St Johns Point is a long narrow peninsula in Co. Donegal (there is another location by the same name in Co. Down) and we visited on a sunny January day, only a couple of days after the New Year. Taking the narrow road that runs the length of the peninsula, we drove straight to the southernmost point, jutting out into Donegal Bay. Despite the beautiful sunshine, this is an exposed location, getting the full brunt of Atlantic winds, and the seas were rough, getting whipped up into a froth as huge waves crashed into the rocks. It is little wonder the site sported a lighthouse.
Despite the wind, it was a pleasant day to wander round the rocky coast watching the swell.
After admiring the views across to Slieve League, we found ourselves enthralled by the waves and the spray, and sat watching them for a long time, oddly in warm sunshine.
We then turned our attention to the lighthouse.
This took us over to the eastern edge of the peninsula, and we strolled inland along this side towards the old World War II lookout post, and getting new views across Donegal Bay towards Rossnowlagh, Bundoran and the Dartry Mountains in Sligo.
We cut back into the centre of the peninsula to investigate the lookout post. These are found in many places around the coast, and seem particularly common in Donegal.
We had seen an attractive beach nearer the base of the penisula, so having had a good look around the extremity, we drove back in that direction, and parked at the beach on the eastern shore.
The beach was on the sheltered, eastern side of the peninsula, and in complete contrast to what we had seen earlier, the sea here was like a mill pond – almost completely flat and calm, although we could still hear huge booming sounds as the waves crashed into the western side.
We were sheltered from the wind, in direct sunshine, and were able to sit and have a picnic in t-shirts, on the 3rd January!
As the sun sank lower, it did get colder, but wrapping up a bit warmer, it was still pleasant enough to sit and watch the changing evening light.
Eventually, we left to continue the drive inland along the peninsula, stopping here and there for interesting views.
Amazing to have a day like that at the beach in Ireland in winter.