16 awesome things to do in beautiful Sligo that will make you stay for more

When friends and family ask what we love most about Sligo, colourful autumn days, pretty wildflowers and coastal scenery springs to mind.

Sligo is rich in charm, strong in character and living in this place provided yet another chapter of our life of growing. This is where we feel safe and comfortable – this place has a grip on us like no other on Earth.

Over the past year and a half since we moved from Dublin to Sligo – it was an easy decision choosing where to base ourselves in Ireland – we made an effort to fill our lives with even more adventures and time spent outdoors.

We braved the cold on countless nights just so we can watch sunsets, discovered beautiful waterfalls, enjoyed open landscapes and endless sky, saw many natural wonders, met incredible human beings and ate the best food ever.

We had the privilege of travelling up and down the shores, hike through many woodlands and go surfing and cycling nearly every single day.

We had a chance to attend cookery class with Sweet Beat Sligo, participate in a creative writing workshop with Easkey Britton, and take part in beach cleanups.

IMG_1603
Autumn sunset at Rosses  Point, Sligo.

 

 

16 awesome things to do in beautiful Sligo that will make you stay for more

If you want to witness stunning views and venture into colourful surprises yourself, then pack your bags and come to Sligo! Who knows what exciting places you might uncover?

There are a hundred different answers to the question of what is so unique about Sligo. And, there are a hundred various reasons why we packed our belonging and moved to Sligo for good.

Let us give you a few.

 

#1. Visit Glencar Waterfall

The vibrant colours and fast rushing water of Glencar Waterfall just make for such perfection and such natural beauty that always draws visitors back to this place.

Embraced by a maze of ancient ferns and gently green moss, Glencar waterfall will make you gasp in awe.  We discovered it while staying in Sligo town and the surrounding area many years ago and been returning ever since in different seasons.

Glencar Waterfall
From the main road, a little footpath that runs along the murmuring river will bring you all the way to the waterfall.

 

#2. Surf wild Atlantic waves

It’s no secret that regarding preferred landscapes, we are ocean folk down to our core. If you are a passionate aficionado of surfing, chances are good; you’ll find yourself in Sligo too. Places like Strandhill, Streedagh and Easkey need no introduction.

With one of the most unchanging beach breaks, Strandhill is a real hot spot for surf minded folks and when the conditions are right, flawlessly surfable waves draws in big crowds.

img_5850
In Sligo, surfing is a way of life.

 

#3. Enjoy coastal scenery

Nothing beats the way we feel when we are out in the wild where sounds of crashing waves and roaring wild Atlantic winds work in sync with nature, producing one of the most epic waves on this planet.

Bookmark Mullaghmore, meaning ‘the great summit’ on your list of places to visit in Ireland so you can witness brave waterman ride huge waves.

Mullaghmore
Cragged coastal views in Mullaghmore, Sligo.

 

#4. Visit Eagles Flying

Eagles Flying is the largest centre for birds of prey in the country, and it is situated in Ballymote, Sligo. There are live shows that start at 11 am and 3 pm every day, so make sure you arrive on time. We enjoyed our visit and were delighted for an extraordinary opportunity to be so close to eagles and owls.

And not to mention personal interaction with raptors, I was super thrilled to hold out a gloved hand and have an incredible creature land on it, just a few inches from my face.

Before the show started, we walked around at had a chance to talk to the staff who were all enthusiastic and very knowledgeable. After the show, we visited a petting zoo where they had various animals, including mice, pig, rabbits, guinea pig and gerbils.

Eagles 066.JPG
Eagles Flying is a great place to visit for the whole family and seeing these majestic birds up close is a truly unique experience.

 

#5. Take in winter sunrises

Not once have I regretted getting up in the middle of the night  – especially in the wintry month – to make it to the shoreline before the dawn. The crisp winter mornings is my favourite time to catch beautiful light; it’s when I feel connected to nature.

Winter in Ireland is a slow season and winter in Ireland is mostly painful dark and wet mess, covering all life outside the window.  But then there are these colourful sky moments worth getting out of that I love the most when sleepy nature awakes for a few seconds.

IMG_9460
Enjoying life’s simple pleasures, like watching colourful sunrises, is a beautiful way to enrich one’s day.

 

#6. Witness springtime magic

Over the years of exploring Sligo, Hazelwood Demense quickly became one of our favourite places to step back from monotonous everyday life. In the spring the forest becomes alive with bluebells and summertime arrives with an abundance of butterflies.

As the new life began to sprout in woodland this year, we made countless visits to the forest. We could not resist the urge to immortalise all the surrounding beauty and incredible spring wildflowers growing wild and free before they all are gone.

IMG_1893
Blossoming bluebells is one of the signs that spring has arrived.

