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Edge Restaurant at Redcastle Golf Resort Hotel and Spa



We recently had the pleasure of sampling the new Summer Menu on offer for 2018 from the Edge Restaurant at Redcastle Golf Resort Hotel and Spa in County Donegal. The Edge Restaurant is a setting that does many things at once. The floor to ceiling windows that affords the diner a spectacular view of Lough Foyle in sumptuous yet cosy surroundings is an experience that everyone should sample. This glorious panoramic view of Lough Foyle is more breath-taking than your normal seaside setting thanks to the fact that you are sitting on the edge of a spectacular lough that boasts the stunning backdrop of the County Derry coastline on the other side. This stunning view of Irish countryside is a visual treat that creates a living, pulsing tapestry across one side of the restaurant where the diner is liable to feel as though they could paddle their feet in the water while they dine.
To embellish and accentuate this remarkable setting, the staff of Redcastle Hotel has created a menu that is truly a feast of the senses. Visually stunning in its presentation, a host of culinary delights rolled forth from the kitchen.

From Amuse Bouche to dessert, each course seemed to surpass the previous, until, at the end, we truly appreciated what a fine dining experience we had just had. All locally sourced food that was passionately prepared and cooked to perfection. It is indeed a special treat when one has enjoyed a meal that can be classed as faultless. Every morsel, whether savoury or sweet, was bursting with flavour. The table staff was a joy to interact with, and we found them to be either very professional and well suited to their duties or truly passionate about making the diners’ experience one that they won’t forget in a hurry; for all the right reasons. The staff seems to have really bought into what the management is trying to achieve at the Edge Restaurant and it shows in their interaction with the clientele. There seemed to be an innate perception of when to dwell and chat, and when to speed things along to keep the dining experience pretty much seamless.

Although we would like to reserve our highest praise to the troops on the ground that is Head Chef Gordon Smyth and his excellent kitchen staff, we feel the real star of the show is the menu. The locally sourced produce such as Smoked Lough Neagh Eel, Atlantic Cod, Burtonport Crab, Inishowen Lamb and even Greencastle Honey took starring roles in a menu that is as good as you’ll find anywhere in the world. The supporting roles are made up of fresh, local, seasonal produce that embellish and accentuate flavours and combinations to thrill the palate. The presentation is exemplary and this well thought out menu is both adventurous yet complementary to its various components. Like a hug, you could eat!


This is high praise indeed but is not just idle fawning of a star-struck culinary groupie. The numbers stack up and there is considerable trade recognition to back up the ardour. Recently the hotel celebrated their second AA Rosette Award for The Edge Restaurant, as part of the AA Hospitality Award Scheme’s annual assessment of hotels across the UK and Ireland and been Best Hotel Restaurant Ulster by the Irish Hotel Awards for the second consecutive year. The Rosette scheme has long been established and successfully recognises cooking at different levels nationwide and this was not surprising.  Head Chef Gordon Smyth has also recently received the highest praise from leading food critics, John and Sally McKenna in the McKenna Guide. So if you’re looking for a change that you’ll want to come back to or something for this Summer’s Bucket List, make a date with those friendly folk at the Edge Restaurant, where a culinary delight awaits you that goes beyond just having something to eat. This holistic experience of dining ticks all the boxes, and there’s always a comfy bedroom in the hotel to sleep it all off afterward if you so desire.

Summer Festivals & Events 2018

June 2018

Donegal International Rally
15th – 17th June 2018, Letterkenny
The Donegal International Rally is an annual sporting event held in Co. Donegal. It is one of Ireland’s oldest annual rally competitions and is a top event in the Irish Rallying calendar. The rally brings thousands of domestic and international visitors to Donegal each year. www.donegalrally.ie

Sea Sessions Surf & Music Festival 2018
22nd – 24th June 2018, Bundoran
Sea Sessions is Europe’s best surf, skate and music festival taking place in Bundoran. A 3-day long event of surfing, skating, partying and music! Sea Sessions is one of Ireland's most highly respected small festivals and is widely recognised as being the country's premier music, camping and surfing lifestyle event. The Festival sells out to capacity crowds each year and continues to grow in popularity. www.seasessions.com


Tír Chonaill Stone Festival
22nd – 24th June 2018, Mountcharles Pier
A fun, hands-on event packed with community spirit.
For those who love stonework, beginners and experts alike. The 2018 theme is Agriculture - which celebrates Ireland's long relationship between farming and dry stone walls. Participants with have an opportunity to tour our local sheep farm and learn the almost forgotten skill of cutting a stone drain.
www.dswai.ie/tirconnell

Donegal Town Summer Festival
29th June-1st July 2018, Donegal town.
Summer festival with live entertainment and lots of family fun activities is celebrating its 10th Anniversary this year. Another Great weekend guaranteed!
Line-up: Fri 29th - Marty Mone
Sat 30th - Hermitage Green
Sun 1st - Bagatelle & The Logues

