All Around Sheephaven Bay

Today we explored all sides of Sheephaven Bay. Dunfanaghy sits at the end of one arm of this complex inlet from the vast Atlantic. We began with a stop at The Gallery, the town’s biggest art gallery. It features some well known Irish artists and the prices showed it. Many were in the thousands of Euros! We especially liked the three generations of the Eggington family. Frank Eggington  Robert Eggington Their painting is terrific.

Next we stopped at the site of the Stuart manor house that is now a ruin. We believe Jean’s grandfather’s family lived on those grounds. The house and grounds are now occupied by sheep. That’s not so unusual in Donegal. Sheep are everywhere. In fact it’s been difficult to find a Belle of Donegal picture. I feared that the belle here would be a ewe. However, today a belle spoke to me from across the pasture and I snapped her picture. (See below.)

We drove up and around Horn Head in the early afternoon. It is a narrow one lane road with cliffs on both sides – one side up and the other side down. If you meet another vehicle, one of you must back up to find a place wide enough for the other to squeeze by. It is hair raising, especially for the passenger who is sitting on the edge. Jean did her best to remind me where the pavement was. The views were spectacular and well worth it.

Next we drove to Doe Castle, a 16th century castle that sits on the shores of Sheephaven Bay. It is surrounded by tidal estuary on three sides with a moat on the landward side. The vistas of castle stone, fluffy could-filled skies, distant headlands, sandy estuary (the tide was out), and flowers blooming everywhere were stunning. We couldn’t stop taking photos.

I then decided to drive to the opposite side of Sheephaven Bay along what is called the Atlantic Drive. It turned into an hour of creeping along one lane roads that have grass growing in the middle of them. We only met a few cars and had to back up twice. Once I backed into one of the ubiquitous rock walls. (Thankfully we chose to buy the extra insurance.) The most surprising thing about this drive was that many people actually live back there on that so-called road. Another shock was that our GPS knew where we were at all times and even had names for those roads! Not that we could prove it accurate. The Irish don’t post road names. Instead they post destinations at intersections. We need to teach that to the GPS companies.

Our day ended back in Dunfanaghy on the shores of Sheephaven Bay. The tide was coming in across the sands. We stopped at the beach across from our B&B and then walked the short promenade along downtown Dnfanaghy (about 50 yards). After a fabulous dinner at Arnolds Hotel, where we have eaten every night, we’re back in our room. Here are a few pics to give you a sense of what we saw. There are hundreds more.

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About Paul

I'm retired, but working at painting, photography, and song writing. We like to travel and paint plein air in new places. Of course that's also where photography comes into the picture, so to speak. Sometimes I get inspired to write songs about the people and places we visit.
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4 Responses to All Around Sheephaven Bay

  1. Robin says:

    Getting caught up with your travels. You have been busy the last couple of weeks! The scenery and descriptions of your travels are so interesting and educational. BTW — what were those golf scores?

  2. Carolyn says:

    Cousin Frank Hays, who was at Horn Head last year, said that they were rebuilding the Stuart house. Maybe I misunderstood. Carolyn

    • Jean says:

      It was definitely not being rebuilt. I will post some photos in a few days. I’m still processing the whole experience which was moving, but also a bit depressing. Frank had told me the same thing. He spelled the name as Stewart, but local sources tell me it was Stuart.

      Do you know anything about how he came across the information about this house? I haven’t hear from him for awhile and neglected to ask him that when he sent me the info. I had thought it was the house our family lived in, but I don’t think that’s likely. They may have lived in one of the outbuildings where a number of families who came from Scotland to Ireland with the Stuarts lived in.

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