Want to get away from it all? Go where Irish eyes are smiling

It is hard to convey the beauty of County Donegal in simple words. With its rolling hills and unspoilt beaches, it is the perfect place to get away from it all for 48 hours.

This is a place that is made for those who love spending time in the great outdoors. If you are feeling social there are plenty of opportunities to call into a local pub and chat with the locals or if you want to get away from it all it is perfectly possible to immerse yourself in the grandeur of the local scenery and hardly bump into another soul.

Here are some great things to see and do on your trip:

1: Take a trip to Slieve League, reportedly among the highest marine cliffs in Europe. Be prepared though rural South West Donegal has some narrow, winding roads – although my guide took it in his stride with all the bravado of a local. However, when you reach your destination the panoramic views are well worth it.

2: Murvagh Beach, near Donegal, is simply stunning. The long sandy beach is flanked by dunes and nearby Murvagh Forest has many clearings and picnic tables.

3: Waterbus trip around Donegal Bay, Donegal Town. This is a good way to sample local life and learn about the area’s fascinating history including reminders of the Irish famine. The trip takes you past the old ticket office where people bought their tickets bound for a new life in America or Canada and the slipway where families said their goodbyes. It also offers a fantastic vantage point to learn about the spectacular setting, its wildlife and the islands in the Bay.

4: Enjoy being in the outdoors. Being in such beautiful surroundings it would be a crying shame not to explore the local scenery. You can find absolutely beautiful beaches along the coastline of South West Donegal. When I visited one there was not another soul about and it was quite something to have the place to myself! There are plenty more things to do including walking, golf, horse riding or trying your hand at fishing.

5: Sample the local hospitality. This might be a bit obvious but if you can try to pay a visit to a local pub. A bit of friendly hospitality, a warm fire and a drop of the black stuff was the perfect end to a day spent in the outdoors. The region also has plenty of fine produce which can be sampled at a range of restaurants, cafe and pubs.