A young Donegal family has inspired the county to explore the Wild Atlantic Way through a special online challenge.
Micheál, Aoife and Gracie Brennan from Glenties have been visiting every one of Donegal’s Wild Atlantic Way Discovery points this month and documenting their adventures online.
The star of the show is little Gracie, soon to turn two years old, who has been loving the family days out.
#WildAltanticMay began as a wild idea by Micheál, who runs the popular @DonegalDaddy Instagram page. He shared a list of Donegal’s 39 discovery points with his followers, but never expected the challenge to become a local travel craze.
Now, when the family visits one of the famous corton steel signs, they’re likely to meet others who are doing the challenge too.
The Brennans have six signs left to see, but they are hoping to save their favourite for last – their local beach at Narin Portnoo Strand.
“It’s about us as a family being out, it’s not about chasing the signs,” says Micheál.
“It’s about having a day out together and exploring, that’s why I’m glad everybody has got the idea of stopping to take it all in, and not just taking a picture and getting back into the car.”
The #WildAltanticMay idea came to Micheál during lockdown, at a time when even the beach seemed like a dream getaway.
“Back in 2016 I did the 555 cycle and I remember thinking that I haven’t got to see Inishowen properly since I was wee and we went to Ballyliffin for our holidays. Then the lockdown happened, and I realised it’s nearly five years since the cycle and I still hadn’t done it,” Micheál said.
As soon as he shared his idea with others, the craze took off and people decided to start their own adventures to Donegal’s most beautiful locations. Local businesses came onboard too and sponsored prizes for weekly giveaways.
The challenge has motivated people to enjoy the great outdoors in rain, hail or shine.
“People have messaged me to say they wouldn’t have left the house on a rainy day, only for our plans, and then the day turned sunny for them,” Micheál said.
“It’s cool to see that people are seeing that you don’t need to go outside your own country to discover new places and stunning beaches.”
The tour has brought the family to amazing places they’ve never visited before – like Fanad Lighthouse, Silver Strand, Kinnagoe Bay and Fort Dunree.
Gracie too has been having “the best craic ever” travelling on ferries to the islands and celebrating at each Discovery Point.
The challenge doesn’t have to end next week either, since locals and visitors can start their search for signs anytime and in any of the other counties on the route.
View this post on Instagram