For fresh, quality food and a homey atmosphere, try Nancy's Barn in Ballyliffin. If the world-champion chowder doesn't win you over, their indulgent sandwiches and desserts will.
The Rusty Nail in Urris and the Drift Inn in Buncrana are great spots for quick and tasty pub grub. Further east of the peninsula, you can enjoy fine dining with the best of local produce at The Boathouse and Kealy's.
Free up your Wednesdays and weekends for some live, traditional music. The Persian Bar, Carndonagh and O'Flaherty's, Buncrana have longstanding Wednesday sets. Five-minutes in the car from Mamore Cottages, you'll find a welcoming session at the Rusty Nail on a Saturday night. Quench your thirst with a cold Guinness or a Donegal-made Kinnegar farmhouse beer, and you may take the notion to sing a few tunes yourself.
Image Morgan Lane
The peninsula has its choice of golden, sandy beaches: Tullagh Strand, Lisfannon, Five Finger Strand and off the beaten track – Dunree Bay.
Just a short walk from the cottages is Leenan Beach, a peaceful sandy cove perfect for walking and swimming. Nothing heals and exhilarates like a tumble in the Atlantic Ocean. Ask any Donegal surfer and they'll agree that a dip at blue-flag Culdaff Beach is well worth the chill.
Dunaff, Inishowen. Image Meadhbh McNutt
Inis Eoghain means “island of Eoghain” as Gaeilge – 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 fair 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 Wikipedia
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 coastline views, take the Malin head trail or Inishowen Head Loop. Once you've had your share of 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.
Horses at Mamore Cottages. Image Meadhbh McNutt
Donegal is home to some of Ireland's finest golf courses. A 15 minute drive from Mamore Cottages takes you to two championship links courses at Ballyliffin Golf Club, proud hosts of the 2018 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open. 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.