Things To Do in Sligo
Stand on the edge of the world and watch as the Sligo coastline fades away into the Atlantic Ocean at Streedagh Beach. With Historical features in every direction, you’ll see where the Spanish Armada ran aground and can search for fossils in the rocks dotted along the 3km long sandy stretch.
Surfing at strandhill
Just a few minutes’ drive from the city centre you’ll find the glorious seaside village of Strandhill. It is arguably one of the best surfing locations in Ireland. If you fancy giving it a go, there are plenty of surf schools around and if you’d prefer to stay dry you can catch the action while enjoying a delicious ice cream from Mammy Johnston’s or a creamy pint from the Strand Bar.
Pamper yourself with the natural power of a detoxifying organic hand-harvested seaweed bath. Seaweed is a treasure chest of natural beneficial ingredients. This will deeply moisturise your skin, increase circulation and promote healing. VOYA Seaweed baths are located on the sea front in Strandhill.
Oldest pub in sligo
Thomas Connollys' on Markievicz Road and Holborn Street is a heritage pub. There has been a pub on the site since 1780 with the first one licensed in 1861. Thomas Connolly acquired the pub in 1890, the same year he became Mayor of Sligo. It is a great hub for live music, its famous pint of shout and over 160 varieties of whiskey.
Dominating Sligo’s city centre is a mid-thirteenth century Dominican friary, created by the town founder Maurice Fitzgerald. The abbey was partially destroyed by fire in 1414 after an unattended candle set the building alight. The building sustained further damage during the 1641 rebellion.
According to legend, worshippers saved the abbey’s silver bell by throwing it into Lough Gill. It is said that only those free from sin can hear it ring. Despite all that the abbey is still home to the only surviving 15th century sculptured high alter in Ireland plus a great wealth of Gothic and Renaissance sculptures.
Irish poet William Butler Yeats’ final resting place can be found in the shadow of his beloved Benbulben mountain at Drumcliffe Church.
Carved on a limestone slab reads, “Cast a cold Eye On Life, on Death. Horseman, pass by.” On the grounds of the church, you’ll also find a café and gallery.
At low tide, you can drive or walk across the 5km long causeway from Rosses Point to Coney Island. With sweeping sandy beaches, lush green fields and gentle hills, Coney Island is a proper hidden treasure. And keep an eye out for the rabbits that give the island its name.
The picturesque Lough Gill is located east of Sligo town and is surrounded by wooded hills. It boasts many different activities for visitors.
From fishing, SUPPing (stand up paddle boarding) and guided kayaking tours in the tranquil inland lakes, to water cruises. For those looking to explore, you can visit the ancient abbey ruins, walk or cycle through the many forest trails, have a picnic or sample the locally brewed beer in LoughGill Brewery
Climb or hike
The mountain of Knocknarea, located on the Cúil Irra peninsula, forms one of Sligo’s most conspicuous landmarks. Knocknarea Mountain dominates the skyline of Sligo. Formed from limestone over 300 million years ago, the summit is crowned by the great cairn of Queen Maeve and has been an important focal point since Neolithic times.
Benbulben - Undoubtedly Ireland’s most distinctive mountain, is sometimes referred to as Ireland’s own Table Mountain. It was formed during the ice age by massive glaciers segmenting the landscape. The mountain offers a beautiful trail with fantastic views of the region.
mICHAEL Quirke Crafts
When in Sligo a visit to Michael Quirke's craft shop is essential. Michael is a unique craftsman who makes wonderful woodcarvings from his store on Wine Street. His father set up a Butcher shop in the town in 1930, which is now Michaels’ Craft shop. Michael didn’t quite enjoy the butchering side of work and took to his creative streak by creating handmade wood carvings. For years Michael has been creating unique designs using his fathers butcher saw. He’s also a wonderful storyteller with a great sense of humor.
A hidden gem, the Strandhill People’s Market takes place in the unique venue of Hangar 1 at Sligo Airport in Strandhill.
Just a short stroll from the beachfront the fresh food and crafts market opens its doors every Sunday. Visitors can enjoy live music while tasting the local produce and may even catch a glimpse of some of the aircraft taking off and landing just meters away.
Another spot that features prominently in W.B. Yeats poetry - Slish Woods. This beautiful forest is home to a variety of wildlife. Given the rich diversity of flora and fauna to be found at this location, Slish Wood is a designated biodiversity site .
Drive just 5km outside of Sligo Town and you’ll find Hazelwood. It is situated at Half Moon Bay along the shores of Lough Gill. The short walks are among the most beautiful in the country, with fantastic views from the trail.
Lifes a beach
Sligo is home to a spectacular unspoiled coastline. Just some of the many picturesque beaches located in Sligo include Rosses Point, Strandhill, Enniscrone, Mullaghmore, Aughris, Easky, Lissadell, Streedagh, Dunmoran Strand and Cliffony. Each beach has something to offer with many overlooking majestic mountain ranges. These world famous beaches invite you to relax in peace and tranquility. Located in welcoming seaside villages that serve great local food and offer a host of activities ranging from surfing, golfing, fishing, horse riding or even a relaxing seaweed bath.
Rose of innisfree to parkes castle (leitrim)
Technically this one is based in Leitrim but borders Sligo. This family run business offers guided boat trips on Lough Gill. This adventure is perfect for families with children or anyone who just wants to take time out and enjoy the stunning surroundings. The cruise provides an entertaining and informative experience with expert tour guides pointing out places of interest and explaining the myths and legends associated with the landscape. The vessel is fully covered and can be enjoyed year round whatever the weather. The water and landscape is said to have inspired many of our national poets W.B. Yeats works.