Letterkenny, County Donegal

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Letterkenny is known as the largest and most populous town inCounty Donegal, located in the East on theRiver Swilly. It takes its name from the Irish "Leitirceanainn" - meaning the "Hillside of the O'Cannons" - the O'Cannons being the last of the ancient chieftains of todays County Donegal.

In the recent past the population of Letterkenny consisted of cattle and sheep grazing on what were then untilled hillside in those very early days when Conwall was the ecclesiastical and seaport centre. The receding of the waters of the Atlantic eastwards enabled progress - the building of bridges etc. – and the development of the town of Letterkenny as we know it today took place. It all began as a little market town in the wake of the Ulster Plantation 1610-'11.

Letterkenny today, with its friendly B&Bs and good range ofhotels, is an ideal location to stay when exploring Donegal. The town encompasses many interestingmonumentsand buildings, both new and old. Interesting art galleries and museums – like the fascinatingNew Mills Corn & Flax Mills – as many of the top Irish and UK retailers add to the bustling and vibrant atmosphere of this Northern Ireland town. Letterkenny’s many pubs and nightclubsand a great selection ofrestaurants,providing all types of local and international cuisine, offer entertainment options for all different tastes.

While staying in this bustling town, the Donegal County Museum is worth a visit. It has been opened to the public since 1987, telling the story of County Donegal from the Stone Age to the Twentieth Century.

For those favouring nature and stunning scenery: nearby Glenveagh National Park – the second largest in Ireland – offers a multitude of exotic and delicate fauna and flora and is nestled into 170 square kilometres of hillside aboveGlenveagh Castleon the shore of Lough Veagh.

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