July 2018


2018 Dubai Duty-Free Irish Open
4th – 8th July 2018, Ballyliffin Golf Club
The Dubai Duty-Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation will take place for the first time at Ballyliffin Golf Club from July 4-8, 2018. Ballyliffin Golf Club is widely regarded as the finest links complex in Ireland boasting two championship links courses – The Old Links and Glashedy Links. www.ballyliffingolfclub.com

Sult Music Festival Gweedore
6th -7th July 2018
Sult Feile Ceoil 2018 is a not-for-profit two-day outdoor music festival based in Gweedore, Donegal, Ireland. The festival is being developed to give local youth an alternative to festivals around the country and to raise money of local community groups. All profits are to be reinvested in supporting local community groups and to develop this festival into an annual music event.  www.sultfeile.ie
Sult Music Festival’s Headline act:
KEYWEST
Special Guest:
RYAN SHERIDAN
Supporting Acts:
Static Union
Oh Bryan
Danny & James
Fast as Folk
Hazy and Blue
Friday Night 6th July 2018
(Over 18’s Only ID Required)
 
DJ Nikki Hayes & The Control Freakz
Special Guests:
Timmy Gibson (DJ / Producer / Sound Engineer / Highland Radio) & Lorcan Doherty & Christian Mc Daid (Crizify)


O’Flaherty’s OTB Music Festival
7th – 8th July 2018, Buncrana
A weekend of some of the best Irish music currently on the scene. Line-up includes Cafolla and Engel, Thanks Brother, Orchid Collective, Runabay, Rofi James, Wolves of Youth, Lavengro and more. We also have a few special guests joining us across the weekend so watch this space!
www.mrkeventsie.com

Donegal Wild Atlantic Marathon & Half Marathon
8th July 2018, Killybegs
Donegal Wild Atlantic half and full marathon will take place in Killybegs along the stunning South West coast on Sunday, July 08. The course consists of a Half Marathon (13.1 miles) and a Full Marathon (26.2 miles) and runs entirely along the Wild Atlantic Way. Runners and walkers will enjoy spectacular scenery and all finish together in Glencolmcille Folk Village.
www.excelsports.ie


Ceol Na Coille Summer School of Irish Traditional Music
9th – 13th July 2018, Letterkenny
Ceol Na Coille Summer School of Irish Traditional Music is a weeklong event. Pupils can attend master classes on, Uilleann Pipes, Piano & Button Accordion, Fiddle, Whistle, Flute, Banjo, Mandolin, and Harp & Guitar. All ages and abilities may attend. Young children can attend an introduction to Irish Music where they have an opportunity to try different instruments. There will be evening and nightly sessions and recitals throughout the week.
www.ceolnacoille.ie

Earagail Arts Festival 2018
11th – 29th July 2018, Countywide
Earagail Arts Festival, celebrating its 30th anniversary, is a bilingual (Irish and English language), multidisciplinary arts festival which takes place each July throughout County Donegal – 23 days of music, theatre, visual arts, film, literature, circus & carnival on Ireland’s North West Atlantic seaboard. www.eaf.ie


Leo's Tavern 50th Anniversary Festival
12th – 16th July 2018, Leo’s Tavern, Crolly
Leo’s Tavern 50th Anniversary Festival is organised in association with Earagail Arts Festival.
Leo’s Tavern, voted best Ulster Music Venue 2017 by IMRO and celebrates 50 years this year. Leo Brennan, the show band musician, and singer opened Leo’s in 1967 entertaining visitors and locals nightly with a unique style which he passed on to his family, Clannad members Moya, Ciarán, Pól, Padraig and Noel along with recording legend, Enya. This weekend celebrates his heritage, his family legacy, the local talent inspired and the enduring power of music in this special corner of Ireland, with performances by Clannad, Hazel O Connor, a very special Club Beo hosted by Donovan, an even more exclusive Daniel O Donnell cabaret and a host of other local and international guests.
www.eaf.ie/events/leos-tavern-50th-anniversary-festival

Burtonport Summer Festival
20th – 28th July 2018, Burtonport
Easily described as one of the “Best Family Festivals” in Donegal, the Burtonport Summer Festival keeps the whole family in mind – from an action-packed selection of children’s activities & outdoor adventures for all the family, street music throughout the day and Island adventures that will create unforgettable childhood memories.
www.donegalgathering.com/july/burtonport-summer-festival

