Sligo, on the Northwest of Ireland is a thriving part of the country and popular Irish tourist destination. An area of stunning natural beauty with ties to Irish Nobel Prize winning poet and playwright W.B. Yeats, County Sligo attracts many visitors who are drawn to explore it on foot.
This blog covers some of the fantastic walks in and around Sligo and further afield. Whether you just want an easy lakeside stroll or a more hardcore hike, you are sure to find a walking tour in Sligo to suit you.
Tour Sligo town
The best way to start is with a walking tour of the town centre. Known as Sligo Town, it is the largest town in the North West and has a rich history and many attractive landmarks. This Sligo urban walk is graded as easy, and all you need is some comfortable trainers or walking shoes. A map of the walking tour route is available at the tourist office on O’Connell Street.
You can do a loop of the town in about 1.5 hours and in length it’s approximately 4.5 kilometres. On your journey you can see historic sites such as Sligo Abbey that was built around 1252 as well as the bronze statue of W.B. Yeats which is located on the Hyde Bridge. Why not break up your walking tour with a drink or snack at one of Sligo’s cosy pubs, a great way to keep your energy up.
Enjoy a scenic lakeside walk
If you fancy taking in a bit of culture on your walk a great place to try is the Hazelwood Sculpture Trail, five kilometres from Sligo Town at Half Moon Bay. Walkers will be surrounded by spectacular lakeside scenery and a series of outdoor sculptures created by Irish and international artists from across the world.
This nature trail in Sligo is 3.2 kilometres and is suitable for all fitness levels with different routes available along the way. There is also bench seating along the lakeside and a lovely picnic area to enjoy a peaceful lunch.
See ancient ruins on a forest walk
Enjoy a walk with history at Deer Park which is located about 7 kilometres east of Sligo in the Calry area. Also known as Court Tomb Loop, this walk is graded moderate, and once the first section (which is the toughest) is completed you’ll enjoy great views over Lough Gill.
Dating back to 3,000 BC, the tombs at Deer Park have three internal burial chambers and are considered by many to be one of the most impressive burial ruins in Ireland.
Walk the Sligo Way
If you are looking for a more challenging long distance walk then exploring the Sligo Way is a must. Starting at Lough Talt on the Sligo/Mayo border (R294) it goes for about 80 kilometres following the line of the Ox Mountains, finishing at Dromahair in Co. Leitrim. For those keen to do the entire Sligo Way trail it is estimated to take about three days, however can be broken up into sections to suit all types of walkers and timeframes.
Stunning views of Ireland
When walking the Sligo Way you will see all kinds of landscapes from mountain views, tranquil country roads and woodlands to rugged terrain and forest tracks. The flora and fauna is fascinating, with everything from blackthorn, fox glove and heather to primrose to see. And make sure you keep an eye out for fallow deer and peregrine falcons and other wildlife.
Fans of W.B. Yeats will want to walk the last leg of the Sligo Way. This final section takes you through pretty Slish Wood to Dromahair; here you will see Innisfree, a beautiful island made famous in Yeats’ poem ‘The Lake Isle of Innisfree’.
Book holiday accommodation in County Sligo
When booking your holiday accommodation in Ireland you’ll want to stay somewhere stylish, comfortable yet still within easy access to great walks and attractions. The Radisson Blu Hotel & Spa, Sligo is set in an idyllic countryside location that has stunning views yet is only 3 kilometres to Sligo town centre, giving you the best of both worlds.
When you’re not exploring the beauty of County Sligo on foot you can relax in the hotel bar or dine in the award-winning restaurant. For some serious R&R have a treatment in our in-house deluxe spa, the perfect way to enjoy some holiday pampering.
After exploring beautiful Sligo on foot, you will understand why W.B. Yeats was inspired by its landscape and scenery in so many of his works. Enjoy walking in Sligo.