Bundoran is, as the title of this entry would suggest, on the Atlantic coast. It is a small seaside resort in the south of Co.Donegal and a short distance from Enniskillen, across the border in Co. Fermanagh, where I was born.
While tourism has been the mainstay of Bundoran since William Cole, Viscount Enniskillen, built a summer lodge here in 1777 it really took off with the arrival of the train in 1868. This soon linked it not only to Enniskillen but also Belfast and Dublin. The Great Northern Railway company built the wonderful Great Northern Hotel in 1894 and to this day it remains one of the towns best known landmarks, perched on the hill overlooking the town, as it is.
Sadly, the train service to Bundoran ceased in 1957 but, despite the impression my photos taken at the height of summer in 2015 might give – more on that later, the town remains, over 200 years on, an important tourist destination, weathering at least to date, the increase of discount airlines and cheap fares from Ireland to sunnier, or more predictably sunnier, climes.
Replete with bathing boxes for the gentry, visiting Lords and the like, Bundoran for a time took on the title of Ireland’s Brighton, a term which didn’t stick and would not have sat well, in any case, with many of the locals as Bundonan and the area more generally has always been, and remains, fiercely republican in terms of political persuasion. My Reader may remember that it was not far from here that terrorists blew up and killed Lord Mountbatten as he holidayed on his boat in August 1979.
The town is blessed with a great beach though you do need to like your water on the lower side of tepid should you be thinking of bathing here – and that’s in summer! For those not seeking to swim there are some great walks in an around the town, not least Rougey Walk, a cliff walk up by the Great Northern Hotel. Above and beyond anything Bundoran is a top place to come, relax and take in the sea air.
As a child growing up in County Fermangh, Bundoran was the closest seaside destination for us and one the family would visit on a fairly regular basis.
I have fond childhood memories of Bundoran and greatly enjoyed visiting it again in 2015, after a break of 30 years! That the weather was miserable on the day I returned wasn’t that important for me – it was great to be back again.
Nostalgia aside, the weather did take its toll and even though it was a Sunday in early August (high season) most of the town’s businesses had boarded up and gone home for the day by the time we arrived, in the early afternoon. Accordingly, my reviews are limited (something I will address after a future visit) and indeed the majority of them actually relate to our return trip back to Enniskillen – along a route I don’t recall ever using before and one I would not have thought to use had we spent more time in Bundoran itself. As they say – every cloud has a silver lining.
Weather aside, do join me now along the wild Atlantic way for a short tour of Bundoran (et al).
This blog entry is the first in a group (loop) of reviews on Bundoran, Ireland which I recommend you read in a particular order starting with my next entry – Ireland’s Capital of Fun