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Donegal: Ireland's Hidden Treasure

Ireland has some of the most beautiful and secluded landscapes. It is one of my favorite places to visit for a relaxing break, away from the busyness of life. Donegal is a little treasure trove of Ireland, west of Northern Ireland, holding its beauty in the beaches, mountains and hidden villages. In Donegal, there is a small airport situated outside the village of Annagry, which has been awarded the most beautiful airport in the world, if you ever have the chance to see it, you'll understand why.

We stayed in a little cottage just outside of Annagry, you can find pretty cheap places on Booking.com and Airbnb, giving you not only stunning views but also a traditional little cottage to yourself. Turf is grown in these areas which is a form of wood burner and smells so homely. I love to roll the windows down when I'm driving around these places as it always reminds me of sitting next to the fire on a rainy day with cozy PJ's. We spent only a few days in Donegal, which still gave us enough time to venture round the place. The beaches are right next to the airport, where there are also campsites and B&B's dotted about along with towering sand dunes and wildflowers.

The wildflowers are unmissable and walking among them is so therapeutic. Carrickfin Beach runs parallel to the airport which is scenic with an impressive view of Mount Errigal (or how I like to call it, mini Mount Fuji) and can be great for surfing and body boarding, along with collecting these beauty's...

Boatstrand Beach is just down the road and is filled with rock pools and an island for cliff jumping. I found a company called 'Rapid Kayaking' which explores caves nearby and is amazing for an adventurous family day out. One of my favorite things to do on these beaches is to go rock pooling for hours on end looking for shrimp, crab and small fish. You'd be surprised with the amount of unique creatures you can find with just a simple bamboo stick net and some buckets...

Like I mentioned before, Mount Errigal overlooks Annagry and the Donegal Airport, which is a few miles away. We came across this little coffee cart on our way home, the Mini Bean is for sure placed in the best spot.

We drove past the breathtaking mountain valley, stopping at a tourist hot spot: Glenveagh National Park. This place you cannot miss with a little castle tucked away by the lake within the park. The gardens surrounding this castle are a must see with almost every flower you can think of in full bloom (and a perfect photo opportunity too).

A little break away like this is definitely worth it just for a few days to take it easy. The locals are so friendly and around the areas are filled with traditional pubs and restaurants. It doesn't cost much to fly into the local airport and cottages nearby can run very cheap. For students, a break like this can cost around £100-£300 for a long weekend, perfect to relax from the busy and sometimes stressful student life.

So I've told you Ireland's best kept secret, have a visit and find out for yourself. Have you visited this place before? Let me know what you thought.

Soph x

Current Status: Northern Ireland

Next Stop: Florida

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