Sligo Travel Guide: 8 best things to do in Mullaghmore Village

Mullaghmore

Sligo shaped us more than any other place in Ireland, and this is where our hearts beat faster. We love wandering through forests and spend time on the secluded beaches where blowings of the wind create the sand into collective structures.

In recent years we had a chance to visit Mullaghmore, a beautiful fishing village with a cosy vibe that’s located on the edge of the water between Cliffony and Grange,  countless times and every time we’ve been able to capture beautiful sunsets.

Despite being exposed to the wild Atlantic winds and often accompanied by harsh weather conditions, this is where we feel most at ease, we could stay here for hours just to watch the best colour palettes.

During the winter huge swells ponder the coastline drawing in big wave surfers from all around the world and in springtime, the framework of beast-like looking cliffs with sharp edges is covered with splashes of pink.

And, when the sunshine rips troughs intermittent dark clouds, the shore becomes alive with light rushing down the soft sand.

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Beautifully blooming heather plants along the Mullaghmore coast.

Sligo Travel Guide: 8 best things to do in  Mullaghmore Village

Are you travelling around Ireland and looking for an epic stop on your Wild Atlantic Way adventure?  Then add Mullaghmore to your list because it has got everything Irelands West coast is famous for – incredible coastal views, friendly locals, craggy cliffs, beautiful beaches, fantastic food and world-class surf.

Yes, it’s harsh and wild and certainly different but even a rainy day in Mullaghmore is better than a day spent inside.

In this blog post, we are sharing the best things to do to fill your trip with lots of adventure.

In Mullaghmore, two main points of exploration include Mullaghmore Head and Mullaghmore Beach. You’ll also find plenty of places to eat and have a pint, there’s a lovely little harbour, a small grocery shop with essential snack foods and a well-kept peace garden.

But, before you feast your eyes on Donegal Bay with Rossnowlagh in the east, familiarise yourself with its history and learn about a brutal assassination connected to the Troubles in Northern Ireland, learn about onslaughts on the people and starving of the populace.

#1. Stroll along Mullaghmore Beach

You’ll love exploring Sligo coastline and enjoying its beautiful beaches as they are some of the best anyone can ask for.

Mullaghmore Beach is a beautiful white sandy beach sheltered by an extensive dune system, and when low tide occurs, you’ll find a variety of lines and cracks and colours on the seafloor.

The beach is long, the water is clean, safe and without big waves; it provides safe bathing, so it’s perfect for families and young children to enjoy.

Go for a stroll, it’s an ideal way to unwind and let your thoughts settle. The crashing Atlantic waves, the cascading dunes and mountains in the distance only add to the peaceful atmosphere.

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Soothing coastal views in Mullaghmore, Sligo.

#2. Watch a sunrise

If you desire to experience the real character and charm of Mullaghmore and its incredible coast, you have to get up early and watch a sunrise.

Setting up your alarm for a crazy hour and dragging yourself out of bed in the dark may not be the easiest thing to do if you are on holiday exploring Ireland, but there are many reasons why you should do it.

Trade-in sleep for fantastic memories and enjoy serenity only a sunrise can provide because it sees far fewer people than a sunset. Give every ounce of your attention to what’s going on around you and feel the sounds and smells in your frame.

Youll love the way the light brings out so many different colours, and you’ll forever remember how untamed yet invitingly powerful the coastline around Mullaghmore is.

If you are a photographer, it’s also a great way of chasing that perfect golden light with a lens.  Getting up at dawn and capturing early morning atmosphere when nature looks more alive and lush with light adding more life to subtle details.

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The happy combination of  Benbulben mountain that’s sprinkled with fresh snow, setting winter sun and wild Atlantic ocean.

#3. Go on a photography adventure

Mullaghmore is a photographers dream  – she’s a beautiful place with a dramatic touch. In addition to tidal pools, jagged rocks and moody skies there’s that perfect focal point for you to shoot too –  beautiful Classiebawn Castle backed by  Benbulben Mountain and Darty Mountains.

Photography is all about an amazing experience that’s burned into your memory, and great photos are just a bonus that comes with it. That’s why the best advice we can give to anyone visiting Mullaghmore is to explore, experiment and don’t strive for perfection.

On our last photography trip to Mullaghmore, we took a flask of herbal tea, tossed together a few tasty treats,  sat on the rocks and were utterly blown away by the unfolding scenery.

