Hidden Gems of Ireland: Gweedore Bay and Doonbeg Wreck

Donegal Gweedore Bay 2 2016.jpg

Are you looking to find the hidden, magical gems in Ireland away from all the tourists?Then make a plan to explore one of the most mystical, beautiful beaches in the Emerald Isle…..Magherclogher Beach in Gweedore Bay. This little slice of heaven is located in County Donegal in the Northwest of Ireland.  I stumbled upon this beach while doing research for my trip around Donegal in May 2016. I knew I had to visit when I spotted a rugged old shipwreck on an Irish beach outside the small town of Gweedore.

The Bunbeg shipwreck is affectionately known as Eddie’s Boat to locals; the ship ran aground during a storm in the 1970’s.  She has been there ever since and is Gweedore’s version of the Titanic. I was so amped up about exploring the wreck and photographing and then we arrived at Magherclogher Beach.

What I hadn’t planned on, was the stunning scenery that met my eyes, as my family of four descended onto Magherclogher Beach. We were THE. ONLY. ONES. for miles!!!! Every photographer’s dream! We happened to arrive (luckily) when the tide was out at around 8pm….just in time to watch the stormy dark sky go from gray and moody to highlighted by gold. The result was this magical shot below……and I hadn’t even gotten close to the wreck yet!

Donegal Gweedore Bay 2016.jpg

Here is Eddie’s boat up close and personal. She was amazing!

Donegal Gweedore Bay Wreck 2016.jpg

My two kiddos got to pretend to be the captain as I snapped a ton of photos. The littles (who are both native Floridians) seemed to think this shipwreck blew the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, at Disney World, out of the water….no lines, here folks!

I looked around and was dumbfounded by the variety of landscape types all in one beach….caramel sand beach framed by evening light in front of me, an abandoned hotel on a grassy hillside to my right, rocky green coast to my left, and perhaps the biggest surprise of all….the majestic Mount Errigal at my back. I literally, stopped dead in my tracks when I first saw Mount Errigal.

Donegal Gweedore Bay Mount Errigal 2016.jpgThe clouds had moved and a ray of light shone directly upon the summit, begging me to take a picture. I don’t have a way to take a 360 degree photo, so just take my word for it, this place is phenomenal.

Tips for future visitors: Type Magheraclogher Beach into your navigation system to find it easily, check out the tide schedule and only visit when tide is low, bring good water resistant boots to explore, and plan your visit just before sunset for best lighting behind the wreck. The villages closest to Magheraclogher Beach are tiny, so I would recommend making this a stop on your route, rather than spending the night nearby.

If you are looking for a day plan you may want to follow our route: We started early from Dublin then explored Donegal town, Donegal Town Square 2016

next we drove along the iconic Wild Atlantic Way to Killybegs Harbor for photos,

Donegal Killybegs Harbour 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

then we visited Slieve League, Donegal Slieve League Cliffs 2016and finally checked out the Bunbeg Wreck before heading to dinner on the way to Millstone (we stayed at Millstone Cottages near Letterkenny). I highly recommend these cottages as they are clean, new, and the owners are fantastic.

The best part is, we did this day for nearly free (not including gas), only spending a couple euros each to visit Donegal Castle,

Donegal Castle 2016

 

and 6 euros to eat 99’s (delicious Irish soft serve with a chocolate flake).

Miss P 99

 

We also bought dinner. I recommend packing lunches, drinks, and snacks to maximize your time exploring and also because we found it hard to find open places serving food. Definitely, bring your cash, as many places don’t take plastic and ATM’s can be hard to come by. Lastly, everywhere we went we were either alone or in the company of only a handful of other people.

If you have any questions be sure to contact me as I’d be happy to give you advice, find me at ontheleftsideoftheroad on Instagram.

As always, pics are my own, so if you love them be sure to share them, just credit me and link back to my blog.

Cheers,

H.

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