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Downings is a Gaeltacht village and townland on the Rosguill peninsula in County Donegal. Historically an important fishing port with a sizeable herring fleet, Downings relies primarily on tourism today.
Downings village is less than 1 km from Rosapenna Golf Resort, home to two championship links courses in a dramatic coastal setting. The Old Tom Morris links was ranked third in the British Isles from its launch in the late 19th century. The second course, the Sandy Hills links, was designed by Pat Ruddy and opened in 2003. Downings is also within easy driving distance of Portsalon, Dunfanaghy, and Letterkenny Golf Clubs.
This part of north-west Donegal is home to some incredibly beautiful, immaculately clean beaches that never feel crowded. Some of the standouts include Tramore, Tra na Rossan, the blue flag Downings Bay, and Melmore.
Downings pier yields large catches of fish in summer, with species landed including dogfish, flounder, dab, and plaice. Night anglers based closer to the pier can catch mullet, coalfish, and small wrasse. Shore fishing marks at Downings include the rocks on either side of the beach, although the western rocks yield best results. Surf anglers can expect to catch flounder, coalfish, dogfish and - in warmer weather - ray. You can also charter boats from Downings Village for day trips and longer fishing charters.
Based in Carrigart, near Downings, Mevagh Dive Centre runs dive trips in Mulroy Bay and Sheephaven Bay for qualified divers of all experience levels. It also hires out equipment, and groups of qualified divers can charter the boat for a day. Divers have a choice of wreck, scenic or drift sea dives.
Just 12 km long, the Atlantic Drive is best appreciated on foot or bicycle. This loop of the Rosguill Peninsula (starting and ending in Downings) packs in a lot of drama in a short distance, highlighting the magnificence of the ageless Donegal landscape against the wild waves of the Atlantic. If walked, the Atlantic Drive can be completed comfortably in half a day.
Nestled on an inlet of Sheephaven Bay, Doe Castle stands on a promontory called Cannon Point and is sheltered on three sides by the sea and on the fourth by a rocky trench. The ancient seat of the Mac Sweeney Chiefs of Doe, Doe Castle is where the young Red Hugh O'Donnell, Prince of Donegal, was sent to hone his skills of warfare and poetry prior to his capture by English forces.
Extending across 40,783 acres of mountains, woods, glens, and lakes, Glenveagh National Park is a stunningly beautiful wilderness in the heart of the Derryveagh Mountains. The park is home to a herd of native red deer. A Scottish-style castle is set among some of the finest grounds in Ireland, forming a stark contrast with the wild surroundings. Exhibitions and an audio-visual show take place in the visitor centre.
The only functioning narrow gauge railway remaining in Co. Donegal, Fintown Railway offers a glimpse of the days when the County Donegal Railway was the lifeblood of the county. Board the steam train and travel for 5 km through stunning scenery, including the banks of Loch Fin. The unspoilt, mountainous landscape provides the perfect backdrop to this journey back to the golden age of train travel.
A 1,200-acre wonderland of sand dunes, beaches, salt marshes, salt-water lakes, and woods, Ards Forest Park is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, with a large number of trails extending across habitats including beaches, oak forests, and rocky outcrops. You could easily spend up to six hours traversing the full circuit of the park by combining several of these trails. There are a number of historical and archaeological landmarks in the park, including four ruined ring forts, a holy well, and a mass rock.
About a half-hour’s drive from Downings, in Churchill, you’ll find the treasures of Glebe House. Set among delightful woodland gardens, Glebe House is decorated with William Morris textiles and art from diverse traditions from Islamic to Japanese. The Derek Hill collection features some 300 works by major names in 20th-century art, including Picasso, Kokoschka, and Irish and Italian artists. Exhibitions take place in the adjoining gallery.
2.4km from Downings
Stay at one of these wonderful cottages and enjoy the setting of Rosapenna’s splendid championship golf links with commanding views over Sheephaven Bay, Donegal. Each of these 4-star Fáilte Ireland-approved cottages has 3 bedrooms and offers an ideal base for exploring Donegal’s rugged northwest.
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Set within Rosapenna’s splendid championship golf links with commanding views over Sheephaven Bay, these cottages overlook the small traditional fishing village of Downings, renowned for the production of Donegal tweed. You're just 2 km form Downings Beach, a safe base for sailing and windsurfing courses during July and August. Nearby Tramore Beach is a walker’s paradise sweeping around the bay for miles.
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Stay in the splendid surroundings of Rosapenna’s fine championship golf links with commanding views over Sheephaven Bay. Each of these cottages overlooks the small traditional fishing village of Downings, renowned for the production of Donegal tweed. Each 4-star Fáilte Ireland-approved cottage has 3 bedrooms and offers an ideal base for exploring Donegal’s rugged northwest. Ards Forest Park, Glenveagh National Park and Castle, and the medieval Doe Castle are all just minutes away by car.
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2.2km from Downings
These unique holiday homes are set within Rosapenna’s splendid championship golf links with commanding views over Sheephaven Bay in Donegal. The holiday homes overlook the small traditional fishing village of Downings, well-known for the production of Donegal tweed.
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