|Subject: Re: Ireland - Donegal|
Rosemary, I've been to Donegal lots of times but most of it was a very long time ago on childhood holidays. I visited it again about 10 years ago. Didn't reply to your email because I thought some locals might reply but since they haven't so far, here are a few thoughts.
Weather - Very variable but in July won't be too cold, you might be very lucky and get beautiful sunshine with temperatures in the low 20's (Celsius) but more likely around 13-18 with some rain and wind, mist too! But you will get long evenings in July, don't think it will be dark until 10.00 pm or even later.
History - if you're at all interested there's plenty of it. You need to do some reading and it's worth remembering too that this was one of the worst affected areas in the Famine years of the 1840's. You can still look high up the steep sides of some of the mountains and see where they were cultivated in attempts to grow even more potatoes then.
Scenery - Magnificent - White sandy beaches, mountains (not high but impressive from sea level, especially the famous Errigal, and miles and miles of bleak turf (peat) bogs. I was trying to work out what the most beautiful area is and I can't really decide, but generally the north-west of the county is the wildest. Don't miss Glenveigh National Park.
Islands - Most notable is Tory Is - I've always wanted to visit it but have never got there. Nowadays I think it's quite easy with frequent boat services from several places. It's about 12 miles off the coast and has accommodation or you can return the same day.
Pubs and music - Too much for a few lines here - just go and find out!
Websites - Much more up to date than me: Try http://www.donegaldirect.com/ http://www.toryhotel.com/ http://www.dun-na-ngall.com (has a useful interactive map with descriptions of the main localities). Plus the usual Guide Books like Lonely Planet, Frommers etc.
July is the peak holiday time there but there are lots of B&B's and Backpackers hostels.
Have a great time, Michael Sydney, Australia