Northern Headlands: where to stay

Malin Head, County Donegal

Want to sleep beneath the stars, relax in a boutique suite or experience life snuggled up in a traditional thatched cottage? Point your compass to the Wild Atlantic Way’s Northern Headlands for breathtaking scenery and pretty amazing places to stay

Mamore Cottages, Buncrana

Just north of Buncrana town, you’ll find the idyllic setting of Mamore Cottages. These traditional “Donegal style” thatched houses were built 150 years ago and still retain their original charm.

The cottage was just stunning! Warm fire blazing on arrival with fresh wheaten bread, milk and treats to nibble on while we unpacked.

Clare, Air BnB

Flagged stone floors, old pine furniture and comfy double beds make for a toasty stay. Be sure to sit back and relax beside the open turf (peat) fire after a day exploring. Bliss!

Rathmullan House, Rathmullan

Set in tranquil wooded grounds overlooking Lough Swilly, Rathmullan House is ideal for those who love the finer things in life. This family-run location pairs timeless décor with modern touches, and the bedrooms are snug and full of character.

The friendly staff speaks with a lyrical lilt and their greetings are as warm as the roaring log fires.

Irish Independent Travel on Rathmullen House

Indulge in tasty, homegrown food at the Cook & Gardener restaurant, or for a more rustic meal, feast on stone-baked pizza and local craft beer at The Tap Room. After dinner, wander around Rathmullan for sea views and a nightcap at the Beachcomber Bar.

Fanad Lighthouse Lightkeepers' Cottages, Letterkenny

The wildly exposed peninsula of Fanad Head is a wonderland of wildlife, but the jewel in its crown has to be Fanad Head Lighthouse, which has safeguarded seafarers since 1817. Soak up the majesty of this beautiful spot by staying overnight at one of the lightkeepers’ cottages.

It was absolutely phenomenal! I feel like I'm in withdrawals on our need to get back there! The rooms were so charming and clean. The scenery is breathtaking.

Amy O’Byrne, Fanad Head Lighthouse

Featured in National Geographic Traveller's Cool List, who could resist playing lightkeeper by staying in one of these beautiful self-catering cottages? All you have to do is sleep easy on the edge of the world.

Portsalon Luxury Camping, Portsalon

With a wood-burning stove and space for up to six people, the yurts at Portsalon Luxury Camping are a world away from your typical tent. Take in views of Donegal's Knockalla Mountain and Mulroy Bay from your plush, king-sized bed, as you drift away into a peaceful slumber beneath the stars.

It's just one of those places that make you feel at home the moment you arrive, where you can forget the rest of the world.

Joshua, TripAdvisor

Roast marshmallows over an open fire and breathe in the salty Atlantic Ocean air at nearby Ballymastocker Strand. Golfers, meanwhile, can test their skills at the seaside setting of Portsalon Golf Club.

Ballyliffin Townhouse, Ballyliffin

Be sure to check into the lovely Ballyliffin Townhouse if you're looking for the perfect base to explore the Wild Atlantic Way's Northern Headlands. Follow in the footsteps of those who teed off at Ballyliffin – host to the Irish Open 2018 – and journey into the island's only fully walled city of Derry~Londonderry.

Ballyliffin Townhouse is your home from home, complete with friendly, helpful and accommodating staff – and just a 10 minute walk to the beach with stunning views.

Bridget, TripAdvisor

Situated in a converted cottage alongside the main building, its cosy restaurant serves up huge portions of fresh seafood, steaks and burgers – not to mention sweeping views of Malin Head. For a change of scene, stroll over to Nancy’s Barn to taste their world-famous seafood chowder.

Castle Murray House, St John's Point

Castle Murray House Boutique Accommodation is perched on St John’s Point Peninsula, which juts out into the swirling Atlantic Ocean near the fishing village of Killybegs. You’ll discover an oasis of tranquillity in these bespoke bedrooms, as well as outstanding views of McSwyne’s Bay and the crumbling ruins of the ancient McSwyne’s Castle.

The food, the comfort of the rooms and the spectacular views – I have to say that it was nothing short of amazing.


While you’re here, visit St John’s Point Lighthouse. Visitors are welcome to stay the night at one of two quaint lightkeepers' cottages, where you’ll be soothed to sleep by the sounds of the lapping waves below.

Lough Eske Castle, Lough Eske

After a windswept walk along the Slieve League sea cliffs there really is nothing like the warmth of a grand welcome home. Adorned with tall turrets and opulent interiors, you're in for a luxurious stay at Lough Eske Castle.

The wonderfully atmospheric Gallery Bar, with its soaring ceilings, and the comfortable reading rooms are reason enough for a visit.

Condé Nast Traveler on Lough Eske Castle

This lavish, dog-friendly hotel is paved with gleaming marble floors, accented with an intricately carved oak staircase. Sumptuous bedrooms are decorated with oak furnishings and beautiful bedding. After a day of pampering, take in the quiet beauty of the surrounding area on the International Appalachian Trail, which passes right by the castle.

The Seaview Tavern, Ballygorman

Donegal’s Inishowen Peninsula is known for its dramatic scenery and rugged cliffs, and after a long day in the elements you’re sure to want to rest your head somewhere cosy. Situated near Malin Head, the Seaview Tavern is known as Ireland’s most northerly restaurant.

With a sea view from our bedroom window, we watched the dolphins frolic in the ocean each day. An amazing stay amidst the beauty of Malin Head!


This is the perfect place to warm up with a bowl of fresh seafood chowder before retiring to one of its comfortable rooms for a well-earned slumber. Be sure to check out the awesome chasm known as Hell's Hole while you’re here, where the mighty sound of the pounding ocean will ring in your ears long after you leave!

Getting here

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