Enjoy weekend pursuits galore in cultural Sligo

I want to surprise my wife with a weekend break in Ireland but I can’t decide where to take her. We love Irish history so somewhere cultural is a must but we also enjoy being outdoors. Can you recommend where to go and what to see and do while we are there?

I want to surprise my wife with a weekend break in Ireland but I can’t decide where to take her. We love Irish history so somewhere cultural is a must but we also enjoy being outdoors. Can you recommend where to go and what to see and do while we are there?

If you are looking for a destination at home that has plenty of history and culture then you really are spoiled for choice. The beautiful town of Sligo with its dramatic backdrop of Benbulben, is a lovely location for a weekend break and combines some great historical sites with truly stunning surroundings.

Sligo offers a unique destination with its world class beaches, rolling green hills and magical woodlands. The county has so much to offer whatever your interests may be, from water sports and golf to seaweed baths and horse riding. Sligo’s cultural and literary heritage is world famous. You can enjoy the myths and legends of ancient Ireland, the poetry of Yeats and the music of Coleman, Westlife and Dervish.

If you are familiar with the poetry of W.B Yeats, it will come as no surprise that the town’s variety of cultural attractions such as the Sligo County Museum, the Model Arts & Niland Gallery and Sligo Art Gallery are dominated by the Yeats brothers. In the galleries are works by Jack B Yeats, one of Ireland’s foremost painters. While the museum houses an exhibition on his world renowned brother, W.B. Yeats, and includes the poet’s Nobel Prize Medal.

This may seem strange but when in Sligo a visit to the graveyard at Drumcliffe is a must. Here you will find the grave of W.B. Yeats which is a popular attraction for poetry lovers and contains the well known epitaph penned by the poet himself reading; “Cast a cold eye on life, on death. Horseman, pass by.”

Sligo is also a great destination for walkers. You will find a variety of coastal paths, mountain hikes and strolls which are ideal for beginners to the most seasoned hikers. History lovers will not be disappointed either as there is over 5,000 archaeological sites including the massive megalithic grave complex at Carrowkeel which is worth a visit as it will give you a true sense of the history behind this county.

By day Sligo is a bustling town with shops and boutiques to cater for every taste and price range. The town also has a vibrant theatre tradition with the Hawk’s Well Theatre, one of the oldest regional theatres in the country, and the Blue Raincoat Theatre Company, a professional ensemble based at The Factory Performance Space.

At night Sligo has a number of well known pubs and restaurants where you can enjoy some traditional music. One of the best known in the town is Hargadon Bros, with its dark interior, old wooden snugs and 19th Century bar fittings. For live music one of the best bars is Furey’s, owned by Irish traditional band Dervish, an excellent cosy venue for a traditional session. Restaurants around the town offer an extensive range of local seafood as well as speciality dishes accompanied by refreshing ales and fine wines.

Where to Stay

The Glasshouse (****)

Prices start from €79 per room per night on Hotels.com

*Prices are subject to availability at the time of booking.

This fabulous four-star hotel towers dramatically over the Garravogue River in the heart of Sligo. The exterior of the hotel is shaped like a ship in dock and this quirky style continues inside to create a purely unique feel. For a fine meal the Kitchen Restaurant provides a menu to suit everyone and you can relax with a drink in the hotel’s View Bar.

Sligo Park Hotel (****)

Prices start from €66 per room per night on Hotels.com

*Prices are subject to availability at the time of booking.

This contemporary four-star hotel is just a short distance from the centre of Sligo and is close to Hawks Well Theatre, Sligo Cathedral and Sligo Abbey. Relax and unwind at the hotel spa which is complete with a health club, indoor pool, spa, steam room and sauna. You can choose to dine in the hotel restaurant, coffee shop or bar.

Clarion Hotel (****)

Prices start from €70 per room per night on Hotels.com

*Prices are subject to availability at the time of booking.

The four-star Clarion Hotel is set in one of Sligo’s historic buildings and is situated just a short walk from the town centre. The hotel has its own health club, sauna and spa which guests can enjoy complimentary use of making it the perfect way to relax after a day of exploring the sites.

For more information and travel tips on planning your holiday visit www.Hotels.com or call 1800 55 3338 to wake up happy on your holiday!