 

#7. Relax at The Beach Bar

It’s so easy to fall in love with this place – alluring views, ocean, good food (think seafood and a cold pint of Guinness), brilliant surf and live music. The Beach Bar, located on Augris Beach, is one of the prettiest traditional pubs in County Sligo with a wood-burning fireplace and friendly warmth.

There is also a small stretch of land for camping and B&B accommodation right next to it for those who want to wake up in a place where mother nature rules everything. For surfers, it’s an excellent place to escape the crowds, and for photographers, a great place to take pictures of Knocknarea and Sligo Bay.

_MG_0411
Set in a delightful seaside location, The Beach Bar is a favourite place for local and overseas visitors alike.

 

#8. Feel the wonder of autumn 

If you love this time of the year when all the greens get new colours than you’ll enjoy exploring Sligo woodlands because each landscape we choose to discover have a different personality.

With the autumn sunshine trying to push its way through the clouds, somedays bearly reaching the forest floor, you’ll be treated to the beautiful show of warm colours and wistful shadows.

Exploring Sligo in the autumn season gave us a whole new outlook and appreciation for how beautiful this part of Ireland truly is. That’s why saying goodbye to summer never really make me sad; I look forward to the sweet scent of the autumn and burst of colours around every corner.

img_9336
Early autumn mornings around Lough Gill woodlands is a photographers dream.

 

#9. Go on a photography adventure

With so many unusual compositions and views, Sligo is perfect photographers playground.  You can grab your camera and relax by the lake, watch a sunrise, look up the stars, wait up for sunset and then do it all again.

If you decide to travel to Sligo, you’ll be amazed by the range of landscapes to photograph as this part of Ireland provide plenty of appeal to visitors. The best thing is, you can take kick-ass photos without insanely expensive equipment.

We love photographing this part of the country and showing the palette of different colours in Ireland, which is often portrayed as green. At times it is true, but it is also home to bright yellow, soft purple and any other colour in between.

IMG_5043
Beautiful Glencar Lake, Sligo.

 

#10. Plunge into Voya Seaweed Baths 

The first time we visited Voya Seaweed Baths was in December, and  I can tell you; there is nothing better on a cold and miserably rainy day than a hot organic Irish seaweed bath followed by exfoliation treatment and a warm cup of herbal tea.

First, you start with few minutes in a steam room to open up your pores, and then you slip into a bathtub were floating at the bottom of it is hand-harvested seaweed that makes water and your skin instantly soft and smooth.

Well known as the poor man’s doctor in the old days, today seaweed is widely used for its detoxifying, healing and skin-renewing benefits.

IMG_8530
Voya Seaweed Baths are located in Strandhill, County Sligo.

 

#11. Hit the hiking trails

If you are in Sligo and find yourself aching for mountains and looking for a physical challenge, then Queene Maeve Trail is a hike not to be missed. This very short 1.5 h round trip – this, of course, can change depending on your fitness level and how many times you stop for photos, will wow you with beautiful boardwalks, sweeping ocean vistas and lovely forests.

The length of the trail is 2.4 km out and back, and the starting point is located on Strandhill Road, opposite the rugby club. Once on the top, you’ll find an incredible 360-degree panorama of the surrounding countryside, Sligo coastline as well as an impressive burial site.

Legend has it that Warrior Queen Maeve of Connaught is buried upright on top of Knocknarea, so please be respectful of Irish mythology and don’t attempt to climb the cairn on the top of the mountain.

Also, wear comfortable shoes with a good grip, bring plenty of refreshments and healthy snacks and on a sunny day wear sunscreen.

36395602_1890671440994614_7950367494374424576_n
If you are looking for a beautiful place to visit in Sligo, that’s rich with incredible views, add Knocknarea to your list.

 

#12. Capture the serenity of sleepy lakes

One of the main defining features of Sligo has to be its coast with plentiful scenic beaches and with many worth visit spots. But if you venture a little bit inland, you’ll find beautiful woodlands and lakes too.

Located south of town is a place known for its beauty. Lough Gill is the most photogenic lake with an incredible display of natural beauty.

IMG_8623
Beautiful Lough Gill glowing under the winter sun.

 

#13. Visit beautiful Sligo town

Beating to its very own rhythm, lively Sligo town, located in the northwest part of the country, can charm instantly. Bridges across the River Garavogue join the two halves of the town with restaurants and shops packet tightly together along its banks.

At first glance, Sligo might appear a little bit worn around the edges, but once you go for a walk along the river, see the Italian Quarter, find the Yeats statue and see the fantastic woodcarvings made by the talented craftsman Michael Quirke, you’ll be instantly filled with wonder and delight.

Ruins of a beautiful13th century Sligo Abbey, built-in 1253,  and a Nobel Laureate William Buttler Yeats Memorial House can be found in town as well as lots of boutique shops and eventful Irish pubs.