Tufty clouds formed pretty patterns, shrieking seagulls flew overhead harassing each other, and the rippling ocean was unusually tranquil.

Setting sun brought out the hypnotic colours, and we realised how fortunate we are to have places like Mullaghmore nearby that we can visit and experience with no one else around.

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When going on a photography adventure, be patient and persistent and shoot what you love.

#4. Go for a drive

Going for the drive along the coastal road in Mullaghmore, which is part of the Wild Atlantic Way,  is nothing short of spectacular as it takes you right along the edge of the water.

The short, but the spectacular loop is around 3 kilometres in length and rewards visitors with stunning mountain views, glimpses of Donegal coast and a castle by the sea.

The road looping around the headland is well paved with fenced green pastures on one side and rugged cliffs on one the other side.  You’ll find a couple of places where to stop, take photos and enjoy the views over the bay.

Mullaghmore Loop is also a very popular walk among visitors and locals. It takes around an hour at a reasonably good pace to complete and is a fantastic way to experience the coast and feel natures power. Along the way, there appropriately appointed benches to take a short break and indulge in the surrounding scenery.

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Early winter mornings in Mullaghmore are full of magic and beautiful light.

#5. Take in the views at Mullaghmore Head

If you are headed to Sligo, you can’t miss this coastal stunner. Even thou no photo can truly capture the beauty of the endless coastal views we will shoot this over and over just because we love it.

The entire Mullaghmore coast holds a positive vibe, and although it’s hard to define what makes it so enchanting, I think that a combination of rolling sea mist, glowing hills and surf is what adds depth and ambience to it.

Have a few minutes for yourself to enjoy the view, be it for a whole day or just a brief stay. Watch the cascading water coming off the rocks after the waves hit and try to spot Slieve League cliffs in the distance.

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This part of the coastline, situated on the stretch of road connecting Sligo and Donegal, is amazing.

#6. See the Classiebawn Castle

The dominant landmark of Mullaghmore and much sought out photo challenge is the strikingly beautiful Classiebawn Castle with Benbulben at the back of it stealing the limelight.

The castle, built on the land, once owned by an old Gaelic clan called O Connors is on private grounds and not open to visitors yet standing atop peninsula can be easily seen.

In the 18th century, Lord Palmerston – an important politician and English Prime Minister –  inherited land around Mullaghmore from his father and decided to build a castle,  owned in later years by the late Lord Mountbatten.

A visit to Mullaghmore to see the castle is undoubtedly a feast for the eyes and every time we visit this part of Sligo we can’t help but contemplate the role it plays in providing a perfect getaway away from the daily hustle.

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Classiebawn Castle was built almost entirely of stone brought by sea from Donegal.

#7. Be amazed by the huge swells

Come to Mullaghmore in the winter months and feel the power of the swells – it will keep you a few feet off the ground. The big wave spot is surfed at different conditions and sizes, and if you are lucky, you’ll be able to see humongous barrels and the thickest slabs of raw ocean power.

Wild winter weather, gloomy conditions and whipping winds can make for a very slow drive around Mullaghmore, but stormy winter seas only add to the scene, and the surf is spectacular.

Not knowing when the waves will come and regularly checking the forecast only adds to the excitement that arrives with the natural phenomenon  30 feet in size. Always check the Mullaghmore Head surf report and forecast for the upcoming conditions and coastal weather.

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Come to Mullaghmore and watch the big wave surfers take on huge swells.

#8. Take part in a beach clean up

Living near the coast, we love a good beach cleanup.

Heading outdoors to explore to connect and to feel more restored is every human right but with that right comes certain responsibilities and looking after and protecting the environment is one of them.

Shifting towards a new paradigm is only possible once we are truly aware and becoming more aware is a process where we are learning to notice, process and react towards changes in our surroundings.

Yes, I know, picking up trash while on a beach holiday may not sound glamorous or what you had in mind, but it should be an important issue for every traveller and local person alike.

Of course, one small act might not change anything overnight but cultivating awareness and spending 10 minutes tidying sand around your beach towel can help you educate other people because not everyone is aware of the gigantic ecological footprint we are leaving on the planet.

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One of Sligo’s iconic views can be found in Mullaghmore, Ireland.

Where to stay in Mullaghmore

• Pier Head Hotel | Set within the village, Pier Head Hotel Spa & Leisure is an affordable, 3 -star hotel with amazing ocean and mountain views.  Buffet breakfast is included in the price, and you can walk to the beach in a few minutes.

