Y'all know what a staycation is, right? It's like a vacation, except you don't leave the country. And it suits me down to the ground. I love Ireland, and I think we Irish often under-appreciate how beautiful and historically rich our country is. As a kid, we only ventured outside Ireland for holidays twice. Once, to Manchester to attend a wedding. And the second time was a Halloween trip to Paris, and a bit of Disneyland thrown in too.Most of our staycations were spent in Donegal; the home of all my mum's childhood holidays too. I guess you could say I feel quite attached to the county. And a trip up there is always welcomed.
Another reason that a staycation suits me, is that I've only started working full-time in the past few months. This meant I hadn't planned or saved for a summer holiday.
Oh, and the best bit about a staycation? I can take my dog!
So, in the midst of a very dull July I headed up the country for a little getaway from Dublin.
Day One, and we headed to the Sliabh Liag (Slieve League) Cliffs. Despite being twice as high as the Cliffs of Mohar, and one of the highest cliff faces in Europe, the Slieve League cliffs are strangely not as popular. Looking out onto the grey Atlantic, they are massively imposing, and unlike the Cliffs of Mohar, it takes a bit of a hike to get up to them.
As with much of Donegal, sheep featured quite heavily along the cliff's edges. And even in the wind and rain, they had no fear as they sat and stared out at the ocean. Bless.
Lexi loves adventures, and nothing says adventure quite like a three-quarters of an hour walk surrounded by streams, bog and sheep. And when we reached a good vantage point, Lexi was the first to take the opportunity to rest.
The vantage point wasn't bad, but the fog meant we couldn't quite make out the height of the cliffs. But it definitely did add a bit of a Wuthering Heights feel to the day.
But boy are they beautiful. They weather unfortunately, was not. And as the rain got heavier, we retreated back down the cliffs and into the car.
Next up, was a little jog around Bundoran beach. As a kid, this was our beach of choice on a day trip up to Donegal. But it was looking decidedly more rocky this day with the sea so far out. We took a little trip over rock pools, and sometimes into rock pools by accident.
Lexi loves exploring. And the sea edges around Donegal were perfect for that.
She's also a big fan of catching waves. Still water is for swimming in, but running water, or moving water like waves are for barking at and trying to catch in your mouth. Apparently.
And finally, our trip took us up to Glenveagh National Park, Garden and Tearooms. And this one came with a very scenic 4km hike.
Glenveagh offers free access to their gardens, including a very pretty old Victorian garden. Actually, all of it is pretty. Even the courtyard where I sat with my dog by my side, sipping on a cup of green tea.
I can confirm that their lake did get the Lexi seal of approval as she dive and swam to her heart's content.
It was a short visit to Donegal, but it was very worthwhile. And it means I can put my money together for a little Christmas time getaway!
In summary, the benefits of a staycation are as follows:
- little organisation involved
- can explore nature and historical sites
- don't have to travel far
- embrace your Irishness!
- I can take my dog