Sligo is a county of extraordinary beauty and vivid contrast in its lakes and woodland, bogs, mountains and rivers. There’s poetry in them hills.
Things to do
No mention of Sligo would be complete without including it’s cultural and literary associations. Her star pupil is W.B. Yeats. Winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, driving force behind the Irish Literary Revival, co-founder of the Abbey Theatre and two term Senator, the poet is currently enjoying a well deserved rest in Drumcliff, at the foot of the beautiful Ben Bulben mountain. Poet chasers might also want to visit the ‘Lake Isle of Innisfree’, the small island immortalized in his famous poem.
A genius of a different sort was recognized by Sligo town in 2005 with the unveiling of a plaque honoring Spike Milligan, god-father of alternative comedy. For fans, the plaque can be found at number 5, Holborn Street, the birthplace of his father.
Erecting monuments to the deceased has a long tradition in Sligo, as demonstrated by the megalithic tombs at Carrowmore. Pre-dating Newgrange by 700 years, the site (dating between 4000 and 3500 BC) is the largest in Ireland and a humbling way to spend an afternoon.
Fast forward 5000 years or thereabouts and visit Sligo Abbey, the only remaining medieval building in Sligo town, and the rumored inspiration for Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula. The rumors were started by his mother who grew up in the town.
Add to that the glassy lakes, glorious mountains and the Beach Bar at Aughris Head and it would seem rude not to visit Sligo.
Hidden Ireland Historic Country Guest Houses
Bed and Breakfast
Temple House is one of the ﬁnest estates in the west of Ireland. The great house, which was remodeled in 1864, nestles in a wooded demesne, looking out over the Knights Templar castle to Templehouse Lake. Despite its vast size this is a comfortable, welcoming family home with many original contents. The owners are Roderick and Helena Perceval, whose family has lived here since 1665. Temple House is surrounded by an area of outstanding natural beauty, with beaches, mountains and numerous sites of archaeological interest. A working sheep farm, it is a haven for the outdoor enthusiast, with boating on a private lake and miles of lovely woodland walks.
Temple House Gardener’s Cottage
This lovely Victorian building, with steeply pitched gables and tall chimneys, has recently been extensively restored to provide comfortable accommodation for up to four couples. There are gardens, magnificent parkland, a splendid Victorian mansion with outbuildings, yards and stables, a working farm, a vast lake andmile uponmile of wonderful woodland walks.