child sleeping area. She said they would bring the cow inside to the 2nd room area in inclement weather.
What wonderful memories. I just love those old stories.
Thanks so much reading,