This time last week, we left Explorer Beastie on a breezy hilltop overlooking Five Finger Strand in Co. Donegal…
… And now it’s time for us to push onwards and upwards, to Malin Head – the very northernmost point of the island!
There’s some pretty wild coastline up here…
… And before we headed up to the viewpoint, we took advantage of the last little bit of daylight (always in short supply at this time of the year) to wander along the shoreline. There are plenty of places for a Beastie to explore here!
Of course, sometimes just LOOKING at those rocks isn’t enough. The best way to experience them is definitely to get up close and paws-on…
…Because that’s when you discover hidden gems like these! Wouldn’t that pool be just heavenly on a hot day? Mind you, I’m not sure they get many hot days up here…
We also had a chance to watch the waves rolling in off the Atlantic, and see them meeting land for the first time in thousands of miles…
But as you can see, the light was fading fast… So we cut short our stroll and headed back uphill to the official lookout spot.
Here’s the proof that we were there! Oh, and the view isn’t bad either…
Apparently locals would gather here to catch a last glimpse of friends and family as they left in ships to seek an easier life elsewhere. Malin Head also has a military past – those incredible panoramic views made it an ideal spot to put a watchtower! There’s one here that dates back to the Napoleonic wars, and another signal station from around 1902.
I’m guessing my photo shows the signal station – although at the time my main motivation for taking the picture was the fact that it looked kinda like a monster singing into a microphone from this angle.
With a jam-packed camera and only slightly cold paws, it was time for us to hit the road again. But Donegal had a couple more surprises in store for us… First of all, a rather spectacular sunset!
And further down the road, a warm welcome at the Drift Inn! We’d barely entered the cosy bar before some locals sat us down at their table, in front of the most roaring open fire I’ve ever seen – seriously, there was half a tree on there – and started chatting away to us like we were regulars ourselves. They even treated Explorer Beastie to a pint of the black stuff!
That’s a lot of beer for one Beastie – no wonder he looks a little blurry around the edges! Cheers!
It really is amazing what you can discover when you journey even a short distance away from your usual haunts, isn’t it? If any of you have had a fun “staycation” or day trip recently, we’d love to hear about it! Share your story in the comments… and we’ll be back on Tuesday with the last of the pre-Christmas Beasties!
31 thoughts on “Road Trip 2 – Extreme North!”
Looks like he might need a little geological hammer for his backpack!
We are very lazy about visiting lovely local places – a friend is visiting soon and asked me what they should see and I was quite stumped – which is silly since west Wales is fully of beautiful scenery and great places.
Maybe if he’s good, he might get one! Perhaps your soon-to-be-visiting friend might be a good excuse to get out and see the sights of west Wales, too? We used to have our family holidays in Pembrokeshire when I was a kid, actually… I loved it!
I so rarely go to Pembrokeshire… and it’s so near and so beautiful!
It really is! Even when I returned as an adult a few years back, I was bowled over by how pretty it was… And how refreshingly little it had changed!
I’m moving! Did you see any uninhabited hut up there in the north?
Hmmm… I didn’t notice one. But plenty of people have holiday homes up there which I’m sure they don’t use all year round… You might be in luck!
😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Exploring the area close to home can often be really rewarding. When we lived in Argyll, we had favourite haunts that were just a short jaunt from home. It does look like you needed that roaring fire at the end of your trip, however, or was it not as cold as it looks?
Hahaha, it wasn’t balmy by any stretch of the imagination! But it actually wasn’t too bad… Hopping over those rocks in search of rock pools and the ultimate wave-crashing shot is a great way to keep warm!
I have to admit…I laughed out loud at the singing monster building. It’s perfectly obvious when you pointed it out!
Heeheehee! Is it normal that I see monsters everywhere?! 😆
Explorer Beastie visits five-finger strand, yet has no fingers. How does he feel about that? Oddly enough, though I love to travel, I’m terrible about visiting my local wonders. My most exciting local trip recently has only been to the grocery store. 🙄
He didn’t seem to mind… In fact, in thinking he secretly finds our multi-fingered paws a little unnerving. I have to admit that I’ve been a bit lax in my local wanderings of late myself, but Donegal is just far enough away to be considered a break from the norm!
It does look a little other-worldly.
It is… I reckon it’s probably quite busy in the summer months, but in winter it’s wild and lonely and borderline magical!
I don’t know but I’m so not a fan of staycations. 😀 I want to go far and wide and explore new places … and see singing monsters. hahaha
Heehee, the singing monster has really been the unexpected star of the show here… Maybe he should try out for one of those TV talent shows. And I have to say that I’m really not picky about where I travel to – any trip that takes you outside your normal work-home-shops circuit is good in my book!
Same here … staycation just sounded like staying home to me. And that is definitely nothing I want.
I’m content as long as I can leave the 10 mile radius of my house. haha
Hahaha! No way… The idea of the “staycation” became a thing here during the recession a few years ago, when people supposedly couldn’t afford holidays overseas so they holidayed elsewhere in Ireland instead. The great thing about Ireland is that it’s really regionally diverse – you don’t have to go far to experience a complete change of scenery, lifestyle and accents!
Ah, now I understand. ‘Staycation’ would include all of Ireland not just the surrounding area of lets say 15 miles. Well, in that case ‘staycation’ is the story of my childhood. haha
Exactly! And lucky you, Germany offers so much more staycation variety than Ireland… I always say that it’s the best-kept secret holiday destination in Europe!
Haha, I grew up in Eastern Germany. Our possibilities were quite limited back then but I really enjoyed going somewhere within the country.
A change of scene is always good! 😀
I really wish I could express *just* how happy these posts make me. Smiling ear to ear imagining your beasties’ adventures abroad!
Thanks Melissa! It’s great having Explorer Beastie along when I travel… He helps me see all the little details I would have missed otherwise! Plus the camera just loves him 😉
Love the rocks and water pics. Ha ha ha. Now that you’ve mentioned that the signal station looks like a monster singing into a microphone it’s all I can see! Looks like a great trip!
Thanks! It was a fun day… We’re hoping to head back up there again soon as well. There’s really a lot to see on this little island! 😀
Wow, that must have been a nice trip! Gorgeous and nicely detailed descriptions too. I live close to Donegal and I’ve been there already a few times, but five fingers beach is on my list now, thanks! 😃
Thanks, we did have a great day! It was nice to get out of the city and enjoy some natural landscapes for a change. Five Finger Strand is a photographer’s dream, hope you make it there soon! 😀