Nestled away in the northwest, Sligo is often referred to as the “adventure capital of Ireland”, and it’s effortless to see why. Along with its unlimited supply of adventure, Sligo is bursting with beautiful landscapes, breath-taking coastlines and vibrant culture.
Although often overshadowed by bigger cities such as Dublin and Galway, Sligo is a very unique destination in itself and should be at the top of everyone’s list when visiting Ireland.
With so many things to do in Sligo to choose from, we came up with our top 5.
5. See W.B. Yeats’ Grave
With Sligo commonly known as “Yeats’ County”, it would be a shame to visit without going to see the resting place of the great poet W.B. Yeats.
Located just a short drive outside of Sligo town, Yeats’ grave lies in the tranquil grounds of the stunning Drumcliff church, with views of the famous Ben Bulben Mountain in the distance.
A trip to Yeats’ grave isn’t complete without visiting the Drumcliff Tea Rooms next door. These tea rooms are full of tasty homemade baked goods and handcrafted chocolate to enjoy while browsing through the many books and crafts they have on display in relation to the life and poetry of W.B Yeats.
4. Stand up paddle boarding on Lough Gill
Take in the beauty of Lough Gill in a new unique way; Stand up paddle boarding/supping. This activity can be enjoyed by people of all ages in a safe and controlled environment. Northwest Adventure Tours provide everything needed to make this experience one of the highlights of any trip to Sligo.
The paddle trail begins in the town centre and gradually travels its way up the lake of Lough Gill, with the stunning Ox Mountains on full view in the background.
The activity lasts for approximately 2-3 hours and is a great way to experience all the flora and fauna Sligo has to offer.
3. Eagles Flying
Located in the area of Ballymote, a 20-minute drive from Sligo town, Eagles Flying is a raptor and owl sanctuary, however, in 2007, it was accredited as an EU Zoo. The attraction spans over 27 acres and has rescued and homed more than 450 birds and animals.
This popular attraction amazes all age groups, with one of the main highlights of the experience being the interactive bird shows. These shows allow visitors to not only touch different types of raptors but feel them fly right over their heads.
There is also a petting farm for younger visitors to enjoy, with animals such as foxes, donkeys, pigs and rabbits. Eagles Flying is a suitable attraction to visit in all weather conditions, so there’s no need to dodge the rain in order to make it a day’s outing.
2. Climb Knocknarea
For the more adventurous type of visitor, climbing up the iconic Knocknarea Mountain never fails to impress. Knocknarea stands at 327 meters high and holds the most breath-taking views of Sligo from the top, leading to unlimited photo opportunities.
With the recent addition of a boardwalk up the mountain, this climb is suitable for all fitness levels. This limestone mountain was formed over 300 million years ago and is steeped in Irish history.
The cairn of Queen Maeve of Connaught sits at the peak of Knocknarea, which is thought to contain a Neolithic passage tomb. The entire climb takes about 2 hours, so a pair of hiking boots or good trainers is a necessity.
1. Visit Strandhill
Taking a trip to Strandhill, without a doubt, should be at the top of everyone’s to-do list when visiting Sligo. This seaside town is so much more than meets the eye and has something for everyone.
Whether it’s taking part in a surf lesson in the Atlantic, climbing to the top of the sand dunes to witness the beautiful views of the area, or simply strolling along the sandy beach and listening to the waves, Strandhill satisfies any needs.
Be sure to visit the world famous café “Shells” for some lunch while there, and then head to Mammy Johnson’s for the best homemade ice cream around.
For the more relaxed type of visitor, take a trip to the Strandhill People’s Market on a Sunday morning in Strandhill airport to browse through the different stalls on offer. This market is made up of many small local businesses offering crafts, textiles, artisan foods and much more. The market runs from 11 am to 4 pm and is open to everyone free of charge.