Local AttractionsA number of Donegal's most popular tourist attractions are all within a short drive of Arnolds Hotel. Here's our pick of the best!
The Workhouse Dunfanaghy
The Dunfanaghy Workhouse was a traditional Workhouse offering respite for the poor from 1845 to 1922 during the Irish Potato Famine. Today the building is open to the public as a heritage centre and hosts 'Meet Wee Hannah', an exhibition which tells of the struggles of local woman Hannah Herrity surviving the famine and her stay in the Workhouse. Browse the Workhouse Exhibition and learn some history about the Workhouse and surrounding Sheephaven Bay Area. There is also a lovely gift shop and cafe in the building as well as other tourist information facilities.
Glenveagh National Park
Glenveagh National Park is one of Donegal’s historical gems and a place you will want to return to again and again. The 16,000 hectares of Glenveagh includes most of the Derryveagh Mountains, the Poisoned Glen and part of Errigal Mountain and is a beautiful place to walk the hills and follow trails. The park extends over a large area of north Donegal and you have free access to roam from all points. Hillwalking in Glenveagh National Park can be challenging for the novice, but there are also relatively easy trails described below for all levels within the park. You can also take a tour of the 19th century castle, observe the incredible wildlife or wander through the idyllic Castle Gardens regarded as one of Ireland’s outstanding horticultural masterpieces before enjoying lunch or a sweet treat in the popular Castle Tea Rooms.
Learn more about life in Donegal in the years gone by with a visit to the popular Dunlewey Centre. Here you can tour the thatched cottage that once belonged to local weaver Manus Ferry, renowned for his Donegal tweeds. There is also a craft shop, museum, restaurant, petting zoo and activity centre. For us the real highlight is a boat trip on the lake with a storyteller who vividly brings to life local history and ghoulish folklore.
Fanad Head is one of three Signature Points on Donegal's Wild Atlantic Way and is home to Fanad Lighthouse, voted one of the most beautiful lighthouses in the world. Here you can enjoy a guided tour and learn more about the history of this working lighthouse, the Lightkeeper’s Cottages and the area around it. Give yourself plenty of time here. Take in the spectacular scenery and explore the wild wonderful natural world around you.
Donegal is dotted with many ruins of old castles. Just a ten minute drive from the hotel discover the history and beauty of local Doe Castle on the outskirts of Creeslough. This mid 16th century home of the MacSweeney Clan served as a refuge for ship wrecked sailors from the Spanish Armada in 1588. The castle sits on a small peninsula, surrounded on three sides by water, with a moat cut into the rock of the landward side. The structure consists mainly of high outer walls around an interior bawn with a four-storey tower-house/keep. Guided tours of the tower house are facilitated by local community group, Friday to Sunday during July and August.