The reveller bar is bang centre of town - everyone always welcome and a great meeting place. All the staff are friendly and will make you feel welcome, live music at night, pool table and beer garden available.
Come to the beach party !
Dress Code: Very formal - even has a beach party in the winter !
On two nights during my stay in Downings, I went to the Harbour Bar with some folks from my workshop. It was within easy walking distance of An Teach Bán. In terms of appearance, it is a rustic, old-fashioned Irish Pub.
The first visit was on a Saturday night. At first, it was only a few people -- and we enjoyed a good conversation up at the bar with the bartender. Later, though, there was a local band named "The Boys Done Good!" They are fantastic musicians and well-known in the area -- so, by the time the music started, the place was packed. In terms of style, they are a rock-n-roll/blues band that performs fun cover songs of famous groups such as AC/DC, Creedance Clearwater Revival, Led Zeppelin, Wild Cherry, and many others.
The second visit was on a Tuesday night -- and, since it was both the off-season and during the week, there were only a few people there. On this occasion, the music was at a reasonable level -- and it was possible for us to enjoy a pleasant conversation at one of the tables.
One thing that was cool about this pub was the great disparity of the ages of the patrons. I met friendly people of all ages. In a nutshell, the Harbour Bar is a great pub.
I stayed at Gallaghers Hotel in Letterkenny on a Wednesday night -- which, as it turns out, is one of the big nights for the Milan Nightclub that is adjacent to the hotel. Since it was so close, I decided to check it out. It's a large, multi-level nightclub that draws a young crowd. The cover charge was 5 Euros-- and most drinks were 3 Euros.
I received a ride along the Atlantic Drive by a woman from Letterkenny who was also attending the workshop. She used to vacation in Downings with her family when she was younger -- so she knew the area well. During the drive, she stopped briefly in the parking lot of the Singing Pub which she said was a great pub/restaurant. Unfortunately, I did not have a chance to visit this pub while it was open.
I got a ride to Downings by a woman from Derry who was also attending the workshop. On the way, she stopped at The Olde Glen Bar because she wanted to show me what a great place it was. When we got there around 4:30 pm, the door was open -- so we walked in. Inside, they told us that it was closed. The funny thing was that there had to be at least ten people in the place -- drinking beer, talking, playing pool, etc. While we were there, we chatted a bit with some folks -- and they allowed us to use the restrooms. It seemed like a great place -- too bad it wasn't officially "open".
Glen Bar is a nice pub located, of all the crazy places, in the village of Glen. Glen feels a little remote, even for the rugged Donegal, but the pub is warm and welcoming. I really enjoyed hanging out here while we were staying at a cottage nearby. The barman was friendly and we had good conversation there. It's where I had my first taste of Powers whiskey.
Rumor has it that they serve excellent food at Glen Bar, but the kitchen is only open for a short time, so you have to get there early. They also feature music on certain nights.
Even if Glen isn't you final destination, it's worth a little side step to check out this cool pub.
We were told to go to John Joe's Pub in Kilcar by our B&B hostess. She knew of a Traditional Irish Music group that would be practicing there. Well it was great....a humble little place with lots of warmth and music.
In the photo are Clare Gallagher and Ann Gallagher with the red hair on the fiddle . They also play at the Dun Ulun B&B between Kilcar and Carrick.
Dress Code: Casual.
The Ceili House.....a tiny Pub, or Dancing House, very near Fintown, Do. Donegal. We were told that they would have traditional music that night.
Well, when we found it we were not sure we should go in, a bit shabby and no cars. When we did go in....Josie McKelvy met us at the bar, and since it was early and the regulars were not there yet.....good ole' Josie entertained us on his Whistle and with his accordian. My friend suprised me more when she picked up an accordian hanging on the wall and played along also.
Well, in no time it was filled to the brim (small place) with dancers practicing for a competition (who made sure we joined in) and the musicians played their hearts out.
Josie himself had just been to the hospital for heart trouble that day and bless his heart he played like a young man in his prime.
I will never forget that night. Thank you Josie McKelvy. We hope you are well and happy.
EXCERT FROM ARTICLE BELOW: WEBSITE.
"The pub has now replaced the céilí house as the communal gathering place, and this has had a detrimental effect upon sean-nós. Contemporary rebel songs and sentimental 'ballads' are often preferred to traditional songs, and these are performed in a non-traditional, melodramatic style. In those pubs where traditional singing still occurs, however (these are far more numerous in Connemara than in Donegal), the close connection between the tradition and the community is still readily apparent. "
Dress Code: Come as you are.
In the “Teach Hudi Beag” in Bunbeg there are great traditional music sessions on a Monday night. The music starts at around 10pm, but you should be there a lot earlier to make sure you get a good seat.
Farren’s Bar on Malin Head is Ireland’s most northerly pub. However, as we were there on Good Friday it was closed (along with every other pub and off-licence in Ireland), and while it looked rather boring from the outside we were told that the craic in there is quite good.
At Malin Head on the Inishowen peninsula is Farren's Bar, the northernmost pub in Ireland and a typical Irish countryside pub with half of it doubling up as a convenience store.
They're open anytime you want. If they're closed when you get there, they open up especially for you. Yes, that's right, it's happened to me. Just another example of the warm hospitality of the people of Malin Head.
Cant remember any, apart from a pub called Wallys bar. A lot of cabaret shows on in Bundoran during the summer and country & western music.
Dress Code: Ah yes, even at 15, I could attract the older guys as you can see here, he asked my dad if he could dance with me, I was soooooooooo MORTIFIED!!!
This was a highlight of my trip! Monday night sessions attract locals to share their musical talents...and its a very talented group. For an evening that is pure Irish magic, come to Hudibeg's on a monday evening!
The Sandrock Hostel at Malin Head is by far the best hostel I have stayed in so far. It is located...more
Lough Eske, Donegal, Ireland
Good for: Solo
Derry Road, Ludden, Buncrana, Ireland
Good for: Business