There are numerous courses within an hour or so drive of the cottage, Murvagh, Strandhill, Narin and Portnoo, Rosapenna, Ballybofey and Stranorlar, Bundoran, Dunfanaghy, Leterkenny, Portsalon, the closest courses are Gweedore and Cruit Island, both approx 15 minutes away and set in beautiful coastal scenery. The courses vary from links courses with sheep as green keepers, to beautifully manicured championship courses on a par with anywhere.
There are also a couple of “pitch and putt” courses which may be more suitable for children or a fun day.
Donegal is blessed with some of the most beautiful, and uncrowded beaches in Europe, some sheltered and safe for bathing, some wild Atlantic storm beaches with good surf. There are too many to list but a few minutes drive from the cottage are Maghery, Mullaghduff and Carrickfinn.
Dooey and Carrickfinn are the nearest beach breaks, there are a few “secret spots” and reefs worth exploring, (try looking around the Bloody foreland and towards Dunfanaghy) and the Donegal West coast surf capital of Bundoran has a great reef called “the peak”. The famous breaks of Strandhill and Easky are within easy reach as are numerous less crowded breaks. Please respect the locals at the more crowded spots and keep a mellow vibe in the water. The Stormriders Guide shows the more popular breaks.
Fishing: Game, Lough
Tully cottage is situated in the middle of a wealth of Salmon, Sea Trout and Trout fishing. The Lough in front of the cottage is renowned for sea trout and is the second Lough up the Dungloe system; the fish tend to hold here for a long time before moving further upstream. There are reputed to be 130 Loughs within a 10 mile radius of Dungloe, a number of these including Tully, Dungloe, Meela and Alex More have boats for hire. Charlie Bonner at the bridge in Dungloe can provide all permits and boat hire at a modest charge.
Suggested fly patterns include: Teal and Black, Bibio, Claret Bumble, Teal Blue and Silver, Peter Ross, Green Peter, Daddy, Conemarra Black, Medicine. Hoppers fished quietly round the margins can sometimes bring a fish up, as can a fall of red ants in August, when the fishing can sometimes be spectacular.
Fishing: Game, river
There are a number of small spate rivers close to the cottage including the Dungloe, Owenamarve, Ray, Baawan, Lennon, Swilly, Owenea, Eany, Finn, Clady, Crolly, and Gweebarra, with the Easky, Drumcliff and the famous Moy a little further afield. Also the Drowes, which is one of the country’s finest Spring Salmon fisheries is a short drive away and tends to hold its water level’s better being fed from Lough Melvin. A couple of these offer free fishing with the others from 10-30 Euro a day.
Most of these rivers fish best after a flood and as the water clears the fishing can be excellent with the fly.
Suggested fly patterns include: Various shrimp patterns, i.e. Wilkinson’s, Ally’s, Cascade, GP, Easky Gold, Curry’s and hair wing patterns such as Stoats Tail, for spring fishing, tube flies like the Gary, Willie Gun and modern Templedogs and Pot Belly Pigs.
Please note that for all Salmon and Sea Trout fishing a State Salmon and Sea Trout licence is required. Peter O’Reilly’s excellent guide books are a good source of information.
Fishing: Sea, shore
There is an abundance of under exploited shore fishing around Donegal, most anglers concentrate on the game fishing. For children, the easiest fishing near the cottage is at Kincasslagh harbour where they can catch Pollack close to the harbour wall, some flatfish, Mackerel in summer and Conger eels and Wrasse close to the rocks.
There are numerous rock marks, beaches and harbours all worth exploring, just get a map and follow the coast road! For starters, Carrickfinn and Dooey beaches have good Flounder, small Turbot and occasional Sea Trout and Bass, St John’s Point and Teelin are two recognised rock marks that can throw up a huge variety of species.
Fishing: sea, boat
The main ports to charter a boat are Burtonport, 15 minutes from the cottage, Killybegs and Downings. There are a variety of skippers offering everything from short Mackerel sessions for children to deep water wreck fishing and even big game fishing for Tuna in the autumn.
Small boats can be launched from numerous places, the closest to the cottage being Burtonport and Kincasslagh.
Pony trekking and horse riding:
There are several facilities in the area within driving distance of the cottage which offer horse riding and pony trekking. For more information see our links page.
Mountain climbing and hill walking:
Errigal is the highest mountain in Donegal, there are two peaks connected by “one man’s path”, climb it on a clear day and enjoy spectacular panoramic views. This is quite a difficult climb but there are many coastal and mountain paths to suit all abilities.
Indoor water fun park, situated in Bundoran.
There are various festivals throughout Donegal in the summer months. The “Mary from Dungloe” festival is at the end of July and has fun for all the family throughout the week.
Ionad Cois Locha:
This loughside museum, featuring a two-story farm house with animals and crafts is great for children.
A boat from Burtonport takes you the three miles offshore to this island steeped in history with spectacular cliff scenery, sea birds, marine caves and great fishing.
Glencolumbkille Folk Village Museum:
Nestled into the hillside, this museum offers an insight to the history of Ireland and features tours of thatched cottages.
Glenveigh National Park and Castle:
This is Ireland’s largest and most beautiful national park featuring a fully restored castle, sheltered lake and exceptional gardens.