IMG_6178
Sligo town is a fabulous and very colourful place to explore for a day or two.

 

#14. See the incredible summer sunsets

Nature can speak for itself without digital manipulation and over enchantment, and if you ever catch a summer sunset in Sligo, you’ll be rewarded with a proper colour burst.

On our last trip to Strandhill, we arrived at the beach at a prime timing with the sun just seconds away from disappearing for another night. As soon as she sunk below the water, the sky erupted in beautiful colours.

Standing on this very spot and gazing across the ocean, I realised that the depths of wonder found in nature and impeccably flawless and limitless.

IMG_5938
Summer sunset at Strandhill village, a great place to cleanse your mind and soul.

 

#15. Visit Strandhill town

Prior our move to Sligo, we spent lots of time in Strandhill village where we immersed ourselves in Irish culture, explored every single coastal curve, watched local surf championships, participated in the beach cleanups and enjoyed the mind-blowing countryside.

Besides engaging nature, you’ll find a great variety of food outlets with places like Shells Caffe, The Draft House, Strand Bar and Mammy Johnston’s, famous for their honeycomb ice cream, all down by the oceanfront.

Strandhill People’s Market takes place every Sunday from 11am-4pm at Sligo airport with freshly baked goods, and local craft’s on sale. During the December hangar is cheerfully decorated and turns in to one of the most amazing Christmas Markets in the country.

IMG_0692
Strandhill village is lovely at any time of the year with fantastic views and great waves.

 

#16. Discover W.B. Yeats playground

When I was a kid, I had a growing passion for literature; I used to read and express my feelings and thoughts through poetry, I enjoyed playing with words, mainly to find balance and reconnect with myself.

Because Sligo is our home now, I enjoy reading W.B.Yeats poetry. It’s captivating to see famous landmarks through his rhythmical compositions in The Lake Isle of Innisfree, Down by the Sally Garden and in my favourite piece The Stolen Child.

Drumcliffe village – a beautiful and quiet place – is best knows as the last resting spot of the Yeats and if you plan on visiting, don’t forget to stop by the church, The High Cross and the Round Tower too.

There are a lovely cafe and tourist shop, selling woollen crafts, quirky cards and a wide selection of Yeats books.

IMG_4825
Drumcliffe village makes for a lovely stop on Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way.

 

…    …    …    …    …    …    …    …     …    …    …    …    …    …    …    …    …    …    …    …    …    …

Now, over to you!

Have you been to Sligo? Let us know in the comments below!

Let us know if you are plotting a visit to Sligo and have travel-related questions!

 

Posted by

Our Crossings follows the daily adventures of Latvian expats living in Sligo as they surf and explore the world

56 thoughts on “16 awesome things to do in beautiful Sligo that will make you stay for more

    1. Thanks so much! There is certain magic when it comes to Sligo, and it was challenging to choose which places to feature as there are lots to see and do! Originally it was supposed to be a relatively brief blog post featuring around ten sites. But as residents of Sligo, who explored every nook and cranny, we wanted to share how beautiful this corner of the world is. Thanks for stopping by and have a good day. Aiva

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I love reading your blog! You write beautifully. I wasn’t prepared for 16 awesome things I could see around Sligo, however I was sold at #1. I live in Baltimore, MD USA and I must say with a heavy heart that I am not sure I could come up with 16 amazing things to see around here…. By the way #6 when you talk about “monotonous everyday life” I truly doubt that you are talking about your life 😂. Keep posting please. You keep adding to my bucket list.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for your lovely words – I always love hearing from you! I bet you could find places worth exploring in your backyard too – you live in such a beautiful city that houses the National Aquarium, beautiful harbour and heaps of history! And, not to mention the fascinating Railroad Museum with the most amazing trains on display and my all-time favourite writers, Edgar Allan Poe’s house!

      I have to confess that our everyday life is monotonous, with full-time jobs and school runs we are sometimes held hostage by an unvarying routine. Instead of grumbling about it, we change it up by getting away from screens and heading in to outdoors. Thanks for stopping by and have a good day. Aiva

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I have had seaweed baths before, but I liked my particular experience at Voya Seaweed bath. I liked having the room and a bath to myself, and I loved the exfoliation treatment and organic herbal tea after it. Although the water did feel a tiny bit slimy, this is an authentically Irish experience that you should definitely try if you are visiting Ireland. Thanks for stopping by and have a good day. Aiva

