Our Top Tips

Our Favourite Things To Do

A list of all the best things to do in Dunfanaghy, and the surrounding area, created especially for you by the Team at Arnolds Hotel.

  • Begin and end any day in Dunfanaghy on a gastronomic high sampling the very best local food and drink. Our menu at Arnolds showcases the freshest local ingredients from land and sea, while our Gourmet Burger Bar Arnou features premium local meats, vegetables and craft beer in casual setting. Other foodie hot spots we love include The Rusty Oven Pizzeria and The Shack for an amazing Americano served directly on Marble Hill Beach.
  • A favourite past-time for our bar staff is to sea kayak together around the cliffs at Marble Hill or Portnablagh Pier before work! Our local watersports company JAWS can supply kayaks and life jackets and anything else you may need for a memorable time at sea.
  • Drive along the edge of North Western Europe on the Wild Atlantic Way. Horn Head is our nearest discovery point, a two minute drive from the hotel, but drive in the opposite direction and you can enjoy the stunning Atlantic Drive - a spectacular road around the Rosguill Peninsula. Continue on this drive to Fanad Lighthouse, voted one of the most beautiful in the world where you can enjoy a guided tour of the working lighthouse, Lightkeeper’s cottages and the area around it.
  • Nothing says adventure like an island escape. Plan a day trip to Tory Island via car ferry and enjoy the many historical sites and stories from the locals who live there. 
  • Glenveagh National Park is one of Donegal’s historical gems and a place we never get bored of visiting, in any season. Take a tour of the 19th century castle, observe the incredible wildlife or wander through the idyllic gardens before enjoying lunch or a sweet treat in their popular Tea Rooms.
  • Head to Dunlewey and take a hike through the mystical Poisoned Glen at the foot of Mount Errigal. Follow a rough walking path into the rocky fastness of the glen (4km round trip) and admire the sweeping valleys, imposing mountains and shimmering lakes. But watch out for the Green Lady, the resident ghost of the Guinness Estate!
  • You won’t get a better view of Dunfanaghy and the surrounding villages than from the top of Muckish Mountain. Follow the old miner’s path to the top and on a clear day you can see for miles out to sea. Spectacular!
  • 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. This mid 16th century home of the MacSweeney Clan served as a refuge for ship wrecked sailors from the Spanish Armada in 1588.
  • We asked our staff to pick their favourite beach and we heard the same answer time and time again – the stunning Tramore Beach on the outskirts of Dunfanaghy. Also voted No.6 in the top 10 beaches in Ireland by The Lonely Planet in 2023. You cannot reach this beach by car so head out over the sand dunes by foot to marvel at the silver sands and crashing waves. The long walk to and from the beach can often mean that once you arrive you have the beach completely to yourself, before the next lucky visitor arrives!
  • Learn more about life in Donegal in the years gone by with a visit to the Dunlewey Centre. 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.
  • Art lovers will not want to miss a visit to our local galleries in Dunfanaghy and Portnablagh. A little further afield is The Glebe House home to the William Hill collection, Islamic and Japanese artists, Picasso and Kokoshka. Definitely worth a visit!
  • If you are craving some quiet reflection then a walk in Ards Forest Park is a must. The board walk from the forest to the beach is not only scenic but unique while the Friary on the outskirts of the park provides an oasis of calm, even on a busy summer’s day.
  • Visit the McNutt of Donegal Gift Shop on The Pier at Downings, home to the brand’s largest selection of luxury woollen throws, pashminas, scarves and homewares. We challenge you not to leave empty handed!


Dunfanaghy & The Wild Atlantic Way

Welcome to the village of Dunfanaghy, situated on the Wild Atlantic Way, overlooking the beautiful shores of Sheephaven Bay on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by Blue Flag beaches, and overlooked by the majestic Derryveagh Mountains of Donegal.

The location of Dunfanaghy makes it the perfect base for visiting the beautiful north west and exploring the Wild Atlantic Way. The village overlooks the magnificant Horn Head, is adjacent to the blue flag Killahoey beach with its golden sands and crystal clear water, and is a short drive to the picturesque harbour at Portnablagh, the blue flag beach at Marble Hill, Ards Forest Park, Ards Friary, Doe Castle, the Rosguill Peninsula, the Fanad Peninsula, Glenveagh National Park. 

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