MacGill Summer School
22nd – 27th July 2018, Glenties
Founded by Dr Joe Mulholland and a local committee in Glenties to celebrate the memory of local writer, Patrick MacGill, some of whose books became bestsellers in Britain in the first decades of the 20th century, the School has consistently been a source of innovative and fresh thinking on a whole range of social, economic and political ideas.
As usual, more than fifty contributors from Ireland and abroad including political leaders and representatives of all areas of public life will assemble in Glenties for what is now generally recognised as one of the country’s most important and relevant national fora.
www.macgillsummerschool.com



Swell Festival
27th – 29th July 2018, Arranmore Island
Swell Festival is an annual music and arts festival taking place on Arranmore Island off the coast of Donegal in North West Ireland. The milestone fifth festival will be hosted on the west side of the island at Rannagh Strand, Aphort thanks to the generosity of Arranmore United Football Club.
www.swellfestival.com

Off the Street LK Food Festival
28th – 29th July 2018, Letterkenny
A two-day Food Festival in the heart of Letterkenny. With a huge variety of food stalls selling amazing street, fresh local produce & more. Two days of live music by local musicians, live cookery demos in the marquee by local talented chefs and producer story sections where you get to hear the stories behind some of Donegal’s best food producers. With something for the whole family, this is a weekend not to be missed. A true celebration of the vibrant Donegal Food scene.
www.facebook.com/lkfoodfest

Mary from Dungloe International Festival
28th July – 6th August 2018, Dungloe
The Mary From Dungloe International Festival has been welcoming visitors from all over the world since its inception in 1967. The heart of the festival is the selection of the Mary From Dungloe where young women of Irish decent along with their families return to Donegal to participate in the weeks' events, with the dream of being crowned the next Mary From Dungloe. The festival also includes a constant stream of street entertainment, along with a carnival and live concerts.
The festival is centered on a pageant to find out which contestant has the spirit of the festival, who is then crowned “Mary From Dungloe”. The winner of the contest holds this title for a year and acts as an ambassador for the festival. Irish emigrant communities from around the world, as well as some Irish counties and towns, participate by nominating a young woman endearingly titled a “Mary”, to represent their community at the contest. The festival has grown in popularity over the years and regularly attracts thousands of visitors locally and from overseas.
www.maryfromdungloe.com




August 2018


Ballyshannon Folk & Traditional Music Festival
3rd – 6th August 2018, Ballyshannon
Ireland’s longest running Folk and Traditional music festival. Every August Bank Holiday weekend, Ballyshannon is the only place to be for a fantastic line up of the best of Folk and Traditional music Ireland has to offer.
www.ballyshannonfolkfestival.com

Follow the Footsteps of the Spanish Armada
4th – 5th August 2018, Ardara
The Ardara GAP Heritage and History Group have two exciting upcoming events to commemorate the 430th anniversary of the Spanish Armada in Donegal.
The group is organising a 16th-century style re-enactment walk from Kiltoorish, Rosbeg to Killybegs. A group of historic re-enactors will demonstrate typical 16th-century costume, weaponry, and armour as part of the weekend. We will be following the route of the survivors of the Duquesa Santa Ana under the command of Don Alonzo de Leyva, second-in-command of the Armada and commander of the shipwrecked La Rata Santa Maria Encoronada until he commandeered the Duquesa Santa Ana in Blacksod Bay, Mayo. They will be presenting the Duquesa Santa Ana and the Girona stories, exploring the social, human, military and maritime history of the late 16th century and the fate of 26 Spanish Armada ships wrecked off the Atlantic coast of Ireland between September and October 1588.
These commemorative events are of national and international importance. They also take place during the European Year of Cultural Heritage. As the Armada was made up of many European and non-European nationalities, this year will have far-reaching connections across the Iberian Peninsula and the former Spanish colonies. Over the last number of years, there has been an increased interest and recognition in this 16th century political and maritime event. Recent discoveries at Streedagh, Co. Sligo and the ongoing underwater investigations organised by GADA, will add to our knowledge of the Armada.



Clonmany Festival
5th – 12th August 2018, Clonmany
Year after year thousands of holidaymakers and locals alike enjoy the many events, live music, natural beauty and facilities which go hand in hand with the festival. From raft races and cycling events to treasure hunts and talent competitions, the festival has something to offer everyone and is an event which you will find yourself returning to again and again.
www.clonmanyfestival.com

Fleadh Cheoil Chill Chartha / Kilcar Fleadh
6th – 11th August 2018, Kilcar
The Kilcar Fleadh organisers invite everyone to come to join them for a festival of traditional music, songs, and dance, celebrating the living heritage of traditional music in South West Donegal. The events will include Concerts, Ceili, Crossroads dance, ‘Echos in the Glen’ – a music recital featuring fiddles and pipes in the Gleann a’Bhaile Dubh, recreating a tradition from the first half of the 20th century.
www.kilcar.ie


