Vikings in Donegal

I’ve been to Donegal four times this year carrying out research for my third Timecrack book. It’s a place I love to spend time in exploring its stunning scenery, as well as enjoying the excellent food and refreshment to be had in a variety of superb restaurants, hotels and pubs across the county.

One of my favourite restaurants is the Yellow Pepper in the centre of Letterkenny. It specialises in local produce and has a great wine list, and if you like seafood then go for the platter – it’s to die for!

On a previous visit, Vi and I were returning home when we decided to stop for a light lunch at a hotel just before reaching the border to take us back into Derry/Londonderry (there are viewpoints on how this county should be named). They don’t do light lunches, for every meal they seem to serve would suffice for two. I ordered a club sandwich and it was easily the best, in size and quality, since my time in America, and if you know anything about the food in the states, you’ll get my meaning!

But the point of this article is to tell you a little more about our most recent experience at this establishment. Its name is the An Grianan Hotel and it is situated, as I say, just over the border from Northern Ireland on the way to Letterkenny on the Inishowen Peninsula. However, the reason for our return visit on this occasion was to enjoy a night of entertainment which we had heard so much about: the Celtic Feast.

The feast consisted of a very hearty Irish four course meal washed down with unlimited jugs of red and white wine. Excellent entertainment, including a group of superb young Riverdance-style dancers and a trio playing and singing Irish folk music for our pleasure throughout the evening.

One aspect of our visit was to learn something of the history of this place, along with the opportunity to visit the ancient fort which has stood on this commanding site for over 5,000 years. And during our Celtic evening we learned more of this history as told to us by a lovely young woman who might have appeared straight out of an Irish mist.

Also provided for our entertainment was a re-enactment group who specialise in promoting the Viking culture for the benefit of those who want learn more about this period in Irish history. They do a wonderful job and I recommend you take a look at their website below to find out about their range of activities. For more information on the An Grianan, their website is also provided.


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