Themed Bed & Breakfasts - Avalon
Property: Avalon B&B, Glenties, County Donegal
Located in mid-west Donegal just below the Blue Stack mountains and a short distance from the sea; the heritage village of Glenties takes its name from the convergence of two glens and is a meeting place for the Owenea & Stracashel Rivers which are very popular with the fishermen. This pretty place surrounded by woodland has won no less than 10 tidy town awards over the years and is home to St Connell’s Museum & Heritage Centre which depicts how life was for those in the area through the years. Just a stones throw away from Glenties towards the mountains is Avalon House home to Mary Ita and Hugh Boyle. You will have no problem locating Avalon House; take to road R253 between the Garda Station and the Community Centre, go as far as the 80km speed signs, and your haven for tonight is the neat cherry red house to your right. Obviously, 80kms does not apply to you when driving up the avenue!!
Avalon House is framed by Mountains and the warmth of the exterior is indicative of the type of welcome you will receive from Mary Ita on arrival. Quite often the smell of cooking will meet you and will prompt you to accepting the offer of tea or coffee and some homemade bread, scones and biscuits. Her talents do not end there, she has a great interest in photography and her stunning scenic portraits of local areas of beauty adorn the walls at Avalon. Both Hugh and Mary Ita are locals having grown up in Glenties and she is still really appreciative of the beauty of the ever changing landscape of the surrounding area. Bearing this in mind you can’t but benefit from the 1st hand knowledge of the area for your walking trip to this wonderful corner of the country. After a good breakfast, which should keep you full until lunch time, you can pick your own picnic spot and dine on a delicious Avalon packed lunch to get you through the afternoon.
The Blue Stack Way is a very popular walking route for both accomplished and novice walkers. Though you have the benefit of seeing some of the highest peaks which can reach 600m, most of the route is below 300m. There are many areas of interest on the route including the site of a plane crash which occurred in 1944. For convenience, Avalon is actually on the Bluestack Walking route and is the first bed and breakfast house you will see having completed the Donegal –Glenties section. There have been a few aching feet whose owners have sited the red house as a target to get them the last few yards! Mary Ita is a former member of the GAP Tourism committee which joins the Glenties, Ardara and Portnoo areas together. The GAP committee developed a beautiful walking trail through the forestry on the former Bord na Mona site, this walk s about 4-5 miles in total going out to Lough McHugh and back again. This is one of Mary Ita’s favourite walks, the other being that of walking the beach at Narin in the evening sunset.
If a guide is required at any stage, Mary Ita is in close contact with the official Blue Stack Way guide and can facilitate the arrangement of same. Otherwise, Mary Ita will go through your route on the ordnance survey maps of the area hanging in the hall and in turn onto smaller maps which will fit in your bag along with a copy of the weather forecast. If required, she can arrange to have you taken to the starting point and to have you collected at the end of the trail. There are also adequate drying facilities for your boots and walking gear.
Your evening can be spent dining in a local Restaurant in Glenties and on a good night this can be followed by entertainment from traditional musicians who play at the weekends.