County Sligo is in Northwest Ireland and Lakelands. Sligo is often overlooked but most visitors can understand the slogan 'Sligo is surprising'. It is a small county but densely packed with scenery and cultural interest
County Sligo is named after the main town in the county, Sligo, which in turn gets it's name from the Irish (Gaelic) Sligeach, which means Shelly River or Shelly Place.
Sligo in Irish mythology
(For more information on Irish mythology, see Irish Mythology page on Wikipedia )
Most of Sligo's population speak English but, as with most parts of Ireland, there are different accents in different parts of the county. For example, some of the people from Sligo town (sometimes derogatorily known as townies) speak in an accent which tends to slur vowels and lengthen words, e.g., 'haows ih goooin?'(how is it going?, meaning how are you doing?).
Much of the landsape of Sligo features in the poetry of W.B.Yeats (The Stolen Child, The Fiddler of Dooney) and the poet is buried, as he wished in Drumcliffe, north of Sligo town. There is an annual Yeats Summer School which attracts writers and students from all over the world, but many other visitors enjoy the insights the poet has given into the landscape.
For lovers of traditional music, the more remote southern part of the county has given rise to a strong fiddle tradition, while in recent years the bands, Dervish and Westlife, from Sligo town, have become internationally famous.
Spike Milligan's father was from Sligo.
There is a small airport at Strandhill (7 km west of Sligo town), with direct daily flights to and from Dublin and Manchester and an international airport, Ireland West Airport Knock(55 km south of Sligo town) between Charlestown and Knock, just over the county border in Mayo.
There is a railway from Sligo to Dublin (135 miles) which takes a little over three hours and usually has a shop or snack trolley on board. It costs between €25.50 and €36 for an adult single or return ticket. There are eight trains running each way daily, from Dublin Connolly Station to Sligo Station at 7.05AM, 9.05AM, 11.05AM, 1.05PM, 3.05PM, 4PM, 5.05PM and 7.05PM.
135 miles to Dublin on the N4 road and also to Belfast (take the M1, then the A4, which becomes the N16 when you cross the border into the Republic of Ireland). 90 miles to Galway on the N17 road.
From Galway, Limerick, Derry, Donegal, Dublin.
Sligo town is small enough to walk from one end to the other in an hour. Garys Cycles down by the river's edge rents bicycles. There are buses which run from the main bus station to Strandhill and Rosses point (small nearby coastal towns) regularly, as well as a city service around the town.
In August you might like to join in the annual Warrior's Run, in Strandhill. It starts from the seashore, up Knocknarea and back.
It should be possible to take a boat trip on Lough Gill. There is a passenger craft which will take you to Parkes Castle, near Dromahair, County Leitrim, or you could hire a boat and make your way where you will.
Strandhill is a noted surfing beach. Be warned, however, that there are treacherous currents here, and swimming is prohibited.
There are many B&Bs throughout the county, plenty of main stream hotels, a fair few hostels. By far the strangest and most eclectic place to stay in Sligo, in the North West, perhaps in the whole of Ireland is the GYREUM ECOLODGE. This is a 100 foot wide hilltop ringfort aligned to 3 solar events, with views over 5 counties and Lough Arrow. It is 3 miles east of Castlebaldwin. Individual hostellers can stay in it hostel style or doubles too and also caters for large groups.