Planning a road trip around Ireland? Then maybe you should consider some of these things to do in Sligo that I found worth my time as you drive around the country. Sligo county is known as one of the top destinations in the country for adventure holidays, especially if you are talking about surfing. But it’s not just about the wild waves that lavish its coastline, there is much more to see and do.
Start with exploring Sligo, the town that lends its name to the county. It’s easy to get around the city and has two great attractions that may or may not be your kind of thing. The first of course is the statue to W. B. Yeats who is buried nearby at Drumcliffe Church (which you can visit). The statue is located outside the Ulster Bank on Stephen Street and is a short walk from the other attraction I’d recommend visiting below.
Sligo Abbey is located on Abbey Street and costs 3 euros to enter. While exploring old churches and buildings isn’t for everyone, it’s still an interesting building to walk past if you don’t want to pay the money to enter.
Venturing outside of Sligo there are a range of places to explore. One of which I highly recommend (especially on a good day) is Rosses Point on the north side of the bay. It’s a short 8-9km drive to the coastline here and on a sunny day provides some amazing views. You can either visit the beach or walk the shoreline and admire the views all around you.
To the south of the bay you’ll also find Strandhill beach. Known as a popular surfing beach I found it to be a great spot to enjoy the view and take in a bit of food at Shells Cafe across the road. Of which I can highly recommend the scones and jam or chocolate cake if you find yourself there, it’s a must stop if you are in the area.
If after that you haven’t had your fill of beaches then there are many more to see. With their rocky shoreline they make for great exploring and photo opportunities.
If you happen to be looking for accommodation in the area then you can’t go past the Beach Bar & Aughris House at nearby Aughris Beach. It’s exactly what you’d want in a bed and breakfast. Ocean views, comfortable beds and a pub right next door that’s full of character and serves quality food.
Given its location is around a 30 minute drive from Sligo down some very narrow roads its got all the feeling of getting away from it all while still being close to everything else there is to discover in Sligo.
And no road trip is complete without exploring the countryside when in Ireland. A must do experience in the area is the Glenliff Horseshoe Drive. It’s said that there is a magic hill on this road that if you park your car on the hill it will roll backwards up the hill. A sign is supposed to mark the hill for this magical experience but alas I couldn’t find it.
The drive however is well worth your time. To find the drive you need to head north on the N15 out of Sligo until you pass through Cliffony. On the other side of the village (about 2km out) is a pub on your left called Gorevans (it was closed down when I went past), here you turn right up the road just opposite and head off along a narrow country road.
After some 3-4km you’ll reach a five way intersection where a closed pub and shop are on your left, it’s here that you’ll drive almost straight (if you go to the right and cross the bridge you’ve missed the turn) but there is a sign highlighting the Glenliff Horseshoe track. From here buckle in and prepare for some amazing views and some of Irelands narrowest roads.
Having conquered the drive above then you just need to get out and explore. The south of the county is blessed with some amazing roads and with castles and other historic sites scattered all over its well worth an afternoon’s drive. I found myself on the below road heading for home and just had to stop to enjoy the view.
Now the above isn’t a definitive guide on all the things to do in Sligo, it’s more a highlight reel of the places I really enjoyed. If you need more insight into what you can do in the county then I’d suggest looking up the Sligo Tourism website which lists a bunch more activities such as hiking Benbulben and Knocknarea Mountain, an Eagle experience and visiting a megalithic cemetery to mention just a few.