On the edge of the famous village of Ardara and with views over the Donegal Highlands, John Yates's large and hospitable house is full of character and would make a good base for exploring this fascinating area.
It was once the home of Ireland’s last commercial whaling family, and years of restoration work to the house and gardens by the current owner, John Yates, and his late wife, Nancy, are bearing fruit.
Now run by John and his son James, the house has a lovely atmosphere and there is also a bar (where you may find some unusual guest beers on offer) and a restaurant which is popular locally, so booking is recommended.
Whilst the dishes offered are wide ranging, local ingredients feature and specialities include Donegal mountain lamb, seafood and carrageen moss pudding, all at reasonable prices and served by friendly local staff.
As well as the original rooms in the main house, which are at various stages of refurbishment, spacious accommodation is also offered in converted outbuildings, with balconies overlooking the lovely walled gardens which were Nancy’s pride and joy.
The garden rooms are slightly dearer than those in the house, but they are very spacious and appealingly furnished, with good en-suite bathrooms.
The gradual restoration of the gardens is perhaps the greatest achievement, and renovations on both the main house and outbuildings are still on-going.