Is it the Caribbean?

20 December 2013

... no it's Ireland. (more after the jump)

This summer has been awesome in the UK. In a literal meaning of the word - it's left many people (everyone?) in awe. It's been the hottest summer since 1978 (totally just made that up, but I'm sure it's one of the hottest summers of the century). Anyway, every summer we go to Ireland to visit family and friends. This year my mum thought to bring swimming suits when we went on a day trip to Country Donegal - I thought she was being optimistic, but she was right- it was about 30 degrees when we went.

The sand was white, the Atlantic as blue as the Med. We had a bbq, played some volleyball and....swam in the ocean. This is pretty major, as we've never swum in the UK before. Both last year and this July we had the beach pretty much just to ourselves. Perfect for napping, reading books, chatting... bliss. The first time we went our friend A. was 39 weeks pregnant, the second time we went with baby Stanislaw who enjoyed eating sand and splashing in the waves.

So, here is what one can do in Ireland during the summer:

 Drive up narrow roads, preferably listening to The Cranberries and singing along.
Watch churches, there's plenty of them (at that point you sill believe you're in Ireland, but just you wait.....)
 Find a sandy beach (this one was Maghera Beach in South-west Donegal, the Republic of Ireland.)
find a spot in the shadow of the cliffs.
Set up a small camp and enjoy the sun
 Go for a swim
 take pictures of dead crabs

look at the sea.

Plenty to do. To this day I can't believe we actually swam in the sea in Ireland. Usually it's only about 15-18 degrees in the summer. It must be the global warming..

Last year we went to County Donegal but to a different beach. It was equally beautiful, but this years' spot felt as though it was an immaculate beach that we have just discovered. There were hardly any people there and we had the sea to ourselves.

Here is what it looked like last year:

We set up a small camp as well, and traditionally had a bbq with burgers and sausages.

My little brother decided to take up flying:
 and then it was time to go home.
with a short stopover to stretch our legs and feed the little one.

There are many reasons why visit Ireland, Donegal and Dingle Peninsula aren't the obvious places you'd go to but are definitely worth a trip if you have some free time and the forecast says it's going to be a sunny day.

Views like this are not very common in the UK.

Practical Information:

  • Maghera Beach and caves, Country Donegal, Republic of Ireland
  • Maghera Beach on Tripadvisor 
  • Donegal Beaches
  • We drove from a town close to Belfast, the trip was about 2.5h one way so it's worth setting off first thing in the morning. 
  • Make sure to take plenty of water and food with you as there are no facilities on the beach.  

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