Silver Strand Beach, Donegal was one of the highlights of a roadtrip around Ireland in April of last year. In making a slight error when booking our hostel for Donegal, I actually stumbled upon what may be one of my favourite beaches in the world.
My Hostel Mistake
You see I though the hostel I booked would be a mere 30 mins from the town centre. I thought that of our evening in Donegal we could simply get a cab into town and go out for dinner etc. As you may have already guessed, that was not the case and according to the map below (why I didn’t check this before I do not know), its a good hour away, right on the Atlantic coast. What an Idiot!
A – Donegal centre, where I thought we were close to.
B – Malinbeg, where we ended up.
To the beach!
So due to my ‘minor’ error we ended up in a very very very small village called Malinbeg. It took a good 90 mins longer to arrive than we had planned, but the drive west from Derry was exquisite. Upon arriving at our very cosy hostel we were told by our excellent host that the beach was worth spending the rest of our afternoon on. So after unpacking our gear is off to Silver Strand beach we went.
Silver Strand was just a 5 minute walk from the hostel, past a few sheep and the odd house here and there. The area was deafeningly quiet. We followed the single dirt and gravel road up to the beach entrance where we made sure to lock the entrance gate behind us. Standing atop of the beach entrance it looked glorious, and the beach was empty. It felt like we’d stumbled upon something truly magical.
After making our way down the rocky stairs to the beach itself I made a bolt for the water, I knew it would be cold, but so what, I was on a high, even cold couldn’t ruin this moment. For the next 2 hours we returned to much younger versions of ourselves, making sandcastles, digging massive random holes, cartwheeling and generally running round like mentalists as all 5 year olds do.
More info on Silver Strand Beach
There’s no doubt that the good weather on the day made our experience what it was. We were very lucky that in mid April the sun was beaming. I definitely think our luck was in, and because of the surprise weather we only saw about 4 other people on the beach all afternoon.
Since returning from Ireland I’ve read that during the summer months the beach is patrolled by lifeguards which is good to hear. The fine sand and shallow waters make this a great family beach. The car park at the top of the stairs is of a good size, and if supplied are needed there is a small shop just down the road. If simply lying on the beach and dipping your toes isnt adventurous enough, I’m also led to believe that you can scale the surrounding cliffs during peak season. So if rock climbing if your thing, there’s another reason to visit Silver Strand.
Silver Stand was near on perfect, it may not have been lined with palm trees – the usual stereotype of the perfect beach, but we couldnt have asked for any more on this day.
Here’s the video I made of our trip from Derry down to Malinbeg. Silver Strand Beach is featured towards the end of the vid.