Cosy weekend away in Co. Donegal – The Bird Box

After having lived here for over half my life, Ireland is a country that still manages to surprise me.

Back in October, I took a little solo away trip, driving up to Donegal for the weekend. Started off with a bang too, got a flat tire in the middle of Enniskillen (shout out to Danny, you legend, helping me out to change it in the pissing rain and offering a cuppa after).

Now, if you’ve never been to or seen Donegal, it is an absolute gem of a county within the Emerald Isles, that is a true ordeal to get to. Forget public transport, not gonna happen.

Once I finally arrived, safe and sound, albeit tired, the adorable Airbnb I booked made it all worth it.

‘The Bird Box’

Called ‘The Bird Box’, it is located about 40km north off Donegal town. The treehouse is handcrafted, nestled between the branches of oak and scots pine trees. It overlooks sheep fields and Gleanveagh National park, short distance away from The Wild Atlantic way.

The treehouse itself is a cosy little cabin, with kitchenette, tiny bathroom, bench and a fireplace on the ground floor. Up the ladder, there’s a double mattress to sleep in.

Simple walk around the area is breathtaking.

After a cosy night in, I started the next day by driving up to Letterkenny to fix up my tire. After I got that sorted, my destination for the day was Glenveagh National Park. Situated within the Derryveagh Mountains and around Lough Veagh, where you can find the Glenveagh castle and its gardens, amongst stunning wilderness.

There are multiple walking trails, all varying in duration and difficulty, and few which will lead you to the castle.

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I’ve attempted one but a short while in I remembered I’m not only lazy but also unfit. So before passing out completely, wheezing, I turned around and got a return ticket (3 euro) to the castle via shuttle bus, operating during day hours from April till October.

Gosh, was it worth it, not only the bus ride, more so the sights. Built in 19th century, the castle is a marvel and its gardens a beautiful chaos.

If you follow the trail around, you come up to the unlocked gates after which you can climb (up quite a steep hill might I add) to view it all from above.

After hiking around, if you start to feel hunger, you can dine either in the visitor centre or in Synge & Byrne in the castle grounds. Birds fly around freely and you can dine inside or outside. There’s also a gift shop just around the corner.

I’m so happy I decided to spend half my day in this park, had an absolute blast and you could definitely spend an entire day here if you have more stamina than me!

For the second day, I had plans to visit Donegal town and the area around it but due to personal reasons, I had to drive down home the very next morning.

Even though the trip was cut short, I loved every bit of it.

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I don’t travel solo often but I end up doing it regularly enough, and each time I do, I learn that little bit more about myself.

I was in awe of every bit of Donegal I got to experience and see. Pete and Anna, the hosts of the Bird box were an absolute pleasure to deal with also. I’ve barely scratched the surface of this beautiful county and I’d love to go back there soon.

And this time for longer.

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