Travel columnist Anna Farren shares some beautiful spots in Ards and Dunfanaghy to visit and show your friends why Donegal is the coolest place in the world.

With a friend having travelled from Dublin to Donegal for the weekend, I wanted that Saturday to include showing off our beautiful county, which had just been named that weekend by National Geographic, the coolest place in the world!

With only one afternoon, eager not to disappoint her high expectations of what our county has to offer and daylight not on our side, I opted for us to head towards Ards Friary. From here, we began our walking route, which begins through gates which are just left of the car park at Ards Friary.

With quips of delight from my friend in the beauty of where we were, I was only too delighted to tell her that the best view was yet to come.

We climbed a few short, but steep hills and made it to the top of the loop fairly quickly. We stopped at the highest point and took in a simply stunning 360 degree view – from the hills of Donegal to beaches below – I feel this is one view which shows off the beauty of our beloved wee county!


Before making our descent to the car park, we took the steps that lead to the beach below. With no one but ourselves on it, we agreed that this was the most peaceful of places on what was a cold, crisp but oh so calm winter’s day in Co. Donegal.


We made our way to the car park and drove the short distance from Ards to Dunfanaghy to warm ourselves up with some hot chocolate, coffee and of course, some treats in the cosy and cute café that is Muck ‘n’ Muffins.


With bellies full, we got lost in the café’s shop, looking at the handmade products and gifts of all sorts, only to be told that there was a Christmas shop open around the corner.


WARNING: Your wallet may be a lot lighter following a trip to the shop and Christmas shop with trinkets of all shapes and sizes too pretty to leave behind!