Loinneog Lúnasa
9th – 13th August 2018, Gaoth Dobhair
This community-based festival celebrates the music and culture of the Donegal Gaeltacht.
There are few areas in Ireland that can boast such a wealth of internationally renowned musical acts. Just think of Enya, Clannad, Mairead Ní Mhaonaigh and Altan to name but a few. Then Brendan de Gaillí has danced his way around the world with Riverdance.
But Gaoth Dobhair is not just about the music! It’s the place itself. There are the sea and the coast, the islands the tradition and of course the Irish language. So come and enjoy a weekend of music, culture, and craic in Gaoth Dobhair during “Loinneog Lúnasa”.
www.loinneoglunasa.com

Extreme North - Quadrathon Festival
16th – 19th August 2018, Inishowen
This event is about the Challenge, the Scenery, the Camaraderie, the new Friends, the amazing Medals and Fantastic Memories that last for years. The event support is second to none and the opportunity for early starts for walkers and slow runners ensure that this event is all-inclusive and suited to all endurance walkers and runners. The event description would never be complete with mentioning the amazing medals that assemble to form a trophy like medallion for all 4-day achievers.
www.extremenorthevents.com/quadrathon-4-half-full-marathons

Heritage Week in County Donegal
18th – 26th August 2018, Countywide
From 18-26 August 2018, hundreds of event organisers in national institutions and local community organisations will organise Heritage Week events throughout the country. 
Heritage Week is coordinated by the Heritage Council and its aim is to build heritage awareness and education while shining a spotlight the great work that is carried out in all communities in Ireland to preserve and promote our natural, built and cultural heritage.
The theme for the Year in Ireland is ‘Make a Connection’ which aims to deepen the connection between people and heritage and build a legacy of increased public engagement.

A Taste of Donegal Food Festival
24th – 26th August 2018, Donegal Town
Discover the biggest hidden gem along the way when you visit A Taste of Donegal 2018. Now in its 10th year, this must-attend foodie event is a three-day celebration of great food and drink located in a beautiful tented village on the pier in Donegal Town. Your taste-buds will be tantalized as you can taste and purchase some of the finest food and drink available from 120 Food Exhibitors from all over Ireland and the UK.

Cookery Demonstrations by Celebrity Chefs, Neven Maguire, Kevin Dundon, Catherine Fulvio, Edward Hayden, Shane Smyth, Gary O’ Hanlon, Brian Mc Dermott, Joe Shannon and Donegal’s own local celebrity chefs.
www.atasteofdonegal.com


For a comprehensive list of events visit: Donegal Gathering

7 Beaches off the Beaten Track

7 Beaches off the Beaten Track

Donegal has many wonderful beaches, some known and some not. The beauty in these beaches is the exclusivity you feel on the deserted sand. You may be there to reflect, refresh or to relax in the Atlantic Ocean. One thing for sure is that you always find yourself going back.



1.   Silver Strand


Although well known, Silver Strand is usually a deserted place all to oneself. It is an amazing beach which ties in so well with the Sliabh Liag peninsula. It never fails to take one to a different place, even the sheep that grace the hills here.  Don’t expect phone signal.

2.       Trá Ban, St. John’s Point

Situated before the lighthouse, at the end of St. Johns Point lays a fabulous coral beach. The water is always pristinely clear and you can find small coral creatures. Another beach that doesn’t throw up many crowds. Also a great diving area.

3.       Murder Hole

Murder Hole is notorious for its name. There are many myths about how it got its name but one thing for sure is that it’s stunning and as off the beaten track as one can get. Difficult to access because of land issues, public access to land is closed meaning the only entry is a strenuous climb over the hill, but worth the trip. The Murder Hole is one of Donegal’s best-hidden gems – and is now officially Ireland’s most spectacular hidden beach!

4.       Maghera Beach, Ardara

Maghera is absolutely stunning with the added bonus of eerie caves. The area is vast with dunes and sand as far as you can see. The caves can be accessed and it’s a wonderful place to explore. There’s plenty of space to do some beach running too if that’s your thing. The beauty of it being off the road and a short walk over the dunes gets you there.

5.       Dunree Bay

Situated just outside Buncrana, Dunree bay is a stunning coved beach. Sheltered by Dunree Head and once protected by the old Fort Dunree, it is a place with historical significance. The beach is usually deserted so you may have it to yourself.

6.       Kinnagoe Bay

Kinnagoe Bay in Inishowen in the north of the county is a long sandy beach backed by a steep green hill.  The view from the road above over the bay is stunning and quite overwhelming, so is the steep drop to the beach below. Never overly crowded, another beach you may have to yourself and the dog.

7.       Cruit Island

 Cruit Island off the coast of West Donegal near Kincasslagh is a small island measuring roughly 3 miles by one mile. It is well off the beaten track and has a few sandy beaches. There is a golf club nearby, and in great weather the area is fabulous and the beaches are hidden gems.

 Go Visit Donegal