A few days in Rathmullan
September 20, 2012
My family and I have been coming up to the Ramelton/Rathmullan area of Donegal for the last 15 years, and 12 years ago my parents bought a little holiday house in the Sycamores development, just beside the famed Rathmullan House. A mere 2.5 hours drive from Belfast, the whole area is like a different world and is the perfect spot to relax and take it easy.
Our holiday house is up for sale, so we thought we’d better take the opportunity to have a few days up there before it sells. My parents plan is build a bigger and better house at some point in the next few years but in the meantime we will really miss having the place to nip up to when we fancy. We’ve had some brilliant holidays up here on our own, and with friends and family. We’ve also taken R up a couple of times before but he was too small to actually get any benefit of it but this time he was in his element. We spent hours on the beach as he pulled his little trolley (which housed his bucket and spade) up and down, and pointed at the dogs and horses that passed us by regularly.
As my parents were up with us, we took advantage of the babysitting offer and booked a table in the new Ferrygate Restaurant. This site has housed a few different restaurants but this incarnation is by far the best. With plenty of fresh fish on the menu (and 3 types of steak much to the husband’s joy) and a very reasonably priced wine list, there would be something to suit even the fussiest eaters. I had grilled mushroom with goats cheese and herbs (presumably from the large fragrant pots that adorn the entrance), plaice with caponata and dark chocolate tort with a delicious home-made vanilla ice-cream, and Mr. G-S had leek and potato soup and a massive steak and chips, which he declared was outstanding. We had coffees and a bottle of house wine and it came to around €80. The food was delicious, the service was very friendly and the interior was warm and inviting. Top marks all round. We headed to our favourite pub, The Beachcomber, to have a few beers before heading home via Batts Walk.
The weather was a bit hit or miss so on Monday afternoon we headed to an indoor attraction,Tropical World, which is just outside Letterkenny and around 20 minutes drive from Rathmullan. We were not sure what to expect (in fact, expected it to be a bit crap) but were very surprised to enjoy a great afternoon in the company of lemurs, all sorts of tropical birds, owls, rabbits, snakes, butterflies, meerkats and much more. One of the staff also took out a snake and a dragon lizard, which I held, and told us loads of interesting facts about the animals.There were pictures but my dad sadly deleted all the photos from his phone by mistake. Oops there, da. R loved it, and I would highly recommend it for an afternoon out with kids (or big kids) as there are lots to see and also a lovely bakery with great cake. And a gift shop. R fell in love with a large Snowy Owl which is nearly the size of him and for €20 euros it was his.
The rest of our holiday included fish and chips, lunch in the fabulous Belle’s Kitchen (best cafe in Donegal, I’d say) and lots of messing about round the development and on the beach (both in the sun and in the rain!). It was great to be away without emails/internet and to really enjoy spending time as a family, playing about and just hanging around. We came back yesterday as we had a few things to do today and so we could go to Culture Night tomorrow night. Who knows when we will get up to that part of the country again but I hope it won’t be too long.