City Guide to Sligo

Sligo is one of the largest towns in Ireland, and is the county town of County Sligo and the regional capital of the northwest of Ireland. The area has been inhabited since neolithic times, but the modern town was founded in the Norman era, when the knight Maurice Fitzgerald built Sligo Castle in 1245.

With the breathtaking natural beauty that surrounds it, and its historical and cultural importance, the town has become a very popular tourist destination.

Sport in Sligo

The most popular sport in Sligo town is football, and local team Sligo Rovers has played at the Showgrounds stadium since they were established in 1928. Gaelic Games are also popular, with three GAA clubs in the region.

Surfing is a very popular pastime in Sligo, and there are several clubs offering lessons to beginners, as well as catering for more experienced surfers. There are two golf courses in the area, and horse racing is held at Sligo Racecourse several times a year.

Shopping in Sligo

Sligo has been called the shopping capital of the northwest, and with its heady mix of independent and traditional Irish shops alongside multinational chains, it is not hard to see why. The quaint streets and lanes of the town centre are home to an eclectic mix of shops, while the two shopping centres in the town, Quayside and Johnston Court, feature a wide selection of high street brands. A little further out of town, Cleveragh Retail Park and Carraroe Retail Park offer prospective shoppers even more choice.

Food and Drink in Sligo

Sligo has a huge selection of restaurants, pubs and cafes, serving everything from traditional Irish fare to international fine cuisine. Even the most particular food lover will find something to tickle the taste buds here.

Things to do in Sligo

Sligo has a healthy nightlife, with a number of nightclubs and late bars, many of them along the riverside. The town also has many pubs and music venues where you can enjoy live music, both traditional and contemporary.

The dramatic landscapes around Sligo inspired that great Irish poet, William Butler Yeats, and one of his best known poems, ‘The Lake Isle of Innisfree’ was written about an uninhabited island in Lough Gill, a beautiful freshwater lake near Sligo, which is well worth a visit.

If you enjoy hill walking amidst stunning views then you owe it to yourself to climb one of the mountains around Sligo. Knocknarea, to the west, is topped by a neolithic cairn, said to be the final resting place of Queen Maeve, an important figure in local mythology. Ben Bulben to the north is a slightly more ambitious climb, but also offers spectacular views and unusual flora and fauna.

There are some incredible beaches a stone’s throw from Sligo town, including Strandhill, Culleenamore, Enniscrone, Mullaghmore and Rosses Point. Between Strandhill and Rosses Point lies the tiny Coney Island, which can only be reached by land at low tide.

The county boasts over 5,000 archeological sites, most notably the Carrowmore Megalithic Cemetery, so you shouldn’t be short of things to see!

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