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Sunday, 19 September 2010

THREE DAYS IN INISHOWEN

THREE DAYS IN INISHOWEN ~ PART 1

It was our 31st wedding anniversary last week so we decided to spend a few days way up on the north coast of Donegal.  I did what I expect most people do when looking for accommodation and googled for a one bedroom cottage.  I love old Irish cottages and really wanted a tiny thatched cottage and I was lucky enough to find 'Cloverfield Cottage' right up on the Isle of Doagh which isn't far from the very most northerly point of Ireland, Malin Head.

Cloverfield Cottage, Isle of Doagh

In the advert it looked idyllic ~ a tiny thatched cottage on the edge of a beautiful sandy bay.  And it was indeed idyllic ~ in the photograph above you can see the sea right behind the house ~ it really was that near.

I emailed the owners and luckily it was available for our chosen three nights.  We arrived in very stormy weather ~ rain pelting down and gales blowing!  In fact so bad was the weather, Ray one of the owners, rang me a day before our arrival date to say that as we were so near (the cottage is only an hour's drive from our home), we could put off our arrival date for a day to see if the weather improved.  But as anyone who reads my blog will know, I have a very optimistic view of the weather.  Even in the worst weather I expect to get some blue skies and sunshine and luckily it usually works out that way.

View from Cloverfield Cottage
We met Ray and his wife Mary in Carndonagh and they drove ahead of us to guide us to the cottage, 8km away.  Once there and inside Ray and Mary made us very welcome and told us a little about the cottage.  It was Mary's home place, the place she was born and where her mother raised thirteen children, yes thirteen!

After they left we got settled in and while a gale blew outside we were so cosy in the pretty little living room with it's big granite stoned fireplace.  Ray and Mary had left a welcome pack of scones, fresh eggs, tea, milk, butter and napkins, very thoughtful.  The bedroom, or lower room as it would have been called many years ago was spacious and well furnished and the en suite had an electric shower, loo and sink. 

The cosy interior of Cloverfield Cottage

Of course being a holiday home owner myself I couldn't help look at it through those eyes and I was delighted to find the place spotless and well stocked with dishes, cutlery, glasses and towels.  I was further delighted to find pure white bedding ~ I love white bedding!  Oh, and there was a hairdryer too.  I like owners who think of everything.

We decided to have an early night and get up to catch the dawn and after a very comfortable sleep we were up and about at 5am just before daybreak.  After some tea and toast and after I made a flask of tea we set off to Banba's Crown, the most northerly point of Ireland, togged out in our wellies and waterproofs.  And of course with our trusty cameras packed safely in their box on the back seat.

Looking down the little road that leads to Banbas Crown

Standing on the cliff edge that is Banaba's Crown in gale force wind with the rain pelting down was some experience.  I was verging between being terrified and exhilarated.  From the car I made a quick dash to one of the derelict look out posts there where I was somewhat protected from the elements and certainly felt safer than being outside where my husband was snapping away at the scenery.  I managed to get lots of shots myself from inside the look out post ~ outside I could scarcely hold the camera still so stormy was it.

Dawn breaking over Ireland's most northerly point

After taking lots of photos we went to sit in the car to thaw out a little and shared a very welcome cup of tea from the flask I had made earlier.  It was so windy even the car was moving!  But through the rain a blue sky was forming very quickly and once we drove down the road a little the sky was positively tropical!  Our Irish weather is well known to be changeable but the weather on the north coast of Donegal is changeable in fast forward mode.

St. Mary's Catholic Church, Lagg, Malin Head

We stopped off at a pretty little church to take some more photographs.  The stone there told us it was St. Mary's, Lagg and I assumed it must be Ireland's most northerly Catholic church but once home again I checked with the priest there and he told me there is in fact one more Catholic church nearer the head.  How we missed it I don't know but the priest told me next time we were up he would take us to it and let us inside to photograph too.

That first day we spent fourteen hours driving around the area enjoying the views, the walks along miles of sandy beaches breathing the fresh salty air and of course taking many photographs.

PART 2 TO FOLLOW ...

To view more about Cloverfield Cottage click HERE

4 comments:

Róisín said...

Hi there,
Just came across your page via Flickr. It's always good to meet fellow Donegal bloggers! I'm an Inishowen woman myself so it was great when this was the first post I saw! I'm even hoping to get married in that church in Lagg! My fiance doesn't do churches, though, and wants Italy but I'll get my way yet ;) Anyway, lovely to meet you!
Roisin x

Catherine McGlynn said...

Hi Rosin

Thanks so much for your comment. Your own blog is sensational ~ the photos and words are great.

It would be lovely to be married at Lagg ~ imagine the possibility for photographs. And I'm sure you will get your way at the end lol.

Catherine

Nancy Caramanico said...

These are beautiful photos. Thanks for sharing!

Catherine McGlynn said...

Hi Nancy

Thank you so much for your kind comment.

Catherine