• The Beach Hotel | Located in Mullaghmore, The Beach Hotel is set right across the street from the beach and walled harbour. In addition to the friendly staff, there’s a good breakfast included in the price and hotel also offer a free shuttle bus to nearby Ireland West Airport.

• Seacrest Guesthouse | A beautiful B&B with fantastic ocean views, spacious rooms and a lovely host is set in the beautiful Mullaghmore village and is more like a home away from home. Free parking is available at Seacrest Guesthouse as well as excellent breakfast.

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Pier Head Hotel and Spa Leisure in Mullaghmore, Sligo.

How to get to Mullaghmore

From Sligo Town | The drive from Sligo to Mullaghmore shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes, more if you choose to stop along the way. The distance is 28 kilometres, and the fastest route is via N15. From Sligo Town head North on the N15 and once you reach Cliffony turn left onto the R279 and follow the signs to Mullaghmore.

From Donegal Town | The distance between Mullaghmore Town and Donegal Town via N15 is around 44 kilometres, and you expect up to 40 minutes of travel time. You can break up the journey and stop at Rossnowlagh Beach or Tullan Strand in Bundoran.

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The rugged coastline of Mullaghmore is home to some of the best views and to some of the world’s top beach and reef breaks.

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Now, over to you!

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

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

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

53 thoughts on “Sligo Travel Guide: 8 best things to do in Mullaghmore Village

    1. Mullaghmore is a picturesque seaside resort in North Co Sligo, and it is hugely popular with locals and tourists alike. It is a very charming and scenic place a delight to watch as you sit and relax over a drink in one of the pubs. Thanks for stopping by and have a good day. Aiva

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Amazing photographs! What a beautiful place! What a coastline! You make these places seem like one is already there! Great information, Aiva, makes me want to travel there…Great post! Thanks for such good and complete advise on the location and on how to get there and a stroll on that beach must be a transcendental experience! Have a great week!
    Francisc

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mullaghmore and the fairy-tale castle of Classiebawn are unmissable spots to see for everyone travelling along the Wild Atlantic Way. It is undoubtedly our happy place; the blue flag beach is perfect for warm summer days. Thanks for stopping by and reading, it means the world to me. Have a lovely day; it’s snowing today in Sligo! Aiva

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Always a pleasure to stop by, Aiva…lovely coast line that Wild Atlantic Way and having a blue flag beach is certainly an advantage in the summer. Well, enjoy the snow! All the best and greetings from sunny (back to normal) Valencia,
        Francesc

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Mullaghmore is one of the world-renowned sites for big-wave surfing, and we couldn’t be happier with living nearby. Its beautiful sandy Mullaghmore beach, backed by an extensive dune system and with views of Ben Bulben, is a joy to explore at any time of the year. Thanks for reading and have a good day, Allan. Aiva

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Maggie, how are you doing today? Ireland and its beautiful West Coast is a perfect place for those travellers that are seeking to indulge in slow travel or are looking for outdoor activities! If you ever happen to be on your way to Sligo, just let us know, we would be super excited to meet up and show the lesser known-yet equally beautiful places. Thanks for stopping by and have a good day. Aiva

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  2. Aiva, your photos and words are so enticing. I never thought about coming in the winter months, but seeing the surfers in those enormous waves would be a thrill. There is definitely beauty in all that harshness (I remember that from my time in Newfoundland).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Caroline. Last year we decided to dedicate more time to see what Ireland has to offer, and after exploring every little fishing town in County Sligo, we were in awe. Seeing the surfers brave the cold and gigantic swells is a must-see event in Mullaghmore where you can meet lots of world-famous surfers and photographers. Thanks for stopping by and have a lovely day. Aiva

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow the swells! I wish I was able to surf big waves but watching it must be amazing! I’ve never been to Ireland but I’d love to go as soon as possible. The pictures you’ve taken are so beautiful! I also like the idea of participating in a beach clean up!!
    Thanks for sharing!
    Sophie

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Sophie. We couldn’t be happier with where we live at the moment, Sligo is a fantastic place to raise a family and Mullaghmore is one of our favourite places to go on a photography adventure. It’s a charming coastal town that had a rare visit last November from an Osprey, known as a fish eagle. How exciting is that! Thanks for stopping by and have a good day. Aiva

