An extensive rail network used to exist throughout the county and was mainly operated by the County Donegal Railways Joint Committee and the Londonderry and Lough Swilly Railway Company (known as the L. & L.S.R. or the Lough Swilly Company for short). The Great Northern Railway (Ireland) L.t.d. (the G.N.R.) also ran a line from Strabane through The Laggan, a district in the east of the county, along the River Foyle into Derry. Even though the railways in Donegal are fondly remembered, the network was completely closed by 1960. Today, the closest railway station to the county is Waterside Station in the City of Derry, which is operated by Northern Ireland Railways (N.I.R.).
County Donegal is served by both Donegal Airport, located at Carrickfinn in The Rosses in the west of the county, and by City of Derry Airport, located at Eglinton to the east. The nearest main international airport to the county is Belfast International Airport (popularly known as Aldergrove Airport), which is located to the east at Aldergrove, near Antrim Town, in County Antrim, around fifty-seven miles from Derry City and around seventy-five miles from Letterkenny.
To Get to the Cottage
From Letterkenny, County Donegal:
Take R245 northwards through Ramelton to Milford.
Take R246, which turns left in Kerrykeel, to Portsalon (turning right at the Ardglass Inn crossroads just before Portsalon).
Drive the short distance through Portsalon and turn right at the sign for “Sarah’s Restaurant”.
The cottage is in the No 10 of development on the left.
Portsalon is a typically peaceful Irish fishing village bounded to the east by hills of the Inishowen peninsula, and to the west by Knockallagh Mountain (1200ft). It is on the western shores of Lough Swilly in beautiful north Donegal. An area of immense natural beauty the village possesses a superb blue flag sandy beach, which stretches for 2 miles and a picturesque little harbour, and which looks across at the Dunree Hills, backed by the Uriss Hills.
It is an area of some historical importance situated as it is in the Fanad district, the ancient territory of the Mac Swiney’s.
In 1917 the bullion-laden ship Laurentic, was sunk off the coast by a submarine, and amongst the salvage the ship’s bell was recovered and can still be seen in Portsalon Church.
To the north of the harbour there are some natural arches and wonderful caves which run along the coastline, the most notable of these being The Seven Arches, a series of caves and tunnels, accessible on foot, and the Doaghbeg Arch also nearby. There is a charming drive to Fanad Head, the site of the famous lighthouse, where the cliffs rise to over 300ft, facing the seaward end of the lough and looking across to Dunaff Head in Inishowen.
For the sportsperson Portsalon has a splendid 18 hold golf course and the shelter of its harbour makes the village an appealing spot for sailing and boating. It all makes Portsalon a very desirable location for a holiday.