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Archaeologists believe that Sligo may have been the first place in Ireland to have been inhabited by humans and there are certainly lots of signs of Stone Age man’s activities. The megalithic tombs at Carrowmore are enormous with 30 surviving monuments, many of which are connected by sunken passageways. It is linked to the almost as impressive Carrowkeel tombs in the south of the county - both are suffused with the myths of the ancient gods and demons of Irish folklore.
Sligo became a county in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, but the county town was a centre of dissent against English rule. The county was colonised by settlers after the 1641 uprising and several 18th and 19th century country estates survive, including Coopershill House, Hazelwood House, Annaghmore, Marktree Castle and Lissadell House, which was home to Countess Constance Markievicz, who was a rebel leader during the 1916 Uprising.
Yeats was stimulated by the dramatic profile of Benbulben Mountain, part of the Dartry mountain range, a giant limestone table that is laced with precipices and cliffs. Knocknarea Mountain is less impressive from a distance, but the presence of a cairn at the peak has made it a place of pilgrimage for generations of Irish folklorists. The cairn is believed to be the resting place of Queen Maeve of Connacht, and experts believe the 30 feet high stone pile covers a passage tomb similar to Carrowmore.
The Mullaghmore peninsula is just below Benbulben and is world famous for its enormous surf waves and spectacular sandy beaches. Further down the coast is Strandhill which is good for windsurfing.
Lough Gill is the home of Innisfree, immortalised by Yeats in his poem, The Lake Isle of Innisfree, and although the island is not accessible there are several boat tours that offer a close inspection.
In addition to the surfing at Strandhill and Mullaghmore, Sligo has lots more watersports available – windsurfing, angling, kayaking, canoeing and sea fishing from several spots along the Atlantic coast. Dry land has lots on offer too – walks around Sligo Town, the Dartry mountain range, the Wild Atlantic Way, Bunduff Lake and to the thundering Glencar Waterfall. Cyclists have a good selection of routes around Lough Gill and the Atlantic coast, and golfers have 9-hole and 18-hole courses to choose from. And for a unique experience, you can even have a brush with an eagle at a sanctuary in Ballymote.
Sligo Town has weekly Yeats events and celebrates Yeats Day on 13 June every year. Visitors can also find the Sligo Food Festival every June, a walking festival every May, as well as the three-day Cos Cos Sean Nos Irish song and dance festival in May. For crafts and Irish arts, Sligo Town is the place to be – ceramics, basket weaving and knitwear are all available.
This family-friendly Sligo hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Model Arts and Niland Gallery, OConnell Street, and Quayside Shopping Centre. Sligo County Museum and Yeats Memorial Building are also within 1 mi (2 km).
Situated in Sligo, this hotel is steps from Model Arts and Niland Gallery and Sligo Abbey. Sligo County Museum and Yeats Memorial Building are also within 10 minutes.
Situated on a river, this hotel is steps from Yeats Memorial Building, OConnell Street, and Sligo County Museum. Quayside Shopping Centre and Famine Memorial are also within 5 minutes.
This family-friendly Ballincar hotel is located by the ocean, within 3 mi (5 km) of Famine Memorial, OConnell Street and Quayside Shopping Centre. Sligo County Museum and Yeats Memorial Building are also within 3 mi (5 km).
Located in the heart of Sligo, this hotel is steps from Famine Memorial, Yeats Memorial Building, and Quayside Shopping Centre. OConnell Street and Sligo County Museum are also within 5 minutes.
Situated near the beach, this spa hotel is within a 15-minute walk of County Sligo Golf Club and Rosses Point Beach. Famine Memorial and Drumcliffe Church are also within 6 mi (10 km).
This family-friendly Sligo hotel is located in the suburbs, within 1 mi (2 km) of Hawks Well Theatre and Sligo Abbey. OConnell Street and Quayside Shopping Centre are also within 2 mi (3 km).
Nestled on the beach, this Enniscrone hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Enniscrone Beach and Enniscrone Golf Club. Ballina Golf Course and St. Muredach's Cathedral are also within 9 mi (15 km).