Things you should see in Ireland: County Sligo and Benbulbin

It’s been quite some time since we travelled anywhere for more than a few miles away from Dublin. We decided to use the August bank holiday to finally go somewhere we’ve never been so far, and to check how our new travel crew member handles these activities.

We still had family visiting that morning, so we started our trip later in the afternoon, and we arrived in Sligo just before the sunset. Since we were all tired we chatted for a while with our AirBnB hosts, enjoyed the evening sky, and then went to bed.


Well, at least we wanted to but not before our little fella approved our stay in this gorgeous house. As you can see on the photo, he was just OK with it. 🙂


The next day weather was relativity OK with some clouds and wind.


Since Sligo is a well known surfers paradise I thought we might see them around. So our first destination was Mullaghmore beach. Mullaghmore is one of the best locations for big wave surfing in the world, with the waves going up to 15 meters high. I hoped to see some surfers like we did last year in Dingle, but it seems that August is just not the right time of the year for big waves.


Since tide was quite low, we decided to take a walk along the beach.


I used the opportunity to take a few photos of the beach and Benbulbin mountain in the background.


As there were no big waves and surfers, we decided to go and take a couple of photos of nearby Classiebawn Castle. As we approached it we noticed that it is actually a huge private property, and there’s no way to get in there. 🙂 All the photos available online are taken with an expensive lens or from the property, but you can’t just get in there. Sadly.

Since we’ve already been peckish we decided to go straight to Sligo town, and get something to eat. We stopped in the town centre in the local steakhouse, and surprisingly had no steaks. 🙂

Lunch in the steakhouse was interesting for two reasons. Liam and Liam. First when Dina took him to the changing room, there was another couple with a four month old girl. As it always goes with young parents they exchanged compliments for their babies and asked if Liam is 6 months old since he is bigger than their girl. When Dina told them he is only 7 weeks, they remained speechless.

Same applies for all staff (all ladies) who came around his cot and kept staring at him and whispering that they’ll take him home, while a bunch of guests was looking for them. They couldn’t take their eyes off of him. 🙂

When we all ate (yes, all of us – there is a strict law in Ireland that protects breastfeeding anywhere in public, which is a taboo and a weird thing in many countries) we walked around the town centre.


Even though W.B. Yeats was born in Dublin, he spent his childhood in county Sligo in his mother’s family house. As a result he remained bonded with Sligo and its people and that influenced his work. Oh, yeah, in case you have no clue who he was – Yeats was the first Irish Nobel prize winner, poet, writer and Irish senator.

Because of that it’s no wonder that you can visit his village, house, and there is his statue in the town centre.

From Sligo we headed towards Carrowomore, and stopped shortly in Ballysadare.


For reasons unknown to me, there is an annual rubber duck race that happens in Ballysadare and we got right in time to see it. I simply had to stop here and see what is going on and why the whole village is standing on the bridge and around it. 🙂


After the wacky race we headed towards Carrowmore and ended up on a typical Irish “motorway”. OK, it’s not a motorway – I’m kidding, but, there’s a “but”. This road, as many other roads in Ireland has a speed limit set to 100 km/h. It’s 20km/h higher than on any decent road in Croatia, so when ever I end up on such path with “no speed limits” I’m scared and amused at the same time.

We arrived 10 minutes too late to visit Megalithic Cemetery, so we drove straight towards Strandhill.


Strandhill is yet another lovely beach where I expected to see waves and surfers. But, as it often happens in Ireland, I got a chance to take a photo of Knocknarea hill before the rain started to pour.

I quickly walked down to the beach, and was quite surprised with the number of people walking along two and a half kilometres beach in lovely dresses, like they were going to some wedding or something, and rain was just getting heavier.

Because of that and the fact that our kiddo was already fed up with our touristy needs, we decided to call it a day. Well… That’s what we thought, but Liam decided not to call it a night. He had cramps throughout the night and we did not really sleep well at all.


Due to the sleepless night, we started our trip a bit later that morning and we had to drop some of the planned destinations. We decided to see places near the house where we were staying, so we first went to yet another beach. This time to Streedagh point.

And I finally saw surfers! But… There seemed to be some beginners theory class going on and no one was surfing. Well, I doubt that they could surf in low tide anyway. 🙂

From there, we went to find a better spot to take a photo of the gorgeous Benbulbin mountain, and following the road we got almost on the mountain itself. 🙂


We took a couple of photos there, then headed towards Glencar Waterfall which is actually in the neighbouring county Letrim. It is just a short walk from a big parking on the shores of Glencar Lough (lake).


We enjoyed our stay here around the lake, relaxed a bit, and then decided to go to Rosses Point, a touristy spot north of Sligo and have lunch there.


Well, that was our plan, but yet again we made a mistake. We are used to Dublin and the fact that you can always sit in the pub and eat, but that does not work in smaller places. We arrived to one lovely pub on the coast, took the buggy out of the car, woke the kid up, transferred him into a cot, and then waiter said – Sorry, kitchen opens in 30 minutes.

We kinda wanted to stay and wait, but Liam was not so happy about it and we decided to find another place. We drove back to the centre of Sligo and the only place that was serving food at that time was an Italian Restaurant. Well, even thought we’ll always rather opt for local food, we had no choice and we ended up eating pizza and sausages.

Truth be told, those were the best sausages we found so far in Ireland. 🙂


After lunch we headed again to Carrowmore, since we really wanted to see it. It’s kinda fascinating that there is a whole wide area where you can spend a couple of hours with rocks that someone placed there 5000 years ago, and are still there. I mean, we have a Colosseum in Pula that stands there for 3000 years, but that’s a huge building. These are 5000 year old graves made of 3-4 stone blocks. In Istra we’d most likely break those stones and make a stoned wall. 😀


There was one “interesting” thing here, it was that time of the year when farmers fertilize the land with home made fertilizers, or to say it nicely – they spread the manure across the fields surrounding Carrowmore. Even though there are many passage tombs (that’s the official name for this kind of stone formation) strong smell shortened our stay significantly. 🙂

We departed straight home from there, with a short stop in Longoford. Well, baby needed to eat. 🙂


All in all, Sligo is a nice place to visit but most likely we should go in March or April, when the winds are stronger and waves bigger.

Well, maybe next year. 🙂

Till the next one.



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