“A Home Away From HomE to discover donegal”
your irish cottage holiday home
Carndonagh, Inishowen Peninsula
4 Bedrooms, Sleeps 8
A warm Irish welcome awaits you at Josie’s Cottage overlooking the beautiful Inishowen Peninsula
The perfect base for exploring Donegal.
4 Bedrooms, bathroom and 2 WC
Josie’s cottage sleeps 8 in 4 bedrooms.
The Master bedroom has a king size bed, lovely views across the valley. There is a second double room with double bed again with views over the valley with 2 further twin rooms.
Out and About
Josie’s cottage has been in our family for over 50 years so we have really been able to get out and about and check out all the local eateries and places to enjoy the Irish craic. See our link below for bars and restaurants for some of our absolute favourites.
Restaurants & Bars
We have been eating out and about in Inishowen for over 50 years now .. here are just a few of our absolute favourites in no particular order .. enjoy the craic 😉
- McGrory’sof Culdaff.
- McGuinness’ Bar in Culdaff is very spacious inside and big screens for sports fans!
- Kealy’s Seafood Restaurant and Bar– Greencastle.
- The Cruiskeen Lawn Bar– Buncrana.
- The Beach House Bar & Restaurant – Buncrana.
- The Red Door Restaurant – Fahan.
- Kealy’s Seafood Restaurant and Bar– Greencastleis just so lovely and their fresh fish is amazing 😉
- The Cruiskeen Lawn Bar– Buncrana
- The Red Door Restaurant – Fahan
- The Rusty Nail– Clonmany. A visit to The Rusty Nail Pub is recommended for a refreshing drink and tasty food.
Inishowen, Donegal have some of the best golf courses whether you want to brush up your swing or come and watch the Irish open. See below for some of the links to the best local courses we have found.
Golf, the big outdoors & Adventure activities
From a carefree gallop along one of the endless sandy beaches to a tranquil walk along a lush green hillside. Tee off on a superb coastal links course or get in to the water to kayak along the stunning coast leading to the majestic Atlantic. Whatever the pace, fast or leisurely, there are plenty of activities for you to enjoy.
Equestrian: For horse riding enthusiasts we recommend Malin Stables – Tel: (00 353) 86 3839 644 or Lenamore Stables in Muff.
Fishing: Anybody looking to charter a boat for sea angling should look no further than the Inishowen Boating Company Ltd. Run by John (Henry) McLaughlin. Fully insured with quality tackle readily available for hire and offering various package trips, they can be contacted from the UK on (00353) 77 70605 or (00353) 86 2522685; WEB
Fresh water fishing: Donegal angling
Surfing: Inishowen Surf School for those who enjoy riding the waves – everyone is welcome!
Diving and Snorkelling: There are more Ocean Liners and German U-boats sunk off Malin Head than anywhere else in the world. Malin Head Wrecks.
Kayaking and Canoeing: For an adrenaline fuelled adventure why not try your hand at kayaking?
Sailing: Lough Swilly Yacht Club has a Sailing School and hosts local regattas in the summer.
Please note all the links were updated in January 2020. Do let us know if you see of any changes.
Spa and Wellbeing
After all the action and activities it might be time to book in for some rest and relaxation. Here is our selection of the best locally:
Natural Touch Beauty Salon – Susan Corr. 19 Chapel Street, Carndonagh. Tel: +353 74 937 3000
Get back to nature
A county of breathtaking scenery, Donegal has a rocky coastline that has been shaped and formed by the will of the Atlantic Ocean.. There is so much on your doorstop to see that you will have to keep coming back like we do. A stay here is the perfect opportunity to deconnect and get back to nature.
Local sites of natural beauty
There is so much to see and do in Donegal you will be spoilt for choice.See our section on day trips to local villages below to ensure you really don’t miss out on any of our local treasures.
Day Trips Local Villages and Towns
c There is so much to see and do right on your doorstop.Keep an eye on the local events via the Visit Carndonagh facebook page.
Here are some of our absolute don’t miss tips and recommendations below:-
Inishowen boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in Ireland. From secluded private coves, to long strands and Blue Flag beaches. Enjoy quality family time on many of the traditional beaches where the kids can paddle and build sandcastles while hunting for shells and rock pooling. For couples a romantic stroll along a deserted beach while the sun is slowly setting will remain with you a lifetime and make you want to return time and time again.
The picturesque village of Culdaff boasts some of the safest beaches which have European Blue Flag status. Discover small inlets and long expanses of sand with rock pools and a children’s playground close by. Whilst in Culdaff, a ‘must see’ is a visit to McGrory’s infamous bar and restaurant. Enjoy fantastic food and traditional Irish music in the bar, whilst Mac’s Backroom Bar hosts live artists on a regular basis.
