Travelling to Letterkenny
Letterkenny is also known as the “cathedral town” on account of the impressive Cathedral of St Eunan and St Columba, which was built at the turn of the 20th century and has been beautifully kept. This is the largest town in County Donegal and as a consequence booking a stay in a Letterkenny hotel makes for a very good option if you want to explore the wider area.
The most popular hotels Letterkenny has to offer are often those which provide their guests with complimentary car parking. It’s easy to arrange car hire in Letterkenny and, once organised, you have the freedom to get out and about without needing to rely on the schedules of public transport. You can reserve a car to be picked up on arrival at the airport, and be on the road within minutes.
Most visitors arrive in Letterkenny by air. The town is less than an hour’s drive from City of Derry Airport, while Belfast International Airport, served by a number of major airlines, is just two hours by road. The landscape around Letterkenny, as much of Northern Ireland, is often breathtakingly wild, and just driving around aimlessly for a few hours to take in the scenery can be immensely enjoyable.
Where to stay in Letterkenny
There are plenty of good value accommodation options in and around Letterkenny whatever your requirements. Choose to stay in a modern chain hotel with up-to-the-minute amenities, a stylish country house hotel, or a magnificent traditional property close to the centre of town. You can also book a room in a relaxing spa hotel, with treatments and massages available throughout your stay.
Hotels in Letterkenny are usually positioned ideally for easy sightseeing, and getting to and from the airport or other towns and cities nearby.
Things to see and do near Letterkenny
There are several popular cultural and historic attractions in Letterkenny and the surrounding area. Among the most well known is the Newmills Corn and Flax Mills, just outside the town, where you can witness one of Ireland’s largest waterwheels in action. Here you can see industrial and agricultural methods from a bygone age taking place in these attentively restored buildings.
A little further from Letterkenny but still within a short drive, Glebe House and Gallery is set within attractive manicured gardens, and features more than 300 works by leading artists from the 20th century, including Renoir, Pablo Picasso and several Irish artists.
In Letterkenny itself, the Donegal County Museum is housed in a building that was once part of a workhouse. A range of fascinating exhibits traces life in Donegal from the Stone Age to the present day.
Holidays in Letterkenny also have great appeal for families, and a good day out is to be had at Glenveagh National Park, a breathtakingly beautiful setting with many walking and cycling trails. The 19th century Castle Glenveagh stands on the bank of Lough Veagh, and was designed to resemble an idyllic highland retreat, with gardens and tearooms.
More fun can be had at Tropical World, where there is a colourful butterfly house and a zoo inhabited by raccoons, miniature monkeys and cuddly meerkats. This has rapidly become one of the must-visit attractions in County Donegal and is sure to keep the children entertained for a few hours.
One of the year’s cultural highlights in County Donegal, the Earagail Arts Festival takes place every summer around 10 minutes’ drive from Letterkenny. A wonderfully diverse programme features traditional Irish music, theatre, film, carnival acts and children's’ events, making it a must-visit if you’re staying in the Letterkenny area in July.
From Letterkenny you can reach the city of Londonderry in under an hour by car. Hotels in Londonderry can also offer excellent value to visitors, whether you’re interested in a stay in a luxury property, a hotel close to a golf course, or somewhere that’s very central.
Besides opening up many more options for dining, shopping and nightlife, Londonderry has numerous historic attractions that illuminate the area’s past. These include the Bloody Sunday monument and the iconic Free Derry Corner. A walk around the city walls in Londonderry is also recommended, and can prove a bracing and scenic experience.
Travelling a little further afield, Belfast is suitable for a longer day trip. There is a vast number of famed attractions here to make it worth the drive, including the famous Titanic Quarter, which has several historic maritime landmarks and interesting exhibitions. You might wish to extend your Letterkenny holiday by staying in the city for a night or two, and you will of course find a diverse selection of Belfast hotels available to you. That way, you can also enjoy an evening at the handsome 19th century Grand Opera House.
For hassle-free and good value stays in Letterkenny, book your hotel, flights and car hire all in one place using the Expedia search tool.