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Okay – I am pretty sure after reading several posts of yours reporting on many different places – some of which I have been to, that I would likely agree with your findings (though I am NOT a surfer, hahahaha – love the ocean though!) I will finish up my tour in Belfast in the morning of 5/28/20 and meet up with my trekking group for the Dingle Way in Kerry on 6/1. Reading today’s post I am leaning now towards staying in Sligo in between!! I looked a bit on Airbnb and haven’t yet looked at travel between Belfast and Sligo and Sligo to Kerry. At this juncture I am not planning to rent a car. I wonder about some of your recommendations without my own wheels – and also wonder if perhaps you might have a specific handful of recommendations as to where to stay. If you have the inclination, would you perhaps be willing to email me on a separate basis with some specifics? You sound super busy so I understand if not – you’ve given much for me to digest and spend some of my own research time with your blogs!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Robbie, I’m glad you got in touch – I’ll be super excited to help you out with planning the trip! You would absolutely love exploring Sligo and everything it has to offer yet the traveling between Belfast and where we live is challenged! It’s one of the reasons why we haven’t been to Northern Ireland much – unfortunately there are no direct buses and it takes ages to cover distances between them! I’ll have a look around tomorrow at local websites! Cheers and have a good day 😀

      Like

    1. There are so many places in Sligo where we can escape to when not travelling around the world! It’s one of the reasons why we choose to settle down here as we are minutes away from the ocean, mountains and beautiful forests. Hope you can make it to Ireland one day. You would love it. Aiva

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It sounds like you found the perfect place to be when you’re not traveling. In fact, it seems like you are travelers in your own town and area, which is great. It looks wonderful – you obviously don’t take it for granted that you are surrounded by so much natural beauty.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. For years Sligo was our primary choice for a staycation and to finally live here and raise a family is a dream come true moment. We can finish work, get home, grab our surfboards and be on a beach in no time – we are big supporters of micro-adventures – cheap, local, simple yet at the same time exciting and fun. Thanks for stopping by and have a good day. Aiva

      Liked by 1 person

  4. i loved your Blog, Beautifully described, layout, Content and images are awesome, hope you will also keep visiting on my blog too… [Health Ogre]

    And i hope other bloggers will also come and visit each others Blogs, and share their Through with their Each precious, comment & Like…
    As a blogger You know how Comments and Lies, encourages a Blogger

    I Hope you will allow this comment, to convey other bloggers like (You) and (Me) to come to VISIT each other Blog everyday…
    Thanks

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, and thanks so much for stopping by!

      I agree with you about the importance of networking and keeping it positive withing the blogging community. For me, building connections and forming relationships with fellow bloggers from all around the world is one of the reasons why I started blogging in the first place!

      Not only you get to ”meet” many exciting people you also get the chance to share the knowledge and support each other. Have a good day and happy blogging. Aiva

      Like

    1. Thanks so much David &Laura! As much as we love traveling around the world and visiting new countries, we didn’t want that to be our only source of happiness! That’s why we decided to leave Dublin behind and move to Sligo – this way we are within minutes from the ocean and all the other natural wonders worth exploring. Thanks for stopping by and have a good day 😀 Aiva

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Love your article about Sligo guys! I lived in Ireland for 2,5 years before I met Andrej and must admit that I have never heard about this stunning place, what a shame 🙈. Sounds like a perfect place, need to revisit picturesque Ireland 🍀.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, guys! Sligo is our home and our happy place, and we put our hearts and souls while writing the article about it.

      We have been living in Ireland for over a decade, and there are still plenty of places we haven’t had a chance to visit. I hope you get to come back one day to explore more of it, after all its where your story started. Thanks for stopping by and have a good day. Aiva

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Mark! To witness the intelligence of sheepdogs as they follow the commands, obediently is one of the things we haven’t had a chance to do yet – thanks for reminding. Hope you get to explore more of Sligo one day, threes plenty of for every type of traveller. Thanks for stopping by and have a good day. Aiva

      Like

    1. Hi, and thanks for stopping by. No, we havent been to the Fairy Gardens yet! I know there is one called Gilligan’s Worlds near Knocknashee. We always wanted to visit because it offers spectacular panoramic views from the Celtic Faerie Fort, yet another place to put on the travel wish list!

      Like

  6. Your pictures are absolutely stunning !!! 😍😍 Ireland has been on my list for such a long time and I can’t wait to “properly” visit it and discover the wonderful landscapes and wonders it has to offer! Thanks a lot for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Juliette and thanks for lovely words! It took us well over a year to visit and capture all the places mentioned in the blog post. We devoted a considerable amount of time to photography scouting, waiting for the conditions to be right, and so on. In a process, we revisited many Sligo villages and beaches numerous times and met the most amazing people ever.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Wow, it must have been so much work to do all of this, but the final result is amazing, and it’s great if while doing that you managed to explore a bit more and meet new people! 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Excellent Sligo travelogue with so many beautiful photos. I especially enjoyed the spring and fall forest shots, showing the different seasonal ambience — and of course, the coastal scenery. You found a wonderful place to call home, right down to the connection with Yeats, a poet who’s one of my favorites too. I look forward to visiting, with your list of attractions in hand.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.