The Knocknarea Tour
The Glen, in the summer, this is where you go down the rabbit hole and follow the muddy trail that brings you into The Glen. There are no signposts and no explanations for this natural wonder. It’s in a place where Knocknarea falls out of the sky and heads towards the Sea. A natural event, perhaps an earthquake, has gouged a deep grassy channel out of the rock, and over the past centuries huge trees have grown tall in the centre. When you walk into the gorge the sound drops away and everything becomes still and hushed. Water trickles down its walls and the green cathedral like space gives a feeling of being cut off from any sense of time. This is a little piece of magic in the Sligo hinterland, and all the better for being that little bit somewhat difficult to find.
Next we travel the scenic route to Strandhill which is a very picturesque village situated 8 kilometres west of Sligo town between the Atlantic Ocean and the towering slopes of Knocknarea Mountain. There are miles of golden sandy beaches and some gigantic sand dunes to explore. You may be lucky enough to experience the unforgettable views of Atlantic sunsets. High Atlantic surges provide the best surfing in Europe and it is an International Surfing Championship Venue. In the centre of Strandhill you will find the Seaweed Baths and on the outskirts there is an 18-hole golf course which is playable all year round. Molly’s Cottage is a 200 year old Traditional Irish Thatched cottage open to the public.
Next we head to Ballysadare or (Baile Easa Dara ) meaning settlement of the oak by the Waterfall is 7 kilometres from Sligo on the N59 Ballina road. There was massive economic growth during what was referred to as “The Celtic Tiger” boom years. Many new housing developments were built, several of which now lay empty, creating phantom estates. The town boasts a beautiful River and a small Waterfall and the river is a haven for Salmon and Trout anglers.
From Ballysadare we travel out the N59 to Aughris, Easkey and Inishcrone. Passing the villages of Beltra and Dromard we take the next left up to Lake Achree (from the Gaelic for “The Heart Lake”). When you are ready we head up to Lady’s Bray and see the Panoramic views of Sligo and the surrounding areas. Back on the N59 again we take the next right for Aughris. Aughris Head provides breathtaking views of Benbulben and Knocknarea. The natural beauty and coastline here offer pure tranquility and it is another walker’s paradise with beach walks and hill walks Aughris Beach Bar suitable for all the family. In the evening you can retire to the Beach Bar which is a Traditional Irish Thatched Pub and Restaurant.