The North West has loads of experiences to offer when it comes to a staycation – so how will you know where to start? Never fear – we’ve lined up a range of itineraries to help you get planning your ideal trip
48-Hour Culture & Relaxation Itinerary
The North West is bursting at the seams with history, culture and heritage and boasts some of the most spectacular scenery on the island of Ireland. From the 400-year-old city walls to award-winning museums, fantastic food & drink to lively festivals, unique local arts to bustling streets; there’s something to see and do everywhere you turn. For ultimate relaxing experience, there are several golf courses, in spectacular locations and if spas are your thing, then you will not be disappointed either.
Day 1 - Donegal
DONEGAL - MORNING
Nothing beats the anticipation of an early morning round of golf and there is no finer place to play a round of golf than in Ballyliffin Golf Club.
The expansive panoramic views of countryside, coastline and ocean savoured by these magnificent links courses will not easily be forgotten. Two outstanding, contrasting links courses and 36 wonderful holes make up Ballyliffin Golf Club.
Alternatively enjoy an indulgent spa day in the Ballyliffin Townhouse Boutique Hotel in Donegal.
Book a spa morning to enjoy luxurious spa treatments and a decadent afternoon tea where you can enjoy pampering treatments, top-class food and drink. A spa break in Donegal is the perfect choice for a wellness getaway surrounded by the tranquillity of the Donegal landscape. Embrace a digital detox, and slow down on your next staycation away from the busy hustle of everyday life.
For Culture lovers..
Doagh Famine Village
In the afternoon make your way to Doagh Famine Village where you will hear the story of Irish life during the Great Famine of the 1840s through until the present day. You will be taken on a journey showing how families and communities have lived on the edge generation after generation, adapting and surviving as the environment and society around the local area changed over the years.
A combination of informative story telling and life size exhibits provides an informative, thought-provoking and at time humorous look at Irish life.
Inishowen Maritime Museum
The Inishowen Maritime Museum in Donegal is definitely one for the bucket list for the culture lovers with its fascinating maritime displays and exhibits. Donegal is famous for its dramatic coastlines and its close relationship with the waters of the Atlantic Ocean, so no better place to learn more about this than the Inishowen Maritime Museum & Planetarium.
The museum and planetarium is ideally located in the old coastguard station overlooking Greencastle harbour on the banks of Lough Foyle.
DONEGAL - AFTERNOON
For afternoon relaxation...
Moville Pottery is famous for their beautiful stoneware pottery and wonderful shop stocked with some of the best in locally produced crafts. Spend the afternoon watching the potters at work, or even paint your own pot. The studio is located overlooking the picturesque and historic town of Moville, in the heart of Inishowen.
What a fabulous way to spend an afternoon!
Glenveagh National Park
Explore the beautiful grounds and romantic castle mansion at Glenveagh National Park and Castle in Donegal. It is the most northerly of Ireland's six national parks and a must visit on a trip to Donegal.
With its magnificent mountains, pristine lakes, waterfalls, glens, native oak woods, and a picturesque castle with all its original furnishings, Glenveagh National Park and Castle is one of the most magical places to visit in Donegal.
DONEGAL - EVENING
We are passionate about food in Donegal and have an incredible wealth of flavours to try; from succulent seafood, world class beef and delicious locally sourced fresh ingredients, there is a wealth of food to choose from.
Donegal is surrounded by the atlantic ocean, rich fertile lands and varied weather, meaning we can grow natural produce and amazing food on our doorstep.
Day 2 - Derry
After breakfast, a short drive will bring you from Donegal into the vibrant Walled City of Derry. Ireland’s Walled City is bursting at the seams with culture where iconic landmarks and award-winning museums share cobbled streets with lively bars, cool restaurants, and unique festivals, ensuring this friendly destination offers a unique combination of rich heritage and vibrant social scene, with the warmest of welcome guaranteed.
DERRY - MORNING
For culture seekers….
To begin, get acquainted with the rich culture and history of the Ireland’s only walled city with a Derrie Danders guided tour, with enough time after to discover the city’s historic places and iconic sites at your leisure. After your tour, take a stroll through the Craft Village, a hidden gem tucked within the city walls where you can browse a range of artisan producers or grab a leisurely lunch at the old thatch cottage or Soda & Starch outdoor dining area.
For morning Relaxation…
Get a taste of the city (quite literally) on Far and Wild’s Foodie City Cycle. If you’ve got an appetite for discovering great food and learning about local culture too, this is the tour for you.
On your guided cycle tour, you’ll take in two great, mouth-watering culinary experiences. With a focus on quality local produce, Far and Wild’s culinary partners vary with the seasons. That way you know there are only the freshest, in-season dishes waiting for you at each stop. Between stops, you will be guided through the city and along the River Foyle, all at a leisurely pace. The tour itself spans two hours, allowing you to amble through vibrant streets and let your curiosity wander as you learn about local culture. Your cycle includes a historic view of St. Columb’s Park, a spin through Ebrington Square, over the Peace Bridge and under the Walls into the inner city. Far and Wild are always happy to tailor the tour to your personal interests and comfort levels.
DERRY - AFTERNOON
For culture seekers….
A Bogside History Walking Tour gives an educational insight to the Civil Rights era, Bloody Sunday and the conflict that ensued. Following this, explore the gravesites from victims of this historical event and other key moments including those who lost their lives in the two World Wars and those of key figures in the history of the city. Afterwards, spend the afternoon exploring the city’s many museums including the Museum of Free Derry, The Siege Museum and The Guildhall.
For afternoon relaxation…
The Spa at The White Horse Hotel boasts a team of experienced therapists to ensure you leave feeling rested, refreshed and recharged. Choose from an extensive menu of treatments, bask in a private outdoor hot tub hideaway, and treat your skin – and senses - to a personalised facial or massage. After your treatment, sink into the waterbed in the spas deep releaxation room for a moment of total harmony.
DERRY - EVENING
The choices are endless for places to grab dinner in Derry but for something a little different head over to Artis by Phelim O’Hagan at The Craft Village for high-end dining with the owners boasting more than 43-years of Michelin Starred restaurant experience. The menu is a celebration of local produce featuring Donegal Lobster, Malin Head Crab and a range of tempting dishes. Following your meal, Derry's nightlife is lively and a must-try when you're in the city. Explore a range of cosy bars and pubs along Waterloo Street, many of which have live music playing each night.
If you've got more time to extend your trip, spend another day discovering
the Best of the Northwest...
Want to add even more adventure to your trip?
If you have more time here are some great suggestions:
- The Visit Derry Pass is the Official Sightseeing ticket for the Walled City and provides access to ten handpicked attractions, saving money on admission fees whilst seeing the best the city has to offer.
- The Walled City Brewery is a multi-award-winning restaurant and craft brewer. Located at the end of the Peace Bridge, in Ebrington Square this award-winning brewhouse and restaurant is housed in an historic military barracks. The Walled City brewery offers signature brews created on site, some inspired by the hit show Derry Girls are a firm favourite!
- Just a short walk from the Guildhall and the City’s famous 400-year-old Walls, the Peace Bridge is a visual treat and a vital stop on any travel itinerary. Take a dander over the Peace Bridge to access Ebrington Square, which is a former Army Barracks that has been transformed into a stunning public space for open-air events, art exhibitions and music spectacles.
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