What To See & Where to Eat in County Sligo

IMG_6442Last week we spent a few days exploring Sligo and it was absolutely stunning. Thomas planned out all the details of the trip, so I went along with no expectations and was pleasantly surprised by the gorgeous landscape that awaited us--the fact that we were spoiled with sunny, warm weather made the trip that much better. We stayed in Rosses Point; a cute seaside village placed on the end of a tiny peninsula with sweeping views of the nearby islands and mountains on both sides. County Sligo was filled with some of the most striking landscapes I've seen in Ireland and for fellow visitors, it's wonderful how much variety is packed into a relatively small geographic area. Although we were only there for a couple of days we were able to visit towering cliffs, tiny islands, sandy beaches, a castle, a traditional cairn, etc. It was a lovely trip, the kind of trip I enjoyed so much I abandoned my camera for most of it! So these pictures are actually taken with my phone, but I thought it was worth sharing a few here with some of our highlights from the trip.
433E5956-B28F-4BE6-8DCF-7900B68E1C25 F769B988-1203-424B-A2CA-437BB5803D5B 30DE9740-E0AA-400E-955C-D3F4844E97C8One of Sligo's greatest claims to fame is as the birthplace of poet William Butler Yeats. The scenery of this county fits his writing style perfectly. Watching the sunset turn the mountains shades of purple and blue it's easy to hear the whispers of, "where dips the rocky highland, of sleuth wood in the lake, there lies a leafy island...come away oh human child! To the waters and the wild!" Yeats is also buried here, beside this swan-doored church and only a stone's throw away from a 10th century round tower. It's a fittingly romantic resting place for the iconic poet.
6DEE62C6-1B74-42F2-9EA4-1C2EA6143665IMG_6443Another area notable for Yeat's poetry is Lough Gill, it is the setting for the famous poem The Lake Isle of Innisfree: "...and I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow, Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings; There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow, And evening full of the linnet’s wings." In season, boats run from the dock beside Parke's Castle to Innisfree island. We didn't make the boat trip this time, but we did explore Parke's Castle; a plantation era style that rather reminded one of Beauty and the Beast (the style here is more typical of French castles than Irish ones). While the castle was quite lovely I actually enjoyed the informative video they showed in one of the rooms the most. It covered a significant portion of Irish history through various stone structures and traditions; it was really interesting learning a bit more about stone circles, cairns, and even swearing stones.
ABF41A7C-E493-44B4-AC04-98670B0927B3IMG_6438A trip to Ireland isn't complete without a visit to a traditional pub and Sligo had several options. At Rosses Point, Harry's Bar was a fun nautical themed pub with great ambiance with plenty of locals; it was ideal for relaxed evenings re-living the events of the day. But perhaps the cutest pub we stopped at on this trip was Hargadon Bros in the city of Sligo. Full of dark wood and quirky nooks, this pub was a real feast for the eyes and felt like stepping back in time. We stopped in for lunch and the food was excellent; all of the ingredients are sourced locally and organically when possible.
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Hope you enjoyed this more casual post from our trip around Sligo! 


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