Things to see and do.
Dominican Friary founded in 1252. The site contains a great wealth of carvings including Gothic and Renaissance tomb sculpture, well preserved cloister and the only sculptured 15th century high altar to survive in any Irish monastic church.
YEATS GRAVE, DRUMCLIFFE CHURCH, ROUND
TOWER AND HIGH CROSS
A 6th century monastic settlement and burial place of the famous Irish poet and Nobel Prizewinner William Butler Yeats. St. Colmcille founded a monastery here in 574 AD. The principle visible remains are of Sligo’s only round tower and a high cross dating from the 10th century with scenes from both the Old and New Testaments.
LISSADELL HOUSE AND GARDENS
Built in 1833, set amid the stunning scenery of mountain, woods and sea, famous as the home of Constance Markievicz one of the leaders of the 1916 Rising which led to Irish Independence, first woman to be elected to the House of Commons at Westminister, and her sister Eva a poet of distinction. William Butler Yeats was a regular visitor ……. “Light of evening, Lissadell, Great windows open to the south, Two girls in silk kimonos, both beautiful, one a gazelle”…..
Along the shoreline near Lissadell is Streedagh where some of the Spanish Armada broke up in 1588. A few months ago (2015) two very important and well preserved cannon were washed ashore there.
CARROWMORE MEGALITHIC CEMETERY AND
QUEEN MAEVE’S CAIRN, KNOCKNAREA
Carrowmore is the largest cemetery of megalithic tombs in Ireland and is also one of the most important sites of its kind in Europe. Over 60 tombs are recorded all of which predate the pyramids of Egypt. One of the tombs here is possibly the oldest building in the world – dating back 7,000 years.
Nearby Knocknarea mountain with its chambered cairn where according to mythology the legendary warrior Queen Maeve is buried. About a 40 minute hike from base to summit. On a clear day the views are lovely.
DEERPARK COURT TOMB
Deerpark Forest Park is seven kilometres east of Sligo on the road to Calry. The focal point of the site is the presence of a court tomb which dates back to the third millennium BC. This large and imposing monument is considered by many to be the finest example of a central court tomb in Ireland. It occupies a magnificent position on top of a limestone ridge overlooking Lough Gill and is surrounded by a panorama of mountain scenery.
GLENCAR LAKE AND WATERFALL
This lovely lake situated in a deep glacial valley has a spectacular waterfall at its north-east corner. Drive along the valley for beautiful views of Kings Mountain, Benbulben and Drumcliffe Bay.
LOUGH GILL, HOLYWELL (TOBERNALT), ISLE OF INNISFREE
Three minutes drive from Tree Tops you see Lough Gill in the distance and in the valley the Garavogue River wending its way into Sligo town and the sea. A mile along the road and still on a height take the turn up on to the Green Road and enjoy the breathtaking panoramic view of Lough Gill with its many beautiful islands. The most famous being the Isle of Innisfree (which is the furthest away on the right hand side) made famous by W.B. Yeats in his poem The Lake Isle of Innisfree. Return on to the road, continue a short distance as the road becomes level with the Lake and you come into a clearing on the shore of Lough Gill. 200m to right is Tobernalt (Holy Well) 16th century penal Mass Rock site, well worth a visit. It is very popular with locals.
Continue on to Dooney Rock, a forest hike leads up to lovely views over the lake.
Further on entrance to Slish Wood - Popular walk and cycle route along shore. You could walk or cycle from Slish Wood to Lake Isle of Innisfree Viewing Area, but it is a fair distance, possible a few hours there and back.
From Main Rd., take turn down to Lake Isle of Innisfree Viewing Area.
Through village of Dromahair and perhaps another hike up to O’Rourkes Table - a hidden gem with fabulous views, on a clear day well worth finding.
Further along Parks Castle, 17th century fortified manor house said to be built with the stones of O’Rourkes Castle which was the stronghold of The O’Rourke Clan, rulers of the kingdom of Breffni. The Rose of Innisfree Boat Trip leaves from here.
Last stop on your drive around Lough Gill - Hazelwood Forest and Half Moon Bay. Lovely walks and interesting wooden sculpture trail.
- Although we are only 10 minutes walk into the centre of Sligo, take the scenic route round by the Racecourse, past Sports Complex/Swimming Pool down to the lake and walk along the shore of the Garavogue river into centre of Sligo. About 45 minute walk.
- The Model Arts Centre and home of the Niland Collection – State of the Art exhibition centre and performance space, home of an amazing collection of Irish Art assembled by the late Librarian Nora Niland, including work by Jack Yeats who is quoted as saying ‘every painting he did had a thought of Sligo in it’.
- The Hamilton Gallery – This Fine Art Gallery hosts monthly exhibitions over the unique Cat and the Moon shop who design and manufacture a distinct collection of gold and silver jewellery.
- Sligo Museum – see W.B Yeats’ Nobel Medal
- Rose of Innisfree Boat Trip around Lough Gill – Departs from Parkes Castle, visit the areas of outstanding natural beauty on Lough Gill. (Bus Transfer from Sligo). George McGoldrick 00353 872598869
- Make the Day Trip (weather permitting) to historic Inishmurray Island off Sligo Coast. View the beehive huts, early 6th century Christian settlements and wildlife sanctuary in this unique and special place. Joe McGowan 00 353 (0) 866674527
- Eagles Flying, Portinch, Ballymote, Co. Sligo 00353 90071 9189310
Scientifically managed sanctuary for birds of prey and owls.
Demonstrations daily 11am and 3pm from Good Friday to 7th November
- See a play at The Hawks Well Theatre or The Factory Performance Space (lunchtime theatre during Summer months)
- Enjoy an evening out at one of Sligo’s many and varied excellent Restaurants and afterwards hear some traditional music or just relax in a friendly pub.