Well, you all know how much I love our journeys around Ireland but this week’s destination is particularly special for me. Sligo is without doubt my favorite county in Ireland. I’ve been coming here for weekends and holidays for the past 20 years and it truly is my home away from home. Actually it’s more than that. It’s my getaway, a sanctuary where I can re-charge and relax. I can’t quite put my finger on it but there’s something truly magical about this place and this week I’m going to take you for an unforgettable day trip. Let’s get started!
1. A Swim At Streedagh Beach
Just look at that magnificent strand! This was taken a couple of weeks ago and the weather was glorious. And yes -I’m one of those people who likes to swim in the Atlantic Ocean, whatever the weather! Always bracing but ultimately rejuvenating, this is the perfect way to start the day. After facing those Atlantic waves you feel truly alive and ready for anything. (and if the thoughts of it are too much to bear-just go for a pick me up paddle!)
I always have one of my favorite Aran Sweaters with me from The Irish Store. Instant coziness and warmth after my bracing dip!
Of course Lucy has to come too. She just loves her walks on the beach!
Check out our Streedagh Aran Gilet from our recent Summer Collection
So after our morning dip in the sea followed by a hearty Irish breakfast, it’s time for a walk. Don’t worry, we’re not going to climb the mighty Benbulben today-we’ve too much to pack in! We’ll just go for a gentle stroll in the foothills of my favorite Irish mountain. This shot was taken on that same beautiful day. The rhododendrons were in full bloom giving the mountainside a purple hue-absolutely stunning. There’s quite a show of Irish wildflowers on display at this time of year and foxgloves, daisies, buttercups and bog cotton are in glorious abundance. I always bring home a bouquet for the dinner table.
What I love about this walk is that as well as stunning mountain and ocean views, you get the added bonus of lush woodlands too. The walk that keeps on giving!
3. Lunch at Hargadons
Time to pop into Sligo town for a bowl of chowder and a glass of Guinness at Hargadons pub, a Sligo institution. Established in 1868, stepping inside is like stepping back in time and the welcome is always warm. There’s always a great atmosphere here and in 2015.the 150th anniversary of the birth of W.B Yeats, people recited one of his poems at the pub on every single day of the year. Speaking of Yeats and while we’re in town, we must pay a visit to his statue.
This striking and unusual representation of Sligo’s most famous son was unveiled on the 50th anniversary of the poets death in 1989. It stands outside the Ulster Bank building which according to Yeats bore a striking resemblance to the Royal Palace in Stockholm. He received his Nobel Prize for literature there in 1923.
4. Lissadell House
We’re heading north of Sligo town now to the stunning Lissadell House on the south shore of Magherow peninsula. Built in 1830 for Sir Robert Gore Booth, it was the childhood home of Constance (later Countess Markievicz) and Eva Gore Booth and as a frequent visitor to the house, Yeats befriended the sisters. They both feature in his famous poem ” Lissadell”
“The light of evening, Lissadell,
Great windows open to the south,
Two girls in silk kimonos, both
Beautiful, one a gazelle”
Today you can follow in their footsteps and take a guided tour of this beautifully restored house. The setting is beautiful, sweeping down to the Atlantic with surrounding woodlands and Benbulben creating a magnificent backdrop. The gardens are also a sight to behold.
5. Drumcliff Church
And now to Drumcliff church and the final resting place of W.B Yeats. It was his wish to be laid to rest in the heart of the mystical landscape that inspired much of his beautiful poetry.
Here you will also find a stunning example of a high cross, believed to date back to the 11th century. The detail is amazing and it’s easy to see why ancient monuments such as this continue to inspire Celtic Jewelry design to this day.
6. A Seaweed Bath
Well we’ve certainly packed alot in today so it’s time to relax before dinner. And this is the ultimate way to unwind. Perched on the edge of the Atlantic in Enniscrone, Kilcullen’s Bathhouse opened for business in 1912 and 5 generations later, it’s more popular than ever. After a relaxing steam, soak in a heated bath full of Atlantic seawater and iodine-rich rejuvenating seaweed. Aches, pains, cares and worries just float away and the sense of well-being afterwards is nothing less than blissful!
Well we’ve come to the final stop on our Sligo day trip. I’m thinking a gentle stroll on the gorgeous strand at Mullaghmore and a mouth – watering seafood dinner at Eithne’s restaurant. The perfect end to a perfect day. We’ll certainly sleep tonight!
It’s been such a pleasure to show you around my favorite places in my beloved county Sligo.
See you next week,
Slán go fóill!
The Irish Store Founder
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