Things to do in Sligo

Things to do in Sligo

Sligo landscape 1
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So, you wanna head to Sligo hmmmmm!!!!

The beautiful area of Sligo has heaps to keep you busy, it has it all. Unreal scenery, old buildings, walking trails, savage beaches and the list goes on and on! Sligo is located in the northwest of the Emerald Isle.  The fantastic seaport of Sligo is a wicked part of Ireland.

Sligo is well known for its connection to the poet Willam Butler Yeats. The population of Sligo is 66,000 people. The county is a vibrant cultural area with loads of history. Sligo is located on the Wild Atlantic Way route.

See my post here on my Ireland Travel Guide, everything you need to know when coming to the Emerald Isle!

Drumcliffe Church

Drumcliffe church is located ten miles from the town of Sligo. Drumcliffe church is the burial place of the famous poet William Butler Yeats. Yeat’s grave is in the churchyard area and it’s FREE to visit.

Drumcliffe is home to an interesting sixth-century monastery. Yeat’s headstone lays close to the beautiful Benbullen mountain range.  Sligo is known as Yeats county. Yeats spent a lot of time in Sligo and his mother was from Sligo. Yeat’s headstone is inscribed with” Cast a cold eye on life, on death, horsemen pass by”.

The church is really nice, the interior is in amazing shape. Drumcliffe church is a protestant church and the surrounding area has some old sites dating back to the Neolithic period.  A wonderful old high cross and a Neolithic wedge monument are all located close to Drumcliffe church. These attractions are all close to the church, you can check them out!

There is a lovely little gift shop and a café at Drumcliffe church, and there is FREE car parking. The gift shop has some nice books on Yeats and his poetry. You have to pop in for a look!

Sligo Abbey

Sligo abbey
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This abbey used to be a Dominican convent, that dates back to the year 1253. The building is a Romanesque style. The abbey is in a ruined state, the cloister and the church sections remain. Sligo Abbey is located on Abbey Street in Sligo.

The abbey has a Renaissance tomb sculpture and some really cool gothic sculptures. This abbey amazing has the only surviving high altar, this is only one of its kind in Ireland that has stood the test of time!

On the ground close to the cloisters is a grave slab with the name clearly marked: James. No one seems to know who James was, but they do know that the slab was erected by his mother.

The slab has all identifying marks-except the name-were chiselled away. Locals believe that James must have fallen out of favour with or angered some of the officials who controlled The Abbey.

The abbey has connections to Charlotte Thornley and her diary. She was the mother of the famous Bram Stoker. Bram Stoker was the author of the famous Dracula story.  Sligo Abbey is opened March to October from the times 10.00 am to 6.00 pm. the entry fee is 2.00 euros for adults and ticket prices for children are one euro. There is a family ticket for 5.00 euros.


Benbullen Sligo ireland
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The beauty that is Benbullen, this mountain range is something else. The green colours of the mountain range are picturesque and show Sligo’s landscape at its best.  

Benbullen is part of the Darty mountains, this flat-shaped mountain formation is in an area that some call “Yeats Country” because of Yeat’s famous connection with Sligo and Benbullen. The area is a great place to go walking or hiking. There are loads of different plant species and flowers that bring a lot of colour to the mountain range.

Benbullen is a protected site. The mountain is home to many different types of animals and different types of trees. Some are found nowhere else in the Emerald Isle.  Some unusual Arctic plants are grown on the mountain because of its cooler temperatures. Benbullen is very high up making the temperatures quite low at times on the mountain. A study in 2012 found that the fringed sandwort Benbullen is estimated to be around 100,000 years old.

Do the Sligo Way Walking Trail

Sligo way walking trail signposts
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This massive walking trial is some workout! The trail covers eighty kilometres of some unreal scenic locations, mountain ranges and green Irish landscape. The Sligo Way is one of the best things in Sligo, it brings you to the border of County Leitrim.

The route ain’t for the faint-hearted, you see will see the beautiful Lough Talt and the massive Ox mountain range in the county of Mayo. You pass through plenty of woodland areas, some early Megalithic tombs and famous areas like Yeats Lake Isle Innisfree. It’s a walking experience that you will enjoy, it’s a savage workout if you manage to do a whole lot of the Sligo Way!

Lissadell House

If you wanna see a Neo-classical Greek design mansion house, head for Lisadell house while in Sligo. This has to be one of the best things to see in Sligo.

This superstructure was built in the years 1830 and 1832, back in those days construction was a lot more difficult than it is nowadays.  Lissadell House is facing the south direction of the fantastic Magherow Penninsula in County Sligo.  The house has the benefits of being close to the superb Drumcliffe Bay. 

The grounds of the house are something to see.  Lissadell House was the childhood home of the great woman Countess Markievic.

The Countess was some woman for one woman, she is well known for her leadership qualities in the 1916 rising, she put her life on the line for Ireland hoping for a free state. Countess Markievic was a leader, a friend of the great poet Yeats, she was the first-ever woman to be elected to the Westminster parliament.

She was elected to the first Dail Eireann in Ireland as a Minister for labour. Lissadell house pays tribute to her bravery in helping Ireland become a free state, it’s one of the coolest places to visit in Sligo!

Visit the Yeats Building

w b yeats
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The Yeats building has a large collection of the works of the famous man. Yeats of course was one of the best poets to ever place a pen on paper, he was a gifted poet in lots of ways.

The Yeats building is part of the Yeats Society, the house has over there a thousand books. The house has some wonderful exhibitions to see, one called “Hyde Bridge Gallery” and “Yeats in the West”. The building houses a summer school. It’s definitely one if you’re into poetry or literature!!!

Visit Carrowmore

Carrowmore tombs
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If you wanna see some prehistoric passage tombs, Sligo is the place to see them. This amazing set of megalithic monuments in the Cuil Iris Pennisula was built in the fourth millennium, way back in the Neolithic period. This site is one of the oldest in all of the Emerald Isle. The postcode for Carrowmore is F91 E638.

The site consists of 30 old monuments that still exist, the kissing stone is in the best condition.  Carrowmore is one of the largest collections of megalithic tombs in the whole of Europe.

Carrowmore is a large collection of stone that forms a circle, with chambers that were used for human burials. Some of the tombs are 5,000 years old, and evidence of buried bodies was found at the site. It is a very interesting site and one of the oldest things to see in Sligo.

Check out some nice beaches!

beaches sligo Ireland
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If you’re up for a swim or just a nice stroll on a sandy Irish beach well your in luck because Sligo has plenty of nice beaches. Rosses Point Beach is located eight kilometres from Sligo town.

The beach is classified as a blue flag beach and is on the stunning North West Coast of the Emerald Isle. The area inspired the famous artist Jack B Yeats, to do some of his famous paintings.

There are loads of activities to do at Rosses Point Beach and surrounding areas, swimming, water sports and angling just to mention a few. You can take a boat trip out to Coney Island from Rosses Point Pier, tis a great way to spend a few hours exploring the island!  

The surrounding landscape is amazing to see and if you are lucky to be there on a nice day. You just take a look around from the beach with the Benbullen mountain range in the distance. It’s another amazing beach and location in Ireland that you will just love!!!

Check out my post here on Celtic Symbols of Ireland Explained!

I hope you find this post useful, I welcome any questions or suggestions by email to


John C

All Things Ireland

John C

Hey, my name is John Conway and I love travelling around Ireland. I have a passion for All Things Ireland. I love the Emerald Isle! I love Guinness and green fields!

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