When you feel like taking a break from exploring County Donegal’s amazing landscape you can seek out one of its many top class entertainment venues. Whether your passion is film, theatre, music or art, you are never far from a town offering something to enjoy.
One of Donegal’s finest venues, the Balor Arts Centre, can be found in Ballybofey. If you are looking to stay locally, the town has plenty of accommodation to choose from, including three and four star hotels, guesthouses and bed and breakfasts. There are also lots of options in neighbouring Stranorlar.
Hotels and Entertainment
Balor Arts Centre, located in Main Street, was founded in 1982 and has the unique distinction of being both Donegal’s oldest continuously running theatre and the county’s newest purpose-built arts venue - the centre moved into the building in 2008.
It is operated by a local group, the Butt Drama Circle, and its dedicated volunteers have made it a thriving centre for the community. It hosts the circle’s own productions and is also a popular venue with touring artistes, staging more than 100 top quality theatre, music and comedy performances every year. Leading Irish and international acts such as Josh Ritter, Damien Dempsey, Lisa Hannigan and Bell X1 are among those to have graced its stage.
The centre is in the heart of Ballybofey, a town well served by the N15 and N13 national primary routes. Free public car parking is available directly opposite the venue and there are plenty of on-street spaces around the theatre.
Out and About
Ballybofey is located on the south bank of the River Finn and along with Stranorlar, which sits on the north side of the river, they form what is known locally as the Twin Towns.
The towns, linked by an arched bridge, are popular with anglers who are drawn in by the plentiful stocks of fish in the river separating the two. The Finn is regarded as one of the best salmon and sea trout rivers in Europe and a stretch of it is owned by Simply Red singer Mick Hucknall.
Drumboe Wood, which is looked after by the national forestry authority, offers a tranquil, picturesque walk along the river and a section of the route passes the ruins of the old Drumboe Castle.
Peace and quiet is also provided in abundance at Trusk Lough, a small, pretty lake about seven miles from the twin towns. If you’re feeling energetic you can tackle a walk stretching for more than eight miles or, alternatively, it’s simply a great place to watch the sun go down.
A little further afield lie the popular tourist spots of Donegal Town, Bundoran and Beleek, while a beautiful beach can be found at Rossnowlagh.
The twin towns of Ballybofey and Stranorlar are well catered for when it comes to comfortable, affordable accommodation but there are alternatives nearby. Donegal Town in particular is a good place to look as many of its hotels, guesthouses and bed and breakfasts can be found around a central pedestrianised area.