Londonderry and Donegal make it into the Lonely Planet's top 25

LONDONDERRY may have a disputed name but no-one will dispute its worth a visit for its superb - and intact - city walls. And Donegal isn't bad either.

Thus is the verdict of the Lonely Planet Guide's new Discover Ireland Travel Guide which lists the Derry Air, Surfing the Northwest and Slieve League amongst Ireland's Top 25 Experiences.

A sneak preview of the guide urges travellers to visit Londonderry's walls and also its "fascinating neighbourhoods, especially the Bogside, a hardscrabble district that has borne the brunt of violence but still comes up smiling."

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Donegal's hidden treasures are also flagged including Slieve League - the highest vertical sea cliffs in Europe - between Glencolumbkille and Killybegs - with which many Sentinel readers will be familiar.

The guide plugs them thus: "The Cliffs of Moher may be more famous and get all the tourist kudos but the sea cliffs at Slieve League in Donegal are taller - the highest in Europe in fact.

"Sail beneath them aboard a diminutive 12-seater boat, or head up to the top to see its stark, otherwordly rock face sloping into the Atlantic Ocean."

The North West's fast-burgeoning reputation as a regional surfing mecca is also flagged. The guide asks: "Northwest Ireland a surfer's paradise?" Providing the answer: "You'ld better believe it, or better still, check it out at the likes of Strandhill and Easkey, County Sligo, or further north at the Donegal resorts of Rossnowlagh and Bundoran, the latter of which hosts the annual Irish Surfing Championships."

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Londonderry is further recommended as the departure point for a "Tip to Toe" tour from the North West all the way to Wexford.

Tourists are advised: "Begin in Northern Ireland's second city, Derry, by walking the city walls and exploring the fascinating Bogside neighbourhood, home to the People's Gallery.

"On day two, cross into Donegal and explore the Inishowen Peninsula before settling down for the night in Dunfanaghy."

Elsewhere the Glen Gesh pass is billed a "touch of the Alps in Donegal," The Peak wave off Bundoran as "Ireland's most famous wave," and City of Derry Airport as a facility that serves "other UK Cities."

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Travellers are even invited to be inspired by art and literature from the area. Paul Greengrass' Bloody Sunday (2002) is recommended viewing described by the guide as a "superb film about the events of 30 January 1972."

Equally, influential St Johnston fiddler Tommy Peoples is on the guides radar. His album The Quiet Glen is billed a must listen and Peoples described a "virtuoso fiddler in the Donegal style of trad music."

Related topics: