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Beach sections make this Irish trip not only exciting to drive, but incredibly scenic as well : credit: © Flat Cap Adventurers
Want a Land Rover adventure packed with stunning scenery, great driving and good food? Why not let Flat Cap Adventurers show you around this beautiful province...

In a world filled with hustle and bustle, where the roads often taken seem all too familiar, there lies an opportunity to break free, to explore, and to discover the beauty of the unknown. This is the story of an expedition that beckons the adventurous soul, a journey that winds its way through the enchanting landscapes of Ireland. It’s not just a road trip; it’s an escape that combines the thrill of off-road driving with the serenity of remote coastal routes. Join us as we embark on this extraordinary voyage with Flat Cap Adventurers, unravelling the
mysteries of Donegal’s Wild Atlantic Way and the Causeway Coastal Route.

Before we dive headfirst into the adventure, there’s a call for preparation. Whatever Land Rover model you drive – and the routes you’ll encounter are suitable for all – it must be in its prime. Flat Cap Adventurers, the guiding hand in this adventure, subjects every vehicle to a meticulous inspection, ensuring they’re fit for the journey ahead. Don’t stress if your Land Rover isn’t bristling with all the latest off-road gear, because that’s not what’s important. You’ll learn about the capability of your vehicle, boost your skill set and increase confidence no matter what you drive.

Miles of trails carve through the County Donegal landscape

While the adventure is designed to be undamaging to vehicles, the untamed terrain is just that; and there will be risks to be embraced. Be under no illusion; nobody sets out to damage their vehicle, but as with all off-road driving, picking up some scratches or knocks isn’t beyond the realms of possibility.

Equipping your Land Rover with a set of either mud- or all-terrain tyres, sturdy enough to withstand rocks and roots, is strongly encouraged. While low-profile road tyres may get the job done on some parts of the routes, the risk of pinching and causing a puncture, potentially damaging a wheel, is far higher than with a tougher tyre that has more depth to the tread and sidewall. As this adventure is as much about taking in the rugged landscapes and enjoying the great outdoors as it is the driving, there’s a checklist: camping gear, cooking essentials, a portable toilet, water, a first aid kit, a trusty spare wheel, and a toolkit to see off any hiccups along the way. There’s no need to take up valuable space with recovery gear; Flat Cap Adventurershas that covered. The experienced team will take care of you and your vehicle should it need assistance during any of the driving sections, and carry all the relevant recovery and safety gear so you don’t have to. 

Plenty of opportunity to pause and take in stunning Irish views

​​​​​​With vehicle prep sorted and your camping checklist in-hand, it’s time to get into the exciting bit – the driving.

Flat Cap Adventurers holds special permissions to access some of the most pristine and secluded areas along Donegal’s Wild Atlantic Way and the Causeway Coastal Route. Many of these areas are hidden within private estates, accessible solely in the company of the experienced guides. It’s a privilege that grants us a rare glimpse into the untouched beauty of Ireland, where the wild remains truly wild.

The lanes offer afantastic mix oftechnical driving for all skill levels to enjoy levels

​​​​​​ As for the terrain, you can expect plenty of rocky ascents, which often feel like you’re climbing directly into the sky. With the rocks lubricated with some of Ireland’s famous liquid sunshine, you’ll be testing yourself and your Land Rover along the way, but don’t worry if you’re not the most experienced off-road driver – the team are there to help and offer pointers should you need them.

One thing you probably won’t have ever tried before is beach driving. Well, guess what? You can get to grips with sand beneath the tyres here. Proving the sheer variety of driving on offer, there are mud and ruts aplenty to tackle, and the unpredictable ground conditions of the landscape constantly change, challenging your skills. Turf roads, typically reserved for tractors, are ready to put your four-wheel drive system to the test. Each day brings a new challenge, a new terrain to conquer, and a new story to tell. 

Beach camping adds to the feeling of true adventure

Camping on this Irish expedition is an experience in itself. Picture yourself settling down on secluded beaches, the rhythmic sound of waves lulling you to sleep after a day of engaging driving. It’s a night under the star-studded Irish sky, where the vastness of the view makes you, and everything else, seem tiny.

But camping is not just about resting up after a long day of exploring; it’s about sampling the culinary delights of rural Ireland. Imagine cooking up feasts in the heart of the wilderness, savouring the flavours of fresh, locally-sourced ingredients. It’s a communal experience, a chance to talk, laugh and bond with fellow adventurers over a shared meal. It can’t be beaten.

Pint of Guinness, anyone?

And then there are the stops at traditional Irish pubs, where the Guinness flows freely, and the melodies of traditional music fill the air. It’s a chance to immerse yourself in the rich culture of Ireland, feel the warmth of its people, and to create memories that will last a lifetime.

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If what you’ve read so far has whet your appetite for an Irish adventure, here’s what you can typically expect from a trip with the Flat Cap Adventurers guys.

Driving here is not without it's traffic jams!

Our journey begins at Larne, where the anticipation is palpable. Day one unfolds with a leisurely drive along the scenic Causeway Coastal Route; it’s a gentle introduction to the adventure that awaits. Spirits are high as we navigate unfamiliar terrain, tyres tracing a path on a seven mile stretch of open beach. A pit stop at Bushmills Whiskey distillery adds a touch of history, allowing us to savour the famous 12-year malt exclusive to the town.

All at sea

Day two sees us embark on a unique journey, crossing the border from Northern Ireland to the Republic of Ireland aboard the Magilligan Point ferry. The Inishowen Peninsula unfurls its green lanes, inviting us to enjoy the thrill of steep and off-camber drives. We’re given the choice to delve into history at the Doagh Famine Village – a truly humbling experience. As the day comes to a close, we set up camp overlooking the majestic Atlantic Ocean, a tranquil reminder of our insignificance amidst the vastness of nature. 

On top of the world.. well the bog, actually 

Day three: another day, another boat ride! This time from Buncrana to Rathmullan, at an additional cost. Tarmac roads guide us to Croaghmore Mountain’s lofty peak, where a breathtaking 360-degree panorama greets us – mountains, coastlines, cliffs, bogs, and beaches as far as the eye can see. Abandoned villages and hidden lakes punctuate our journey, leading us to an evening of fun and laughter at the Singing Pub campsite, where we spend the night.

Camp set up – craic, Guinness, food and laughs make this trip quintessentially Irish

​​​​​​Day four takes us southward, close to Muckish Mountain. Here, we delve into untamed wilderness, where one path meanders into another, and pedestrians are a rarity. Turf bogs reveal their secrets, and if we’re lucky, a local may gift us a piece of this raw landscape. Our night is spent wild camping by the rugged coastline of the Wild Atlantic Way, to the sound of waves crashing in the distance.

Day 5 dawns, perhaps a bit later than usual, as the camaraderie of the previous night’s revelry lingers. The journey continues southward, tracing the contours of disused railway lines, leading us to Magheroarty Strand—one of Europe’s largest sand peninsulas. Here, we take in the picturesque shores and absorb the area’s untamed beauty. As the expedition comes to a close, we’ll bid our goodbyes, going our separate ways with the memories we’ve created and the friendships forged that will last a lifetime.

 

Take the trip

Adam leads the way in his iconic flat cap

The Donegal Wild Atlantic Way and Causeway Coastal Route adventure is held over five days, with camping each night. The trip costs £750, and can be booked on the website (Flatcapadventurers.com) or via owner Adam Stewart. Call 07450 220146, or email [email protected].

 

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