Our visit to Breac House B&B seems to have come just at the right time. Tourism in Donegal seems to be having something of a moment. National Geographic Traveller has just labelled the Irish County the coolest place on the planet, whilst Star Wars recently filmed at Malin Head and along the Wild Atlantic Way. Visitor numbers and income have also surged in recent years with the tourist board in particular targeting wealthier clients and longer stays.
Taking advantage of this upswing are a new breed of upscale properties like Breac House B&B Donegal – an exclusive property that sits on spectacular hillside close to Dunfanaghy, a sleepy coastal town. It is run by the cheerful and briskly efficient Cathrine and Niall, two former Dublin professionals, who decided that a sharp career change from accountancy to hotelier would provide a better lifestyle. Much better.
As we sit high on a peaceful hillside, enjoying breathtaking sunset views over Sheephaven Bay, nobody could possibly doubt that it was a very shrewd decision. It was not however one that came without considerable effort, as they chose to start right from a plot of bare land. Their task included a long search for the ‘right’ spot, plus a lengthy design process – all naturally done using the best local companies and craftsmen.
The result is exquisite with quality visible at every turn. The design, although ultra modern, is based on Donegal ’long houses ‘ and sits beautifully in the landscape. In and out Breac House B&B Donegal features local materials such as Irish oak, Ardara stone and Fanad granite.
The style is essentially mid-century with clean lines, open space and full length windows that allow us to admire the spectacular views. We can even enjoy the panorama as we lie in our luxurious bed, dressed with hand-loomed Donegal tweed and fitted with soft Irish linen.
Breac House B&B Donegal also has impressively high ceilings, wooden floors and oak beams plus a terrazzo bathroom with wet room showers and rainmaker shower heads. There are wonderful local Voya organic seaweed toiletries, and Donegal seaweed soap plus ultra soft towels and robes.
After a deep sleep, breakfast arrives magically via a hatch by the door. The emphasis on locally sourced products continues with the likes of smoked salmon, yoghurt, Guinness bread, eggs and cheese all local or home made by the multi-talented Niall and Cathrine. It’s all beautifully served on locally made, glazed stoneware and wooden trays. Even the artisan coffee is ground nearby.
Pop the tray back through the hatch when you are finished, and before long it is replaced by a neat back pack containing a lunch, typically a delicious home made soup and bread, fruit and local cheese.
It is then off for a day exploring the wonders of Donegal. There is plenty of impressive walking right from the door – the cliffs of Horn Head, pretty Dunfanaghy village or unspoilt beaches, forests and dunes are all close by.
On the doorstep too is the Wild Atlantic Way, a winding route that runs for 1,600 miles along the rugged coast of western Ireland. There are stunning views of beaches, coves and caves with Slieve League the highest sea cliffs in Europe. Also nearby are Glenveagh’s mountains, lakes and woodland, with the famous Castle at its centre.
If you have the energy when you get back, and haven’t been waylaid by a pint of Guinness in a local bar, there are complimentary drinks in the lounge. We can also recommend a hot soak in the custom wet room with rejuvenating fresh Donegal seaweed – with its multiple therapeutic benefits.
Even on a short stay we were thoroughly relaxed and rejuvenated and, like us, you will probably be planning your next visit before you depart. Breac House B&B Donegal is a spot of heaven on earth. Trust us, this is the best B&B in Donegal by a mile, do visit as soon as you can.
For more information visit https://breac.house
CELLOPHANELAND* were guests of Breac House B&B Donegal
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