Bundoran is a tourist town on the coast of County Donegal, Ireland. Attractions include a beach/seafront, golf course and swimming pool with slides. The town is located on the N15 road near Ballyshannon approximately 3 and a half hours drive from Dublin but this has decreased with the opening of a new inner relief road in Sligo. Bundoran is popular for surfing, with a beach in the centre of town (Main beach), and another beach, Tullan Strand, close by. Main beach has lifeguards on duty during the summer months. Tullan Strand has rip currents which make it unsafe for swimming, but it is a popular surfing beach during the summer, with bigger waves than in town. Rossnowlagh, 15 minutes drive from Bundoran, is the safest beach for beginner surfers, with no rip currents and lifeguards on duty. There is a popular walk from Main beach to Tullan strand around the cliffs called rougy walk.
The local Gaelic Athletic Association club is Realt na Mara (Bundoran GAA). The first official mention of Bundoran was in 1777 when Viscount Enniskillen built Bundoran Lodge, his summer residence. This building still exists to this day and is now known as Homefield House. The Viscount seems to have started a trend amongst his contemporaries as more and more of them discovered Bundoran and visited it to enjoy the seaside location and the associated health benefits. Indeed such was its popularity that Bundoran became known as the Brighton of Ireland. With the advances in travel, in particular the railway, Bundoran's popularity spread across the class barriers. With the opening of the railway link to Belfast and onto Dublin more and more people from the east coast of Ireland discovered the appeal of Bundoran and returned year after year. It was during this period that Bundoran emerged as one of Ireland's most popular seaside resorts. Hotels and lodging houses started to spring up around the town. The best-known hotel and indeed one of Bundoran's best landmarks the Great Northern Hotel was constructed by the Great Northern Railway Company during this period. Bundoran has seen much development over the past decade, due to its popularity as a seaside destination and the availability of tax reliefs for the development of holiday homes. Lonely Planet has described Bundoran as "one of Ireland's tackiest resorts" and states that the town has been ruined by overdevelopment. This claim has been resisted by many members of Bundoran Town Council.
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