Day two of our adventure and already we were feeling the temperature decrease. After having spent our first night in a tent we didn’t really know what to expect. We woke up at 7am due to the wind, light rain and a Donkey crying every 10 minutes! We decided to get up, get dressed and hit the showers!
Where we parked towards the showers was a good few minutes’ walk, not perfect in a cold chilly morning, but needs are a must!
Firstly the warm shower felt like such a luxury but when you dig deeper not really! In the men’s toilets/showers there was no overhead light. Now it was light at 7am so this wasn’t a massive issue but still come on, a simple timer light switch is all you need in there. Also, to make things slightly worse the shower door had no lock, thankfully when we stayed there seemed to be few people about, plus it was so early no one was up yet.
Female toilets on the other hand, were clean but dark. The bathroom light worked perfectly but didn’t really stretch to the shower room, which made showering, well interesting! Plenty of hot water was available and access to plug in a hair dryer was available.
Afterwards we packed up our tent and headed for the Doagh Famine Village
Doagh Famine Village
The site was incredibly easy to find, with great signage from Ballyliffin onwards. We took to some more small meandering roads and came across a large car park with outside public toilets, located just to the right of the entrance.
The centre is built around original thatched lodgings, which were still occupied up until 1983 by the owners’ family on the Isle of Doagh and is one of Inishowen’s most popular attractions.
We entered the visitor centre and paid admission which was €12 or €6 each. Main toilets and baby changing facilities were located in the courtyard, no Wi-Fi facilities but suitable for all weather as it’s mostly under cover.
We had a nosey round the gift shop until our tour left at 10:30am. Our guide was called Pat and he was exceptional! He explained how families and communities have survived in Ireland from the ever shifting times since the famine to the present day economic troubles.
His tour lasted roughly one hour and took us from what life was like in the 18th century, including the types of seaweeds they ate, how to cook them, what the local people of the shore harvested including fish and how they lived off the land.
When Ireland started to fall on hard times in the late 1870’s, it was due to the agricultural depression; caused by the increase of cheap grain and meat from America, combined with a series of bad home harvests. If you couldn’t pay your rent, the Law may have armed troops, police and a 30-foot battering ram shod with iron at your door. The sheriff would have placed wooden planks on the doorway as an eviction notice, if he returned and these planks where broken, you had committed another crime – Breaking and Entering. Literally.
Pat explained all the various scenes throughout the tour and took us right up to the troubles in Northern Ireland, this being his last topic. After this we were free to explore the Doagh Famine Village at our leisure.
After our tour, we spoke to a woman in the gift shop and she recommended we visit the ruins of Carrickabraghy Castle, a 16th century castle built on a rocky cape with spectacular views of the Donegal hills and headlands and strategically situated on a rocky outcrop overlooking Trawbregga Bay.
Locally known as the Castles, Carrickabraghy is one of four remaining O’Doherty strongholds in the Inishowen Peninsula. The others are at Burt, Inch and Buncrana. Built in c1540 during a brief period when the Doagh division were chieftains of Inishowen and was occupied by them until 1610. A beautiful spot with views of the Isle of Doagh in the background.
We left the castle ruins and headed towards Glenevin Waterfall, Clonmany.
Signage was an issue as we drove right past the turn in for the car park. This was small but busy and was also free to use. Access to one male and one female toilet are located just beside Glenhouse (a tea room, B&B and craft shop).
The walkway from the gardens of The Glen House takes you upstream along meandering streams to Glenevin Waterfall. Located along the way are several picnic areas and beautiful vantage points
As it’s free to access, donations are welcome.
From the car park to the waterfall was a distance of around 1km. Alot of work had been done to the pathways and bridges across the river, which had been destroyed and damaged during a storm.
The waterfall itself stands 70m in height; the base of the waterfall can get very busy especially if you want to take that stunning photograph!
After the waterfall we headed for a drive!