The emerald isle

Monday 16 August 2010, 16:24

Derek Brockway Derek Brockway

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I'm just back from an amazing week in Ireland - Donegal to be precise. I stayed in Ballycastle for a couple of nights and visited the Giant's Causeway - one of nature's natural wonders.

The next day I took my life in my hands and crossed the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge which is great fun so long as you aren't afraid of heights...

Then I hopped on a ferry over to Raithlin Island and did a short walk there. It's a great place to go if you like bird watching and I was lucky enough to see a few seals there as well.

After that it was on to Donegal and Letterkenny where I stayed in a wonderful B&B - Hillcrest which is run by professional chef, Martin Anderson. Martin was a great host and cooked up a hearty breakfast for us each day.

He also made wonderful scones and gave us a few to put in our rucksacks - one of which gave me a much needed energy boost and enabled me to summit Mount Errigal which is Donegal's highest and best known mountain. The views from the top are amazing on a clear day.

I also cycled to Malin Head, and popped into the weather station there and had a chat with the local observer. Malin Head is a very exposed spot so it was a bit breezy and I had to peddle hard against the wind to reach my destination!

Malin Head is one of the few places in Europe where you can still hear corncrake and is also a top spot for watching migratory seabirds from such as auks, gannets, skuas and shearwaters.

In WWII it was a top secret base used by the British to monitor German U-Boat activity in the North Alantic.

Finally, it was onto Belfast and Newcastle where I climbed Slieve Donard - the highest peak in the Mourne Mountain Range. The weather was perfect and although chilly on the top I could see for miles.

Back in Wales today and the weather is fine and warm but there is rain on the way tonight.

Tomorrow, I'm heading west to the Pembrokeshire County Show so pop along to the BBC Wales stand and say hello!

You can have a go at presenting the News and Weather and I will be there from 3pm to meet members of the Pembrokeshire Young Farmers and answer some of their questions.

Pudsey Bear is also coming along as well as the Welsh celebrity chef - Angela Gray.

The forecast for Haverfordwest tomorrow is for a cloudy, damp start but it should become dry and brighter in the afternoon.

Wednesday will be breezy with sunny intervals and showers and Thursday should start off bright but will have rain later.

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    Comment number 1.

    I was disappointed to read that having visited Donegal you never came to visit Fanad where we have (as voted by an English paper some years ago),the second must beautiful beach in the world.It stretches for three miles from the bottom of Knockalla mountain towards Portsalon, a pure golden sanded beach, perhaps on your next visit you will visit this beautiful hidden treasure along with a vast of other gems in the Fanad area.
    I totally agree with you about Martins cooking he is a wonderful chef and a great host, I have done a few of his cookery courses which he holds in the winter months. glad you enjoyed your visit to the rest of Co.Donegal.


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