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County Sligo

Photo of County Sligo

About County Sligo

As far as many visitors are concerned, County Sligo isn't the most dazzling of the Emerald isle's counties. That said, this small northwestern county is surprisingly packed with cultural treasures, spectacular scenery, Irish traditions and mythology, as well as poetry. Our pick of the best places to stay in County Sligo are ideally situated to explore the best of the region.

Sligo's Best Known Son

If you know anything about County Sligo it's probably through the poetry of WB Yeats, a local lad, an ardent lover of this landscape and its mysticism.

Sligo - especially the area around Sligo town - was muse for Yeats and features in his poetry. Reading his work while you're visiting Sligo will hopefully lend you a special insight into this place.

Yeats was a fan of the impressive megalithic cemetery at Carrowmore, which is between Sligo town and the mountain of Knocknarea. Carrowmore is one of Europe's largest Iron Age cemeteries, with around 60 tombs and monuments, and passages burrowing into the hills behind.

The poet is buried in Drumcliffe, north of Sligo town. And best remembered in the WB Yeats Exhibition at the Sligo Art Gallery - or in front of the abstract statue of Yeats erected in front of the Ulster Bank, a building which he apparently admired.

Another Yeats, his brother, artist Jack, who was also inspired by this countryside, is appreciated in the Model, a gallery and arts centre.

Local Spots

Knocknarea is worth visiting too, and possibly scaling. A 300metre monolith, it's also worth reading up on. Supposedly the last resting place of Queen Maeve, there are all sorts of romantic tales and traditions associated with the mountain.

Yeats also spent a lot of time gazing on Innisfree Island, which sits in serenely majestic Lough Gill. And at Dooney Rock, on the southern shore of the lough.

Culture

As well as being fertile soil for poets, Sligo is also famous for its traditional music scene. Westlife and Dervish sprang from this county too.

In addition to the cultural and atmospheric treasures of Sligo, and of course the beautiful landscape, this is also a well known spot for surfers. Strandhill beach and Rosses Point offer especially bracing surfing opportunities.

What Not To Miss

  • Hikeg up Knocknarea and enjoy the wonderful views - a real slice of rural Irish beauty. Or, take the 1.2km pathway along to The Devil's Chimney, Ireland's highest waterfall.
  • Take a tour of Lissadell House, which is steeped in history, and hear stories all about the Gore-Booth family (including its links to the Easter uprising).
  • The 13th century Sligo Abbey is an incredibly well-preserved spot which is well worth a visit.

    For Sligo Town

    • The Glasshouse is a striking contemporary property in the heart of Sligo Town, overlooking the Garavogue River. Come for its sleek designs, great views and AA Rosette restaurant.

    Country Escapes

    • The Coopershill House Hotel is one of the best hotels in County Sligo if you're looking for a complete escape. A luxurious country house converted into a hotel, this home is all log fires and antique furnishings, and no TVs or radios. It's been in the same family for eight generations, and every detail seems to have been considered carefully by the family owners - from the locally grown food in the restaurant to the decor and the beautiful views.
    • Set in a Georgian Mansion, Temple House is now a 6 room B&B offering wonderfully traditional rooms - complete with antiques and artwork on the walls. What's more, it's surrounded by gorgeous parkland with a lake suitable for fishing! A luxurious getaway.

    For A Holiday cottage or apartment

    • If you'd rather benefit from the privacy of a self-catering option then browse through the wide variety available online with our partner, Booking.com.

    Travel Information

    • To make the most out of County Sligo's wonderful scenery visit between April and September, when the temperature hovers around 16°C.
    • International visitors can fly into Ireland West Airport Knock, served by direct flights with Ryanair from Stansted and Luton as well as with Aer Lingus from Gatwick. There are also a number of routes from mainland Europe and even one from Boston.
    • From here, either take the bus or the train on to County Sligo which should take around half an hour.
    • For car hire prices, we recommend you visit our online partner Rentalcars.

        Still undecided?

        Best Hotels in County Sligo

        • Temple House 6 rooms from $194

          Ballymote, County Sligo

          Georgian mansion turned luxury B&B just south of Sligo. Sumptous rooms are crammed with antique furniture and family heirlooms and dining is grand to say the least! Set in gorgeous parkland with a lake for keen fishermen and miles of walking on the doorstep. An idyllic country retreat.

          Great walks  -  There are plenty of walks right on the doorstep
          Sights nearby  -  Lissadell house, Sligo and Yeats country
          Fishing  -  On the lake
          Full of character
          Recommended by  -  Good Hotel Guide
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        • The Glasshouse, Sligo 116 rooms from $109

          Sligo

          A chic futuristic hotel overlooking the Garavogue River in Sligo. Rooms are sleek and colourful with beautiful views out over the river. Return in the evening from a day of exploring Yeats country to a AA Rosette restaurant. An excellent modern hotel.

          City Style  -  A stunning design hotel on The Garravogue River, with quirky interiors and an award winning restaurant.
          Great walks  -  Beautiful walking around Sligo with the trail up Ben Bulben being especially beautiful.
          Sights nearby  -  Only ten miles from the Yeats's grave and Lissadel House.
          Views  -  Great views from hotel
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        • Coopershill House Hotel 8 rooms from $226

          Riverstown, County Sligo

          A luxurious family owned country house hotel offering a complete "getaway from it all" experience. Traditional antique furnished bedrooms have magnificent views & log fires but no TVs or radios. Delicious food with much of the ingredients either locally sourced or home grown.

          Sights nearby  -  Explore WB Yeats country or the megalithic tombs - all a short drive away
          Views  -  Great views over the rolling Sligo countryside
          House party feel  -  Be prepared to meet people.
          Great walks  -  Good for walkers.
          Recommended by  -  CN Traveller
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