Guide to Sligo
There is an irresistible elemental feeling to Sligo. You can practically taste the salt on the fresh Atlantic air that streams through the streets while the Garavogue River rumbles and churns its way down Sligo’s riverfront. Sligo has a magnificently wild setting on the Atlantic coast with monolithic Ben Bulben mountain as a striking backdrop to the north and Queen Maeve’s Grave atop Knocknorea to the south.
It’s no surprise that perhaps the greatest poet of the 20th century, W.B. Yeats, drew much of his inspiration from north Sligo. The area continues to produce and attract artists and musicians such as traditional band Dervish, singer songwriter Kieran Goss and Steve Wickham of the Waterboys. A must see on any visit is the bronze statue of W.B. Yeats, located outside the Ulster bank on Stephen Street in Sligo, engraved with excerpts of the poets most famous works. He would be surely pleased that The Model contemporary arts centre is just a 5 minute walk away and houses a superb collection of works by his father John, and brother Jack B. There is also a café, restaurant and gift shop to while away a relaxing afternoon.
Its easy to get around Sligo as a pedestrian so park up that car. Sligo is a busy shopping towns at the weekend with all the main stores such as Penney’s, Dunnes and T.K. Maxx all conveniently located. Call into Michael Quirke’s craft shop on Wine Street for a refreshingly different experience. Michael is a wood carver and loves to chat with visitors.
Sligo Abbey is just a sort walk from the town centre and offers insight into the town’s turbulent history.
The choice of restaurants, bistros and coffee shops in Sligo is second to none. You could spend a week in Sligo and still discover more great places to eat. Limoncello Sardinian Restaurant, The Embassy Wine Bar and Grill, Classic India, Coach Lane at Donaghys, Montmartre, Eala Bhan and Henrys are just a few that stand out.
Sligo has a great traditional and folk music scene. In fact, the town is fast becoming the live music capital of the North West. Foleys Pub on Castle Street and Furey’s Pub down by the riverfront, both host regular traditional music sessions. Mc Garrigles is one of Sligo’s most famous pubs and offers good pub grub, a relaxed bohemian vibe and tons of live music gigs. Sligo really comes alive in October when students have returned to college and the Sligo Live music festival explodes into sound with over 100 performances from Folks, Roots and Indie artists from around the world.
The picturesque seaside villages of Strandhill and Rosses Point are a short drive from Sligo. Strandhill is popular with surfers and it’s possible to take lessons and hire equipment from the Strandhill Surf shop. Rosses Point has a mini-resort style feel during the summer months with a promenade, amusement arcades and a championship golf course.
There are a number of B&B guesthouses in Sligo offering great value stays and genuine Irish hospitality. Your B&B hosts will only be too happy to share their local knowledge and help you plan an unforgettable holiday or weekend break in Sligo.