After a long week of camping in sometimes not so glorious weather, we were glad to finally see a roof over our heads. After exploring Donegal Town we made our way to the Mill Park Hotel, a 4 star hotel just a 5 minute drive from the town centre. We checked in at 3pm on the dot, desperate for a warm shower and a dry roof over our heads.
Upon entering the hotel is beautifully laid out with a roaring fireplace to the right as you walk through the doors, a lovely warm Irish welcome.
Upon check in we managed to get upgraded! (more than likely because we both looked like we’d been dragged through a hedge!) But still, a lovely surprise none the less. Price for the hotel was €130 for the one night. This included breakfast the next morning. We are unsure of the cost of the room that we actually stayed in. We also booked direct with Mill Park Hotel and not through a 3rd part website!
We ended up in the honeymoon suite (think they were trying to tell us something). This Included a Queen Size bed with 2 TV’s in separate rooms one with sofas galore in it, circled by glass blocks. Even the bathroom had two separate sections for the bath and then the shower, with his and hers sinks…
Least to say we were definitely very impressed. Included within our price of the room, we got access to the leisure facilities, which included access to the pool, gym and sauna.
After a well earned rest. We decided to try the Granary Restaurant for dinner, a 3 course meal for two with alcoholic drinks works out around 60 euro, a very reasonable price for the portion sizes we received.
The food was fantastic and the staff very attentive. We would definitely recommend a visit.
We ordered Garlic Bread for starters, Chicken escalope with chunky chips and Chicken Penne Pasta for mains and finally, the chocolate fudge cake for dessert.
After our first night’s sleep in a bed for about a week, we packed our things for the last time and made our way home.
But not before stopping at one last location. We had been told to give Tropical World a visit on our way back. Which is based in Loughnagin, Letterkenny. Located within Alcorns, which is Donegal’s longest established Florist.
The site itself was easy to find, you just walk through the garden centre which takes you to the admissions for Tropical World. Prices for Adults was 8.50 euro, children under 14 was 7 euro and children under 3 are free. A family ticket is available for 2 adults and 2 children priced at 28 euro. No wifi facilities are within the area (Just a lot of Meerkats)
On site, the Poppy Seed Bakery has a selection of tea’s, coffee, sandwiches and much more if you’re peckish, and of course a gift shop available at reception. Tropical World also make note that they are fully accessible to wheelchair usage.
The site itself is essentially a miniature zoo, beautifully laid out with flora and fauna and a perfect place to take kids to learn about rare species and the continuous conservation work done here.
We started our tour through the butterfly garden, which is essentially a giant green house filled with exotic plants and of course butterflies. I never realised they could grow so big!
Tropical World had been an ambition of founder Clive Alcorn. To bring a tropical butterfly house to Donegal. During 6 years, ideas for this project grew and eventually back in October 2010 started work on erecting a large glass house that would eventually be called Tropical World and become home to a wide array of captivating plants and animals.
Butterflies are free to roam across the greenhouse, everywhere you look something is not what it seems.
Tropical World first opened its doors in 2011 and over the years has maintained duties such as education, conservation projects and research. At the beginning of 2013 Tropical World was in the process of becoming members of the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) and later obtained a provisional licence.
Conservation is really at the heart of everything here at Tropical World. The centre overflows with beautiful flowers and all types of fauna, including Owls, monkeys, meerkats and marmosets.
Alas we come to the end of our first series of blogs on Donegal. We hope you have enjoyed our adventures as much as we have, but don’t worry, we have new and exciting escapades ahead of us.