Ballymastocker Beach on the western shroes of Lough Swilly in Ireland.

© makasana photo/Shutterstock

Ballymastocker Beach

Top choice in County Donegal

Once named the second-most beautiful beach in the world by British newspaper the Observer, this tawny-coloured Blue Flag beach is a supremely fine place to while away the hours. It is indeed stunning as you drive round the high headland on the R268 and it rears into view, but put the brakes on – there's a viewpoint you can pull into to take mesmerising shots.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby County Donegal attractions

1. Fort Dunree

2.81 MILES

Fort Dunree is the best preserved and most dramatic of six forts built by the British on Lough Swilly following the 1798 uprising of the United Irishmen …

2. Straghill Strand


This remote and attractive beach is excellent for a walk and for views over Lough Swilly.

3. Ned's Point Fort

7.35 MILES

Walk 500m from O'Doherty's Keep (turn left and stick to the shoreline) to find squat Ned's Point Fort (1812), built by the British.

4. Buncrana Castle

7.63 MILES

At the side of O'Doherty's Keep is the manor-like Buncrana Castle, built in 1718 by John Vaughan, who also constructed the bridge. Wolfe Tone was…

5. O'Doherty's Keep

7.71 MILES

At the northern end of the seafront, the picture-perfect early-18th-century, six-arched Castle Bridge leads to these tower-house ruins originally built by…

6. Trá na Rossan

7.74 MILES

This splendid beach on the Rosguill Peninsula is a joy, full in the face of the mighty Atlantic. It's generally OK for swimming, but don't enter the water…

7. Swan Park

7.75 MILES

This lovely forested park area by the River Carna is very picturesque, with a path leading along the riverbank and lovely views.

8. Rathmullan Priory

8.29 MILES

Dating from 1508 and facing the water, this ivy-cloaked priory was plundered in 1595 and then used as a barracks; in the early 17th century it was…