Sligo County

The historical story of Sligo is layered to the very core with ancient places like the Neolithic tombs of Carrowmore and the megalithic cemetery at Carrowkeel, which have been dated back over 5,000 years, giving them a record for being some of the oldest in Ireland. These sites provide an invaluable insight into the culture of prehistoric Ireland and are regarded as some of the most important locations for this type across Europe.

W. B. Yeats is celebrated by the cultural institutions of the county and the sites he evokes. The Yeats International Summer School is held each year in the Yeats Memorial Building in Sligo town, and if for nothing else, one has to call at his last resting place beneath the shadow of Benbulben in Drumcliffe Churchyard, marked with the simple epitaph, “Cast a cold eye on life, on death. Horseman, pass by!”

But beyond this strong literary connection, County Sligo is truly a mecca for lovers of activity. The landmark Benbulben Mountain is not just a defining characteristic of the landscape but also one of the most popular places for hiking and climbing.

Such is the reputation of surf breaks at Mullaghmore and Strandhill that surfers from all over the world come here to test their waves.

For the more laid back, Glencar and Lough Gill both offer fishing, kayaking, and leisurely walks along the lake shore. Culturally, Sligo hosts a lively arts scene, including a number of galleries, theaters, and venues catering for everything from traditional Irish music sessions to contemporary art exhibitions. The Model is the leading contemporary arts center with works by Jack B. Yeats, brother to W.B. Yeats, and has regular art and music events. The culinary scene in Sligo reflects both agricultural richness and their maritime heritage, in that local restaurants serve sumptuous dishes made from the freshest locally available products, including seafood from the Atlantic and organically grown produce from neighboring farms. In short, County Sligo offers a cocktail of magnificent natural beauty, historical intrigue, and active cultural activity. It is the home of history; it will echo from the primordial digs to the columns of the literary landmarks and the very lay of the land from country to coastline will be at once inspirational and challenging, while warm and creative locals will ensure that you do feel welcome from the moment you arrive.