Wednesdays and weekends are your friends when it comes to live, traditional music. The Persian Bar, Carndonagh and O'Flaherty's, Buncrana have longstanding Wednesday sets. A five-minute drive from Mamore Cottages, the welcoming Rusty Nail holds its own on a Saturday night. Quench your thirst with a cold Guinness or a Donegal-made Kinnegar farmhouse beer, and you may find yourself joining in the session.
Just a short walk from the cottages is Leenan Beach, a peaceful inlet perfect for walking and swimming. Nothing heals and exhilarates the body like a tumble in the Atlantic waves. Ask any Donegal surfer and they'll agree that a dip at the blue-flag Culdaff Beach is well worth the chill.
The peninsula has its choice of golden, sandy beaches: Tullagh Strand, Lisfannon, Five Finger Strand and off the beaten track – Dunree Bay.
As Gaeilge, Inis Eoghain means “island of Eoghain” – head of the Uí Néill dynasties who ruled over the kingdom of Aileach. Once the seat of the kingdom, the first-century Grianán of Aileach sits atop Greenan Hill with 360 views of Inishowen, Lough Foyle and the moody Lough Swilly (Lake of Shadows).
Fort Dunree is another, more modern fort overlooking Lough Swilly. The Lough Swilly inlet has seen its share of history, marking the escape point for the fleeing earls of O'Neill and O'Donnell in 1607, and later a refuge for the Grand Fleet during World War I before the Battle of Jutland. Today, the fort houses a military museum and a busy art gallery.
Close to the ruined Doagh Castle, Doagh Famine Villageis an eccentric journey through the darkest period of Irish history.
The Stone Fort of Grianán of Aileach, Inishowen. Image K. Mitch Hodge
At Mamore Cottages, you have some of the peninsula's most stunning walking trails on your doorstep. The Urris Hills Loop features a seabird's view of Leenan Beach and access to secret lakes tucked away in the Urris Hills. The nearby Mamore Gap carves through the hills along a rollercoaster incline. You'll encounter a Virgin Mary, “magic road”, dazzling viewing points and challenging hiking trails along the Gap road – one of Donegal's most scenic drives.
For more rugged coastline views, take the Malin head trail or Inishowen Head Loop. When you're tired out by the sea air, you can bring the kids to the Glenevin Waterfall Park, where a safe path leads walkers through leaning rowan trees, past fairy doors and picnic areas, to the spectacular natural attraction above.
Donegal is home to some of Ireland's finest golf courses. A 15 minute drive from Mamore Cottages takes you to Ballyliffin Golf Club, where two championship links courses and 36 holes await. The smaller Greencastle Golf Course boasts impressive views of Lough Foyle.
True to name, the Wild Atlantic Way's untamed landscape is ideal for adventure activities. Inishowen is particularly popular for water sports, offering a broad range from surfing and sea kayaking to pier jumping and river rafting. For a guided experience, visit the Inishowen Surf School or Inish Adventures.