If you are making your own way down we will meet you at the Glasshouse hotel for 13:00
Sligo – the county of WB Yeats, Ben Bulben, the Wild Atlantic Way, Lissadell House, Queen Maeve’s Tomb, Carrowmore and much more… This walking weekend in Sligo offers a great variety of walks with summits, foothills, coastal walks and lakeside walks and other forms of entertainment!
We will be staying at the Glasshouse in Sligo, a great small vibrant town in the west of Ireland. It is the part of Ireland where WB Yeats spent a lot of his childhood and is known as Yeat’s country.
The impressive looking Benbulben mountain sits to the north of Sligo over looking the coastline, Sligo town and Drumcliffe. Sligo is spoiled with wonderful scenery and incredible beaches, and is a world renowned location for surfing. There are some of Ireland’s most impressive megalithic tombs such as Carrowmore which date back to more than 2000 B.C. It is also steeped in Irish Legend and mythology with Queen Maeve’s tomb and the caves of Diarmuid and Grainne.
We have designed this walking weekend to try show you the best that Sligo has to offer.
We will meet up at the Molly Malone statue on Suffolk Street at 9am to make our way to Sligo. We are staying at the Luxury 4 star Glasshouse Hotel; it is located right in the heart of the town, beside the Garravogue River. We are based here for two nights with breakfast and an evening meal. There are plenty of shops, pubs and cultural offerings on our doorstep.
On our arrival we can leave our bags at the hotel and travel to Strandhill, a seaside resort famous for its beaches and seaweed baths. Here we will begin our first easy walk of Knocknarea, which is topped by Queen Maeve’s Tomb (Ancient Celtic Queen of Connacht) the largest cairn in Ireland and unexcavated. It is said that Queen Maeve is buried here standing up and facing her enemies of Ulster.
After completing our walk, there is an option of a Seaweed bath (additional cost of €25). Your skin and joints will thank you and it is a real “Sligo” thing!
or you can visit to the Carrowmore Tombs.
You can also decide to just enjoy a walk along strand beach.
While waiting for the bathing beauties, we can take refuge in the Strand Bar where we will have a reserved space for our dinner – this place does excellent pizzas and a non-pizza option will be available – this is at your own expense!
The bus will then convey us back to Sligo at an appropriate hour.
Day 2: Choice of walk, Ben Bulben, Lissadell House, WB Yeats grave.
Ben Bulben Walk: Distance approx 10Km, Ascent: 380m Time: 3-4hrs
After a hearty breakfast our bus will pick us up and take us to our walking locations. One group will walk up Ben Bulben, the iconic mountain that dominates the landscape. This is subject to weather conditions, and there have been issues regarding access that seem to have been resolved, but it is not a public right of way. As the bus may not be able to go up the narrow roads giving access to Luke’s Bridge, be prepared for a “warm up” on some roads before hitting the bog!
The alternative walk for those who don’t like steep slopes and wet bogs is the renowned Gleniff Horseshoe. This is a flat 10 km walk with stunning views of the Dartry Mountain Range. The start and end point of this walk is a pub, so if you arrive back early you can relax after your refreshing walk. Of interest on this loop is Ireland’s largest and highest cave where Diarmuid and Grainne are alleged to have spent some time – this is on private land and is 300 m up a tough slope so we can admire it from below!
After collecting both groups we will travel together to Lissadell House.
Lissadell, is the childhood home of Constance Markievicz, the first woman elected to the British House of Commons and Irish Revolutionary. This is a handsome large house with a fascinating history, and is well worth a visit. Recent famous visitors have included Leonard Cohen, the Irish Cabinet, and Charles and Camilla, and now us!
As well as a house tour, we will have the opportunity to walk down to the recently restored Alpine Gardens and down onto the beach with glorious views across the water to Ben Bulben.
On our way back to the Hotel we will take a short stop en route, at Drumcliffe graveyard, to pay homage to the poet WB Yeats.
We can then freshen before enjoying a sumptuous three course meal,(included in cost)
Day 3: Lough Gill and Slish woods walk
We will check out of our hotel and take our coach to Slish Woods for a gorgeous 10 km walk along the shores of Lough Gill with its many islands including the famous “Lake Isle of Innisfree”. You can quote your favourite Yeats poems as we walk!
This walk is the last stretch of the Sligo Way, ending in Dromahair (Co Leitrim!).
Then we make our way back to Dublin after a full weekend of walking, exploring and relaxing in one of Ireland’s finest counties.
What to Bring
Here is a short list of extras you will need to bring along for this walking weekend.
N.B. Ireland’s climate is of a moderate type and suited to walking all year round. Although it is quite changeable so starting a walk on a fine clear morning may not be the case for the afternoon.
Hill walking Boots
Rucksack for walks (25L)
Walking Trousers (Not Jeans)
Waterproofs (Just in Case)
Thermal top / T-shirt (Not Cotton)
About the walks and fitness levels:
All the walks are taken at a pace to suit the group.
The groups can have a mixed level of fitness and age usually.
If the weather is to bad on a certain day to do the suggested walk, then the guide will suggest an alternative one.
The Guide will have the final say on the day of the chosen walk for the safety of the group.
The Accommodation: The Glasshouse Hotel
• All bedrooms are en-suite with bath & shower, tea & coffee making facilities, iron & ironing board and hairdryer.
• A comfortable lounge area, fine dining restaurant with seasonal & locally sourced food produce..
• There are free limited basement car parking, otherwise there are very reasonable pay and display parking adjacent to the hotel.
1 evening meal is included as part of the tour
Breakfasts are included and there is a wide selection to choose from including a Full Irish, fruit, cereals etc.
Lunches for the walks: We will stop in the mornings at Delis or shops to get these.
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