Sligo, the county town and commercial centre is the north-west’s largest town. It sits on the Garavogue River surrounded by mountains. Five bridges cross the river. Docks and warehouses date from the 18th and 19th centuries, a time of emigration. The county museum, in the library, tells the story of prehistoric times in Sligo and has a Yeats memorial collection. The town’s Georgian Kevinsfort House is open to the public. Sligo Attractions
The Dominican abbey of Sligo, dating from 1252 (destroyed by fire and replace in 1416), has many carvings, cloisters, a high altar, and a visitor centre. St John’s cathedral dates from 1730. The cathedral of the Immaculate Conception contains 69 stained glass windows.
Nearby, Strandhill is a seaside village and resort with sand dunes and wind surfing. The Dollys Cottage Folk Museum and Craft Centre is located in a 200 year old original cottage and sells local crafts. Kevinsfort House, dating from Georgian times, is on the Strandhill road. Knocknaree mountain is east of Strandhill.
Rosses Point’s attractions are fishing, golf, sandy beaches, and boating. On Killala Bay is Enniscrone, another resort with a sandy beach that also offers golfing.
Two miles south of Sligo is Carrowmore megalithic cemetery, the largest and one of the most important megalithic sites in Ireland. An exhibition is at the site.
Carrowkeel, a passage tomb, is found in the countryside near Lough Arrow, a brown trout fishery. It consists of 14 passage cairns, most round in shape. On the shores of the lake is the village of Ballinafad. Although built in the 16th century Ballinafad Castle’s plan resembles that of a 13th century castle. The ruins consist of four round corner towers.
Another lough in the county is Lough Talt in south Sligo. Trout inhabit it as well as fresh water crayfish. It is set in a picturesque mountain area.
Further north, Ballymote is home to Ballymote castle and the Irish Raptor Centre (flying shows are offered). The remains of a tower, gate and curtain walls date from the 1300s.
In Drumcliff, at the church, is the grave of Irish poet W B Yeats. Near the church is a 13-foot high cross. A visitor centre tells the history of the church and area in an AV presentation.
Lissadell House, near Ballyconnell, is an 1830 example of Greek Revival architecture set in gardens. It’s open by prearrangement. The poet W.B. Yeats stayed here.
North of Sligo on the coast is Cliffoney. Close by is Creevykeel cairn, one of Ireland’s best examples of a court tomb.
Mullaghmore’s long sandy beach attracts holidayers and anglers. Sligo Folk Park at Riverstown gives the visitor the experience of rural life and heritage around the late 19th century. On show are a cottage and farmyard, a museum, a forge, and a village street.
Dromore West, on the Dunneill River, is home to medieval church ruins, while the ruins of a 17th century sandstone house called Baldwin Castle are found at Castlebaldwin.
The Culkins Emigration Museum at Cannaghanally tells the story of Irish emigration. At Gorteen is Moygara Castle with its towers and curtain walls. Climb to the top for great views.
Gillighan’s World, of special interest to families, is a man made attraction with botanical gardens and miniature model villages, streams and a wildlife pond. Families will also enjoy a visit to Woodville farm. A guided tour goes through woodland, fields, and historic farm buildings.
Eastern shore of Lough Arrow
Tel. 0 71 916 1201
Tel. 0 719 1612
Carrowmore Megalithic Cemetery
Two miles south of Sligo, off N4
Tel. 0 71 916 1534
Tel. 0 71 916 1201
Coleman Music Centre
Tel. 0 71 918 2599
Web: Coleman Irish Music
Creevykeel Court Tomb
Countryside near Cliffoney
Culkins Emigration Museum
Tel. 0 964 7152
Dollys Cottage Folk Museum and Craft Centre
Tel. 0 71 916 7564 or 0 71 916 0839
Drumcliffe Round Tower and Visitor Centre
Tel. 0 87 218 7428
Gillighan’s World Gardens
Colooney, in countryside
Irish Raptor Centre
Templehouse, outside Ballymote
Tel. 0 71 918 9310
Web: Irish Raptor Centre
Strandhill Road, Sligo
Tel. 0 71 916 2787
Lissadell House and Gardens
Tel. 0 87 629 6928
Web: Lissadell House
15 miles south-east of Sligo town
Overlooks Carrowmore megalithic cemetery on summit of Knocknarea mountain
Tel. 0 71 916 0201
Tel. 0 71 914 6406
Sligo County Museum and Art Gallery
Tel. 0 71 714 7190
Sligo Folk Park
Millview House, Riverstown
Tel. 0 71 916 5001
Web: Sligo Folk Park
From Sligo Town take R292 to Strandhill signposted on left after 2 km
Tel. not given
Sligo Tourist Information Centre
Sligo Tourist Office
Aras Reddan, Temple Street, County Sligo
Tel: 0 71 916 1201
Open Mon - Fri 9am - 5pm
Official Sligo Tourism website: Sligo Tourism
Photo of Lissadell House © by Barbara Ballard
Other photos courtesy Geograph Britain and Ireland as follows:
Sligo town, Mullaghmore by Helmut Zozmann; Sligo River Garvogue bridge by Kenneth Allen; Sligo abbey, Knocknaree mountain, Creevykeel Court Tomb by Joseph Mischyshyn; Sligo cathedral, Rosses Point church by Bob Embleton; Strandhill sand dunes, Carrowmore megalithic tomb, Drumcliff high cross, Dromore West by Oliver Dixon; Enniscrone beach at sunset by Robin Mais; Carrowkeel Passage Tomb by John M; Ballinafad Castle, Baldwin Castle by dougf; Lough Talt from the Sligo Way by Liz McCabe; Ballymote castle entrance by Willie Duff; W B Yeats grave at Drumcliff by Eric Jones; Lissadell gardens by Kay Atherton
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