The Escape

Atlantic coast of Donegal in North-West Ireland
Guests: 4       Wifi: available       Pets? Pets welcome (max. 2 dogs), fee applies

The Escape

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about the property

Named the best holiday cottage in Ireland (Sunday Times), this traditional Donegal cottage on the Wild Atlantic Way provides privacy and huge open views over the lake in front. Walk to the beach. Dogs welcome. WIFI included.

'This cottage is the coolest place to stay this summer' says the Toronto Globe and Mail

Named in the Sunday Times (Travel) as one of 'Top 20 Places for the Summer in UK or Ireland'. Watch this one minute video filmed very near the cottage to understand why or our video of the location.  Or see the village here. This is the perfect cottage for anyone wanting to explore the Wild Atlantic Way.

The Escape is a traditional Donegal coastal cottage that enjoys a remarkable secluded position overlooking Lougheraherk (lake) in this, the most traditional and picturesque part of Ireland, at Glencolmcille. You'll find more 'Blue Flag' beaches here than in any other part of the country. The cottage sits in the heart of the Irish-speaking Gaeltacht in what is probably the most traditional area of Ireland. You can walk down to the beach from the cottage and you're unlikely to see another tourist, maybe just a lobster fisherman or one of the friendly, farmer neighbours. If you enjoy climbing you're staying in the nearest cottage to this secluded bay. See more photos of this Donegal cottage. Just sitting on the bench in front can be lovely - you can usually hear the waves from the other side of the mountain. UTT's CroPod is at the same location if you need more space - though both properties have privacy and separate entrances. 

Stay here to discover one of the most remarkable and beautiful landscapes in Ireland - we doubt you'll ever find better beaches than can be found locally, friendlier people, or such a sense of wilderness. These photos show the walk down to Port beach from the cottage, which feels like the very edge of Europe (9 times out of 10 you'll have the whole bay to yourself), or sit at home and enjoy the views over 'your' lough (lake). 

If you are lucky you'll see the golden eagles that nest locally or wild deer that roam the mountain around the cottage. The land about the cottage is preserved as a European Special Area of Conservation and you have free access to roam hundreds of acres of land. In this area, you'll still see farmers thatching hay-ricks and traditional Donegal cottages, lobster-fishing from traditional boats, and you'll hear genuine (not touristy!) local music played live almost every night of the week in the local pubs. It's the kind of Ireland that the touristic areas lost decades ago. 

Although the cottage is private, and secluded, within a 15-minute drive you have a choice of two villages with great pubs, a Folk Village museum, shops, craft-galleries and cafe/restaurants. The cottage is one of a number of mostly traditional properties dotted around the lake.

Considering a two-centre holiday? You may want to stay at one of our other Irish cottages en-route - thatched Geaglum. Or if driving over from UK we have a number of beautiful properties near to Fishguard and Holyhead in Wales.



latest review

We had a wonderful stay at The Escape. The cottage was larger than expected and had everything we required. The open peat fire was a real treat and added to the cosy atmosphere. The peace and quiet wa...

Alison M, August 2020

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good to know

arrival at
depart by
7 nights from
£404 (based on 2 staying)
7 nights up to
£898 (based on 2 staying)
pets welcome (max. 2 dogs)
bed layout
Master Double (ground floor), Sofabed (double) (ground floor)

facilities at The Escape

farm or rural location
open fire / woodburner
beach (within walking distance)
coastal location - within 5 miles of the sea
media & technology
wifi broadband available
cleaning services
washing machine
young children welcome

map - location

travel info


You can easily fly by lowcost carrier but we prefer the greener (and nicer) route by ferry with your own car. Ireland is such an amazing country, and you'll find so much to do and see 'en route'.

Note Aer Lingus often have deals as cheap as Ryanair/ Easyjet and fly to 15 UK airports

Fly to:

  • Donegal - flights to Dublin and Glasgow with Flybe (75-minute fabulous coastal drive to the cottage)
  • Derry (Londonderry) via Glasgow, Liverpool (with Ryanair) and London City (BMI) (2 hr. away) - good for Giant's Causeway
  • Belfast International via these departure airports & Easyjet & Ryanair (3 hr.) - good for Giant's Causeway
  • Belfast City via these departure airports & Ryanair (3 hr. 15 min.) - good for Giant's Causeway
  • Knock via these departure airports & Ryanair (2.5 hr.)
  • Dublin via these departure airports & Ryanair (4 hr. 20 min.)

Sail with either Stenaline or Irish Ferries to:

  • Belfast via Liverpool/ Stranraer (3 hr. away)
  • Larne via Fleetwood (3 hr. 20 mins.)
  • Dublin via Holyhead/ Douglas (4 hr. 30 min.)
  • Dun Laoghaire via Holyhead (4 hr. 35 mins.)
  • Rosslare via Fishguard/ Pembroke Dock (6 hr.)
    (Tip - ferries cheapest Mon>Thu)


in detail

The cottage is centrally heated throughout and has Wi-Fi internet. Every window enjoys mountain or lake views.

