Old Routes: Discovering Bundoran On a Road Trip
By Susie Poole
With so many breathtaking destinations to discover in Bundoran, it isn’t hard to find a variety of things to do for 90 days of summer. Historical tours, cuisine trips, adventure expeditions and everything in between draw travellers from far and wide to this picturesque part of the Emerald Isle. There are several ways to celebrate this beautiful town and its surrounding region; one is by car – who says you need to traverse tons of kilometres to call it a road trip? Not only can you hit a few key locales in the town itself, but take some truly wonderful routes in neighbouring communities and get the most out of the landscape for which this green land is so blessed.
Prepping for Your Road Adventure
There are just a few things you need to embark on a roadtrip: a set of wheels, a full tank of petrol, a spare and some good tunes. But it doesn’t hurt to have a few of the following as well:
- First aid kit and spare blankets
- Non-perishable food and bottled water, kept in a cooler
- An up to date map, as well as a handy sat nav system
- Mobile and charger
(bear in mind you may be out of signal range from time to time)
- Tents and sleeping bags for nights under the stars
- Lists of contacts in case of emergency, as well as points of interest
(these can include campsites, tourist attractions, petrol stations, restaurants, services, and so on)
There are a range of options for choosing which vehicle to take, from travelling by ferry to renting locally. Fortunately for visitors from abroad, international driving permits are not required – meaning that all that is needed is an official license from your home country. It’s advisable to organise the right coverage ahead of time, which is useful in the event of a possible breakdown or accident. As with everything, being prepared is the key to a smooth holiday and peace of mind. Drive Alive also offers some good tips on driving around in Ireland – Europeans and residents of countries from the rest of the world will note that like the UK, people drive on the left side of the road. It’s always a good idea to practice a few easy drives before going on any long trips along major motorways if used to driving on the right instead, as well as knowing where to find local garages. In the Bundoran area, the Rooney Tyre Centre is on Single Street and can be reached at 071 9841320.
Bundoran is a great place to start for any roadtrip, naturally – much north-bound traffic from the south heading towards Northern Ireland and back pass through the town which is a premier seaside resort spot. To the south is north Sligo and north Leitrim among several other charming towns and breathtaking natural parks. The Donegal Bay Drive travels from Bundoran to Ballyshannon, Creevy Pier, Rossnowlagh, Murvagh, Lough Derg & Pettigo, Donegal Town, Mountcharles, Inver, Dunkineely, Bruckless, Killybegs, Kilcar, Carrick, Teelin, Malin Beg, Malinmore, Glencolmcolumbkille,Glengesh Pass, and Andara. Its landscape is carved out with beautiful, rugged hills, ruins, and endless shores occasionally illuminated by tranquil harbours which are the perfect rest stops for a pint or two (provided you remain under the legal limit). The Wild Atlantic Way also features Bundoran as a major stop in the northern part of the country, travelling all the way down to the southern coast and ending up virtually at Cork.
When journeying this far, be sure to check on the weather forecast for colder times of the year when roads can be icy and windy.
Close to Home
But staying nearby also present some true gems for discovering characteristic Ireland, and Bundoran’s local roads wind along the coast enticingly, with several great stopping points to take the perfect photo. The R267 (which turns into Finner Road in the north and the N15 in the south) enjoys some spectacular views and access to nearby beaches and the main street of Bundoran, and several other access streets. Some delightful places to eat and drink can be found in the West End of the road, such as the Peak Restaurant as well as the Sea Front and Bayview Ave. Several pubs and cafes also feature great events like live gigs and festivals, and are fairly busy throughout the year.
With so much to see and do, Bundoran by car and beyond will be an adventure that you will never forget – so pack that case, grab that mp3 player and get ready for the trip of a lifetime!