Bunagee Harbour and Pier can be found just outside Culdaff. Great for crabbing and fishing from the end of the pier. Sea fishing trips if booked will usually depart from here.
Malin is a picturesque and unspoilt 17th century village situated at the head of Trawbreaga Bay (also a film location for the Star Wars film The Last Jedi). A unique feature of the approach to the ‘town’ is the second largest stone bridge in Ireland, with ten arches spanning the bay. The annual Malin Raft Race should not be missed! A highly recommended place to stop is Lily’s Bar & Tearooms on the Green or The Malin Hotel.
Do a Star Wars film location walk in Malin Head.
Don’t miss Peter’s curiosity shop .. his facebook page also has soome good links on it
Five Fingers and Lagg is a must see for those who enjoy wild windswept walks along stunning coastline. The Lagg Road from Malin Town to Malin Head takes you along the shores of Trawbreaga Bay, a wildlife sanctuary. This local beach known as “Five Fingers Tra or Strand” is backed by some of the highest sand dunes in Europe. The road rises sharply following the coastline around the “Knockamany Bens” with breathtaking views of Trawbreaga Bay and Glashedy Island – don’t forget your camera!
The circuit of Malin Head includes The Raised Beach at Portglenone along with The ‘Wee House of Malin” – a cave behind the ruins of the 15th Century Church and Malin Well. There is a saying that “no matter how many people enter it holds all that enter it”.
Whilst at Malin Head why not stop for a bite to eat and a Guinness at the Seaview Tavern – a family run business offering a warm welcome and a delicious menu. From the Seaview Tavern you can clearly see Inishtrahull Island located 6 miles from the coast. Ireland’s most northerly lighthouse is situated here, as are the ruins of the houses and graveyard of this remote island community, vacated in approx. 1929. The only inhabitants now are deer, rabbits and seals! Boat trips can be organised to visit the island. Ireland’s ‘Most Northerly Pub’ Farren’s Bar famous for it’s Star Wars connection can also be found nearby.
Once past the small harbour at Malin Head you will see the Irish Meteorological Service Weather Station which provides the world famous shipping forecasts. Worth a visit is The Old Curiosity Shop, a quaint establishment housing all sorts of unusual items you never knew existed! They also have a wealth of tourist information. Just further up from here is Bamba’s Crown, the most northerly point in Ireland. Walking along the cliff top will take you to Hell’s Hole, a remarkable subterranean cavern 250 ft long and 8 feet wide, into which the tide rushes with huge force. (Children must be supervised).
From the road between Carndonagh and Ballyliffin, why not experience a detour to the Isle of Doagh – where the famous Doagh Famine Village Visitor Centre is situated. This is one of Inishowen’s top visitor attractions, tracing the changing times of Ireland from the 1800’s to the present day.
Ballyliffin is a delightful seaside resort with three hotels and two 18 hole golf courses. Discover a magnificent 2 mile stretch of beach called Pollan Strand and neighbouring Tullagh Bay. Some of the best surfing is enjoyed here.
Clonmany is a traditional Irish Village situated just south of Ballyliffin, nestled beside a river and overlooked by awe-inspiring mountains. Every summer (for the last 45 years) Clonmany has hosted their infamous Clonmany Festival, Ireland’s longest running and best known family festival, providing live music and a week of summer fun for all ages.
Five miles north of Buncrana lies Mamore Gap mountain pass. Elevated at 800 ft above sea level there are spectacular views of the Inishowen peninsula and beyond to the broad sweep of the Atlantic Ocean. A great spot for walkers who want to explore the Urris Hills.
Glenlevin Waterfall, located just over 1 km from Clonmany is one of Inishowen’s most spectacular natural attractions, can be reached by a short but exceptionally rewarding walk through a wooded stream valley with various picnic areas along the route.
Travelling south down the peninsula is Buncrana, the principal town of Inishowen, located on the banks of Lough Swilly. Stroll at your leisure along the 5km Blue Flag sandy beach at Fahan or beside the Crana River, or discover the large variety of shops and restaurants. Alternatively, The Cruiskeen Lawn Bar in St. Mary’s Street is recommended for a refreshing Guinness pit stop whilst exploring! Buncrana also hosts an annual Music and Arts Festival. If you are interested in local history, the Military Museum at Fort Dunree is interesting.
To the west of Letterkenny town, enjoy a day trip to Glenveagh National Park. Encompassing 16,000 acres in the heart of the Derryveagh Mountains the views are breathtaking.
The small border village of Muff divides Donegal (Eire) with Derry. (City of Culture 2013). Muff also hosts an annual summer festival which is worth a visit.
