Awarded the title of Coolest Place on the Planet by Lonely Planet in 2017, Donegal really is a place apart. When it comes to Donegal activities, attractions and things to do in Donegal you too will be blown away. Its long list of natural amenities makes for an outdoor adventure paradise - from the high-octane adventure of big wave surfing in the Atlantic Ocean to the more leisurely pursuits of walking and cycling.
Everything you could need for an active holiday is to be found at or within a short distance of the hotel. Lough Eske Castle Hotel is situated on the shores of Lough Eske and close to the Blue Stack Mountains – superbly located for fishing and walking enthusiasts looking to discover Donegal. Golf courses, riding stables, bike hire, adventure activities and tracks and trails are just some of what is on our doorstep, all of which are first-rate and provide a great way to explore more of the magnificent Northwest.
The Wild Atlantic Way and so much more to see and do
Added to that is the chance to explore this stunning, unspoilt stretch of the Wild Atlantic Way by car, foot or bicycle. You will have the opportunity to get up close with majestic Donegal as it has stood for many years. There are many Donegal attractions in the surrounding area worth visiting. Sliabh Liag sea cliffs at 600m high drop down into the crashing waves of the Atlantic and will wow any visitor. Glenveagh National Park with its restored 19th century castle and magnificent gardens is also where the Golden Eagle has been re-introduced to Ireland. The views in the park are some of the best in Ireland.
There are also many vibrant, picturesque towns and villages in this part of Donegal where a warm welcome is always extended and where you will have the chance to listen to traditional Irish music and maybe even hear our native tongue!
Adventure Donegal works closely with us in organising group activities, including:
- Raft Building
- Kayaking/ Canoeing (not available on site but nearby in Bundoran)
- Archery (not available on site but nearby Bundoran, Milford
- Treasure Trail
If you are interested in taking part in some of these activities during your stay, contact our reservations team at +353 7497 25100
The Great OutDoors
South Donegal provides a brilliant backdrop for the plethora of activities that the county has to offer. Nearby golfing greens, plentiful lakes, rivers, and ocean ideal for fishing, and lush, forested areas perfect for biking and hiking are only a few of the numerous attractions that draw travelers to County Donegal.
More Lough Eske Castle Hotel & Spa activities include:
- Donegal has many great cycling and biking trails around the lake and through the Bluestake Mountains. Bikes are offered at the castle to rent.
- Awarded "European City of Culture" in 2013, the city of Derry features a number of original and iconic historic buildings. Walk around the city's 17th century walls and discover landmarks, such as Saint Columb's Cathedral. Step into the Tower Museum and take a look at the various artifacts from the 1689 Siege that are on display.
- Voted one of the “7 wonders of the west of Ireland,” Glenveagh National Park's stunning 40,000 acre estate is home to historic 19th century castle and gardens and the re-introduction programme for the majestic Golden Eagle species. Available activities include displays of birds of prey, traditional music performances, and family entertainment events.
- Nature enthusiasts may embark on the world-renowned International Appalachian Trail, part of which surrounds Lough Eske Castle in the form of the Bluestack Mountains.
- Donegal Golf Course (Murvagh) is an outstanding championship links course designed by Eddie Hackett. Located within a ten minute drive from Lough Eske Castle, Murvagh is continually featured in Golf World’s Top 100 Courses in Ireland and Great Britain.
- Narin/Portnoo Golf Course offers golfers magnificent scenery with stunning views of Gwebarra Bay and is just a 45-minute drive fom the hotel.
- Ballyliffin Golf Course offers golfers an opportunity for a challenging game of golf paired with some of Ireland's most breathtaking coastline scenes with their two magnificent links courses.
- Bundoran Golf Club offers an 18-hole links and parkland course only 20 minutes from the castle.
Surfing And Water Sports
Donegal is famous for its great surfing hotspots! Catch a few of the mighty breakers at nearby Rossnowlagh Beach or further out at Bundoran Strand - two of the top surfing destinations in the country. All equipment can be rented locally and a number of surf schools are available fore group or individual lessons.
- Quality surf coaching with local surfers is available at the Bundoran Surf School, and is fully insured and ISA approved.
- The Donegal Waterbus features a one-and-a-half hour cruise aboard a luxurious 165-seater cruiser that provides a commentary on history, flora, fauna, and sealife. A "must" for all newcomers to the area!
Saddle up and revel in the beauty of a constantly changing landscape and enjoy unhindered access to Atlantic beaches, moors, mountains, and forest trails and lake shores. Breath in crystal clear air, guide your horse through a clean mountain stream or along the white sands of an unpolluted shoreline. Listen to the sounds of nature and delight in the vivid colours of the wild flora during you equestrian adventure in Lough Eske.
Numerous approved nearby stables provide a wide aray of options for both the experienced and beginning rider, alike. Excite in galloping across one of our many beautiful sandy beaches or enjoy a leisurely canter along a scenic woodland trail.
The following two equestrian centres are approved by A.I.R.E. the Association of Irish Riding Establishments.
- Lough Eske, also referred to as Lough Eask, translates from Gaelic as “lake abounding in fish.” Try your hand at angling for brown trout, sea trout, and salmon during the May to September fishing season. A fishing license, permit fee, and hire of a two-man boat are required to fish on Lough Eske.
- Bring us your fresh catch or allow us to supply you with a choice of trout, mackrel, or salmon as we teach you the process from the preparation to curing and smoking methods. Afterwards, you may enjoy a tasting of freshly you smoked salmon over a glass of chilled white wine.
- The Eske fishery consists of the 5-km River Eske, the 900-acre Lough Eske, and its tributaries. The Lough and its tributaries are amongst the most picturesque in Donegal, set among the Blue Stack and Tawnawully Mountains. The fishery is noted for its spring salmon, sea trout, and char, and also operates as a productive brown trout fishery. The fishery has a run of spring salmon, grilse, and late salmon, and sea trout angling is at its best from late July, onwards.
- Donegal is blessed with an extensive coastline and vast ocean that offer visiting anglers the opportunity to sample some of Ireland's best shore and deep sea fishing. Bordered by some of the cleanest and clearest seas in Europe, wide stretches of rugged, rocky coastline entice shore anglers to cast their line for that game-changing catch. Deep sea fishermen may maneuver the waters and seek the day's catch without having to break the bank.