  • Traditional Kitchen - this, the main room has a wood/turf burner, dining table and antique furnishings
  • Living room- this room has a modern wood/turf burner, new very comfortable sofa-bed. There is a TV/ DVD player (no TV reception) & a small DVD library
  • Bedroom - Double bed, small sofa with dropdown arm (suitable for infant?)  & writing desk with mountain view
  • Kitchen - the small, modern kitchen has a cooker & hob, fridge (small freezer compartment), kettle, toaster, microwave and Italian coffee machine (bring ground coffee).
  • Bathroom - with shower over bath, basic hairdryer


  • cowshed with storage and two mountain bikes, and inflatable Canadian kayak (all own risk),  washing machine
  • about 3/4 acre of enclosed garden, access to open landscape (dogs on a lead as sheep around)

local area

  • Your village - great pubs, shop, petrol, Folk Museum, Irish language school, sandy beach, gym
  • Local angling, boat trips & local walking
  • Glencolmcille Folk Village & beach & pubs - 13 mins. or a lovely walk
  • Port beach - 5 mins. or a lovely walk from your cottage
  • Sliabh Liag - one of the most impressive sights in Ireland - 18 mins.
  • Silver Strand (Trabane) - one of many many local beaches -25 mins.
  • Maghera beach & caves - 18 mins, or amazing walk from the cottage
  • Glenveagh National Park - castle, lake, mountains, gardens -1 hour
  • Ardara 'Heritage Town' (cafes, pubs, tweed/weaving) - 25 mins.
  • Ulster Folk Park - one of the best open-air museums in Europe - 1hr 45 mins.
  • Oideas Gael (Irish language courses etc) - 13 mins. or a lovely walk
  • Derry ('Londonderry') - fascinating UK City of Culture  - 2 hr.
  • Giant's Causeway -3 hr & a great day trip via Derry

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customer reviews for The Escape

We had a wonderful stay at The Escape. The cottage was larger than expected and had everything we required. The open peat fire was a real treat and added to the cosy atmosphere. The peace and quiet was amazing and the local area is dramatic and beautiful. Our one slight disappointment was that only one of the bicycles provided was fit to ride. Otherwise an excellent stay was enjoyed by us all. Thank you.

- Alison M,
August 2020

A lovely and well thought out cottage in an idyllic location. We had a great holiday.

- Glenda M,
August 2019

What a pleasure to be welcomed in a warm and cosy traditional Donegal cottage in the middle of the hills around the pittoresk village of Glencolmkil. Walking in a hail storm to Port beach surrounded by huge rock formations I will never forget. Eiliosaibeit

- Elisabeth K,
January 2019

The Escape is a very special place which we were sad to leave after five days. Too short! An idyllic spot looking out over the lough. We enjoyed the experience of living in a traditional Irish cottage and building peat fires. A place to revive the spirits in a fascinating area. Lovely welcome and help from Mary.

- Susan W,
July 2017

Thanks for preserving this special place. We had a lovely (but too brief!) visit, and look forwards to returning one day - David, Molly & Claire from Ontario

March 2017

Lovely visit! We fell asleep to the smell of the turf burning slowly and the sound of the swans on the lough (dozens of them, I've never seen so many!). Took a walk down to Port beach and back and met some sheep before breathing in the Atlantic. Absolutely unforgettable. We are so appreciative of your spot! Thanks! Sian, Cara & PJ

March 2017

We really wish we could have stayed longer in this beautiful cottage. We only booked to stay 2 nights and really wish we'd given ourselves at least a week to explore the area, soak in the views and immerse ourselves in everything Donegal has to offer - which is a lot! We particularly enjoyed taking the bikes down to the beach - thank you!

February 2017

Myself and my mum enjoyed our time up here at this lovely, peaceful cottage. Each day felt like a gift, to be wandering through this wonderous landscape. An especially wonderful thing was meeting our housekeeper Mary! - Becca, Carmela & little Luca!

January 2017

We came to this little cottage to celebrate my husband's 36th birthday, and our last holiday before the birth of our first child. We had such an amazing few days - it has been so peaceful and relaxing., just doing nothing by the fire but reading and listening to the radio. We had an amazing day yesterday walking down to the beach at Port and then hiked up and over the mountain has been a wonderful holiday - thanks for restoring and caring for such a delightful place. We hope to return. Dwayne, Nicola & the bump!

January 2017

We had such a wonderful holiday at Croaghacullion. The history, surroundings, pace of life and lovely people. And of course the sheep. Homely and very well looked after cottage. We managed to relax even with a 1 year old, a 3 year old and a spaniel in tow.

- Catherine A,
October 2016