Monday, 21 April 2008

Beaches and Shorelines - Rossnowlagh

On Friday night we stayed in the Sandhouse Hotel, Rossnowlagh.

Himself had a course to attend the next morning in the hotel so we made the most of this appointment and treated ourselves to a night in the hotel. Rossnowlagh itself is really just the beach, the hotel, a diving school, and a shop or two. It's beauty is somewhat marred on approach by far too many holiday homes scattered willy nilly on it's green fields. I'm sure it is lovely to have a holiday house in such a beautiful place, but I fear the 'planning powers that be' who allowed such a mishmash of developments must have been suffering from delusions if they thought such developments would in any way enhance this scenic area of Donegal.

The hotel itself is situated right at the edge of the most amazing beach. Miles and miles of silver sand and views over to St. John's Point to the right and the distinctive outline of Benbulben in Sligo visible on the horizon to the left.

Sunset over Rossnowlagh Beach
Before going down to dinner we got the chance to take photos of a beautiful sunset over the bay. We must have looked slightly crazy standing out on the balcony in the freezing cold clicking away with our cameras. A rather bemused looking Scottish Terrier watched intently from a nearby bedroom window and I could almost hear him saying 'these people are mad!'. Half an hour later and with frozen fingers and noses we deposited our cameras back in the bedroom and headed down for dinner.

A roaring fire greeted us in reception and from there we made our way to the bar to enjoy a pre-dinner drink while we read the menu. I chose prawns and smoked salmon to start and seabass for mains. Himself had the chicken and ham terrine and the seabass too. A short wait and dinner was served in the homely dining room. We both enjoyed our meal and rounded it off with a creme brulee for himself and a cheeseboard for us to share and two excellent coffees and 2 Remy XOs. The only odd thing was that we were told on the menu that the seabass was filled with tarragon but on arrival it was filled with thyme. Still, they both start with 't' I suppose.

View from the bedroom window

The next day was a glorious sunny day and perfect for a wander along the beach. In the morning after breakfast I watched a group of people attending the surfing school there. It's quite amusing to sit in the warmth of a bedroom looking out at people, probably freezing even in their wetsuits, falling and tumbling time and again into the waves! Lots of people were walking on the beach alone, or with children and others walking dogs.

Cars are allowed on the beach and so we drove the whole length of it to check it out. There is so much space on this beach I just can't imagine it ever being over crowded. On Saturday there was a lone fisherman, some men running horses in traps, and a few minibuses spilling out lots of kids to play football and enjoy a day at the seaside.

Rossnowlagh Beach is around 33km from Daisy Cottage so I'm sure we'll get the chance to visit it more often once the house is ready. It would be perfect to pack up a picnic and spend a day enjoying the fresh sea air and miles of space. And maybe even afternoon tea in the hotel. A couple of years ago we stopped off at the Sandhouse and were served delicious homemade scones and coffee so hopefully they are still offering this but we didn't have time to check it out on this visit.

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