Gaoth Dobhair or Gweedore is an Irish-speaking area on the northwest corner of County Donegal. Its main settlements are Bunbeg and Derrybeg on the coast, Brinlack further north, and Dunlewey inland, with a population of 4065 in 2003. The main reason to visit is its scenery, with a rugged coastline and cloud-wracked mountains.
Local Link Bus 271 runs from Letterkenny via Churchill, Glenveagh (for National Park), Dunlewey, Crolly, Loughanure and Dungloe to 2 Burtonport for the Arranmore ferry. There are three M-Th and five F Sa.
Local Link Bus 966 runs once in the morning M-F from Falcarragh via 3 Magheroarty (for Tory Island ferry), Derrybeg, Bunbeg (for Gola Island ferry), Crolly and Loughanure to Dungloe, heading back in the afternoon.
You need your own wheels for this scattered district.
- 1 Bloody Foreland wasn't a scene of slaughter, but the rocks are red in the setting sun. Pity about the encrustation of holiday cottages.
- 2 Gola Island 1 km offshore lost its permanent residents in the 1960s, but has several holiday homes (which may be available as self-catering lets) and caravans. The main attraction is the bird life around the sea arches on the north coast. The ferry sails Jun-Sept from Bunbeg, with one sailing M-F and hourly Sa Su. It's just a small launch for foot passengers and their dogs.
- 3 Dunlewey Centre or Ionad Cois Locha is by the dam dividing loughs Nacung and Dunlewey. There's a restored weaver's cottage, a kiddie play-park, and they run boat trips and other activities on the loughs. They're open daily 10:30-17:00.
- 4 Errigal or An Earagail at 751 m / 2464 ft is Donegal's highest mountain. It's very prominent so you can admire it from several angles. To climb, start from the car park on R251 towards Letterkenny, and follow the track north over bog and scree. You turn west to reach the true summit first, then it would be churlish to begrudge the extra 40 m to the secondary peak. Say an hour to go up and 40 min to get down. Don't refer to it as "Mount Errigal", that's a shibboleth.
- Golf: Gweedore GC is on the coast by Derrybeg, looking out to Gola Island. It's 5607 m, par 71, visitor round €20.
- Cloughaneely GC is a nine-hole course at Falcarragh.
- Dunlewey Kayaking venture out on Dunlewey Lough.
- Practice your Irish: any attempts will be appreciated in this Gaeltacht area.
- Earagail Arts Festival is held in July at various venues across the northwest of the county. The next event is 9-24 July 2022.
- Gallagher's Food Store in Derrybeg is open M-F 07:30-20:00, Sa 07:30-19:00, Su 07:30-16:00.
- Pepper's Diner in Bunbeg is open Su-Th 10:00-21:00, F Sa 10:00-22:00.
- Teach Hiudái Beag, Bunbeg, ☏ . Daily 11:00-00:00. Cosy atmospheric pub often has trad music.
- Sean Óg Bar and Teach Mhicí are also in Bunbeg.
- Most B&Bs around Gweedore remained closed in 2021.
- 1 Court Hotel (An Cúirt), Gweedore (on N56), ☏ . Under new ownership in 2021, this is a pleasant hotel in a great location, but the revamp is still a work in progress. B&B double €130.
- Poisoned Glen House, Moneybeg, Dunlewey F92 PE02 (By Dunlewey Centre), ☏ . Welcoming small B&B at foot of Mount Errigal. B&B double €80.
- 2 Bunbeg House, The Harbour, Bunbeg F92 PX80, ☏ . Comfy B&B in a converted corn mill, with bar and bistro. B&B double €100.
- Teac Campbell is a B&B 2 km north of Bunbeg.
- 3 Teac Jack, Glassagh F92 CD71, ☏ . Smart B&B with good food. B&B double €110.
- See Dungloe for accommodation in The Rosses further south.
As of Aug 2021, Three has the best signal, and you might even get 5G. Eir and Vodafone have basic mobile coverage along the road from Letterkenny but nothing further north.
- Sail to the islands: to Arranmore from Burtonport, to Gola Island from Bunbeg or to Tory Island from Magheroarty.
- Letterkenny is the hub for most of Donegal.