If you go to Derry a lifesaver on a wet day with children is Brunswick Superbowl Bowling. Lots of other ideas for time in Derry – The Walled City are on the websites www.derryvisitor.com or www.visitderry.com.
Further north along the peninsula Moville is a busy scenic market town, located on the banks of Lough Foyle. Moville is very proud of its musical heritage and hosts ‘DylanFest’ and ‘BeatlesFest’ Ireland’s only annual festivals of Bob Dylan’s and The Beatles’ music. Moville Pottery is long established too.
We highly recommend a round of Pitch & Putt in Cooley, Moville an 18 hole course overlooking the very scenic Lough Foyle. Great fun for all the family, clubs and balls provided – good luck with hole No. 3! Tel: (00353) 74 93 82054 or (00353) 86 8115958.
Greencastle is a busy fishing port and renowned for its good restaurants and seafood. The Inishowen Maritime Museum and Planetarium are located here and well worth a visit.
A recommended day trip in the summer months would be to The Giants Causeway and the Bushmills Distillery is to take the Lough Foyle Ferry from Greencastle to Magilligan. This seasonal service links the Antrim Coast to Inishowen. The crossing time of 10 minutes saves 49 miles of driving! No advance booking is required and fares are paid on board but we recommend you check the website for sailing times and don’t forget to take your sterling with you! Don’t forget it doesn’t run/ has an infrequent servie in low seasons.
Located close to Inishowen Head viewing point, the area of Shrove or Stroove (depending on which signpost you see!) has many lovely small coves including a beautiful sandy European Blue Flag beach known as “The Big White Bay” which is a perfect name for this beach with its white sand, clear blue water and shelter from the winds, providing a natural sun trap. It has a very picturesque lighthouse.
Kinnagoe Bay – The scenery approaching this stunning cove is quite breathtaking and descending to the actual beach you feel as if you are in another world – a favourite of ours for the views and the bathing.
Tour of the Inis Eoghain 100
The Inis Eoghain ‘100’ is also suited to the walker and cyclist as well as the motorist. Josie’s Cottage in Carndonagh is ideally positioned at the centre of the peninsula so touring various regions during your stay is easy to plan.
Here are some of our guest reviews
We have just returned from a week in this Cottage, which has the most stunning views of the Irish countryside.
The house is very homely and had everything one would require including a fabulous open fire which was lit most nights.
The fields adjoining the house have horses and donkeys who are very partial to the odd apple.
Carndonagh Chapel is very impressive and well worth a visit as is Culdaff Beach and Malin Head. We were lucky enough to see the dolphins while at Culdaff Beach and see the many thousands of crabs being brought in by the fish trawlers at Malin Harbour.
I would not hesitate to recommend this property.
Beautiful Cottage with fantastic views to wake up to. Had a lovely stay here.
My Husband and two teenage children stayed last week and we were blessed with the good weather. The cottage was fantastic, a real home from home. Everything you needed was on hand, a large spacious Bungalow and a beautiful large garden for our Terrier that came with us. The garden was secured by a gate so no trouble of dog going off. The picnic basket, the wet suits all supplied, even bowls for your dogs in the family. We will definitely go back, we loved the fact that you could walk into the town of Carndonagh but also be out on your own with fantastic views all around you. Thank you to the caretakers who look after the house and for all their help during our stay. Thank you the owners for a wonderful comfortable home.
Ticked all the boxes and more for 2 adults, 3 children (15,11,9) and dog!
Having read all the previous reviews before we booked this cottage, I began to think this place sounds too good to be true!! Having just spent a week there – with 2 adults, 3 kids (15,11,9) and dog – I can only add to the praises. The area is just beautiful, so dramatic and everywhere within a short drive. The beaches never ceased to amaze us, at times we had them to ourselves! Josie’s Cottage was so well equipped, familiar and the minute you lit that fire at night, settled into watching the sun setting before you out the living room window, you knew you would be coming back to this amazing part of Donegal.
First visit we stayed a week; the second visit it had to be two!
If you want to drop down a gear and ‘just be’, then this is the place to be. From the moment you look out the window you will be transfixed with the views, until the sun melts into the mountains in the evening. The cottage was the perfect home from home for our family of 5 (with dog in tow). After a study of the map of Innishowen on the living room wall, over 2 weeks we unhurriedly made our way rediscovering the breathtaking beaches of Culdaff, Pollen Bay, Kinneagoe Bay, Shroove, Five fingers to name a few. Stunning views at Malin Head, Greencastle, Mamore Gap are etched in our holiday memories to treasure. Everywhere is within reach and Carndonagh a lovely 20 min walk. What’s not to like…..thank you again for a wonderful stay x