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, guys. Mullaghmore is an incredible place to visit, and the sandy beach here stretches as far as the eye can see and is ideal for an early morning stroll! Thanks for reading and have a lovely day. Aiva

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by and for your lovely comments. Certain places around Sligo are worth the visit and Mullaghmore is one of them. It’s always amazing to see waves up to 15 metres high, and it’s an unforgettable experience to witness colourful sunsets. Have a good day. Aiva

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, guys! Mullaghmore is a pretty special spot, dramatic, photogenic and it’s where big-wave tow-in surfing competitions are regularly held. If you ever end up in Mullaghmore, you’ll be amazed by the views1 Thanks for stopping by and have a good day. Aiva

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    1. Thank you very much! The drive around Mullaghmore is breathtaking and an excellent area for walks. The town itself with its harbour wall is very picturesque too, but it’s the views of the coast that are one of a kind. Thanks for stopping by and have a good day. Aiva

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Kerry, how are you doing? Mullaghmore and its rugged coast is a magical place that leaves a lasting impression. Due to bad weather, we haven’t been out there this month yet, and I find myself longing to go. This summer, we are keen to explore every little country road around Mullaghmore and Cliffony to see what else is there. Thanks for stopping by and have a good day Aiva

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    1. Thanks so much! Upon driving through this peaceful, sheltered village on the Northwest coast of Ireland, one might not expect what lies off the headland just around the corner… Mullaghmore is one of the legendary spots in Ireland, and we are absolutely delighted to live nearby. Thanks for stopping by and let us know if you ever come this way, well be happy to show you around. Aiva xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Aiva. I was planning to start composing my post on the blogging award for which you so graciously nominated me, but when I went back to try to link to it, I couldn’t find it anywhere on your site. Remembering that Pam from …ichoosethis… was also nominated, I contacted her to see if I had just dreamed the whole thing up. She assured me I didn’t and confirmed that she couldn’t find the post either. I’m contacting you to let you know in case it somehow got deleted accidentally. If it’s on your site and I just couldn’t find it, will you send me the link? Also, if you have intentionally deleted it, I’ll just go ahead and link to your home page. Thanks again for the award!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. O my goodness, I can’t believe you had to get in touch with Pam to find the post on Bloggers Recognition Award – I’m so sorry about that!

      No, you didn’t dream the whole thing up, we did wholeheartedly nominated you because of knowledge and fun you bring to the blogosphere!

      The blog post was in draft section because I wanted to add more info about each blogger we nominated and as I never got around to do it, it never resurfaced on Our Crossings blog, how embarrassing is that! It’s back on now!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. We are fascinated with Ireland too! By now we’ve met lots of amazing people from USA and Canada who are tracing down their Irish roots. It’s fantastic to hear their emotional stories; some of them even brought me to tears. I hope you get to come over one day to see where your ancestors once lived. Aiva

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    1. Thanks so much! I hope you get to visit Ireland soon. The stunning natural wonders, such as the Cliffs of Moher, is something everyone has to see! And besides the dynamic cultural scene, historic lands and cosy pubs you’ll be welcomed by friendly locals. Thanks for reading and have a good day. Aiva

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I was told by a friend that we would travel well in Ireland as everyone is very welcoming to families with lots of children. Here in England we are somewhat of an oddity and count as a “group booking” in a lot of cafes and restaurants 😀 As well as meeting all the lovely locals, it’s the landscape I would love to see too – it looks staggeringly beautiful over there xx

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    1. Thanks so much, Shane. We loved Sligo so much that decided to move here from Dublin 2 years ago. It was one of the best decisions – with mountains, sea and surf, what else would we need to be content? Thanks for stopping by and have a good day. Aiva

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    1. It would be amazing to visit Classiebawn castle, Jason, but its the location of the building with Benbulben as a backdrop that strikes the most! Mullaghmore is one of a kind place to visit in Ireland, especially if you want to see the big winter sells! Thanks for stopping by and have a good day. Aiva

      Liked by 1 person

  5. We visited Mullaghmore today 15th August on way back from our staycation in Donegal.. We enjoyed our visit there and it was quite busy on a lovely sunny day. However after getting some coffee and sitting admiring the view out to sea I could not find a rubbish bin anywhere from the seating area up from the Pier Head Hotel and back up to where we parked our car near the sailing club. I find this incredible that no rubbish bins are privided on either side which is the entire length of the village. Note… Rather than leave it there like many others did we brought our rubbish with us in the car.

    Like

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