County Sligo is well known for 2 major things: first its rugged coastal beauty showcasing some of the most beautiful, unspoiled beaches in Ireland. Secondly, its rich literary history, hence the tag; Yeats county.
With about 190km of coastline, Sligo is the perfect location to discover breathtaking coastal views whether you’re a local re-discovering home or dreaming of a future visit when it’s safe to explore new places again.
Here are five of our top coastal areas in Sligo just a short drive from Clayton Hotel Sligo that we are certain will take your breath away.
6 minutes’ drive from the hotel
Hazelwood is an incredible freshwater lake surrounded by Woodlands, just a short drive from Clayton Hotel Sligo where you can enjoy relaxing walks. Widely known for its tranquillity and beauty, on a really fine day, the views from the lake and its surrounding areas are divine.
Fun fact, renowned poet W.B Yeats wrote some of his greatest poems in and about this place and if you’re familiar with his writings you might already know from Yeats poetic references that the lake at Hazelwood is indeed a magical place.
15 minutes’ drive from the hotel
Opposite Hazelwood on the south side of Lough Gill, Dooney Rock is a peaceful and secluded trail 1.2 kilometres in length. Ascending approximately 30 metres, the low summit provides a spectacular viewpoint over Slish Wood giving visitors the opportunity to see Hazelwood and Lough Gill from a different perspective and visitors might spot a section of the old Saehan factory poking out from the tree line of Hazelwood.
Visitors that decide to take the trail to the east away from the summit will be greeted by open-spaced forestry and a shoreline dotted with groupings of tall reeds, both of which cause the sunlight on a summer’s day to fall scattered on the forest floor adding to the already beautiful scenery.
Although a lesser-known spot, Dooney Rock is still equal in beauty to that of other scenic areas in Sligo. Pack up the car at Clayton Hotel Sligo and enjoy a lovely day out here with a partner, friends or the whole family. The Rock as it is sometimes known locally was also a spot of inspiration for W.B. Yeats’ poem the Fiddler of Dooney.
11 minutes’ drive from the hotel
Breathe in the fresh sea air at Rosses Point, one of Sligo’s most famous beaches. A popular location for people of all ages, Rosses Point is just a short 11-minute drive from the hotel. Offering miles of unspoiled shoreline to walk along, enjoy wonderful views in every direction including stunning views of Lissadell House & Benbulben mountain.
If you’re also someone who finds lighthouses fascinating, then you’re in for a treat as Rosses Point has a few to choose from.
20 minutes’ drive from the hotel
Lissadell Beach is located 8 kilometers north of Sligo Town, just a short scenic drive from Clayton Hotel Sligo. There is also a little river which runs along the beach and makes a fantastic playground for kids. Right beside the beach are the beautiful grounds of Lissadell House, a Neo-classical Greek revivalist style country house built between 1830 and 1835. This south-facing beach is popular with locals and tourists for walking, swimming, water sports and bird watching.
16 minutes’ drive from the hotel
The breathtaking Knocknarea mountain dominates the skyline of Sligo town at 1,078 feet high. It takes about 40 – 45 minutes to walk to the summit of the mountain where you can find the cairn of Queen Maeve of Connacht. The cairn is about 10 metres high and visible for miles around. It is thought to cover a passage tomb built for the mythical Iron Age Queen Maeve in 100 AD.
The walk to Knocknarea’s summit may be long but it ends up being a very rewarding climb with spectacular views in all directions, including the Ox Mountains, Lough Gill, and Slieve League in Donegal and on a clear day Croagh Patrick in the west. After your walk, head back to Clayton Hotel Sligo for a rewarding lunch or a relaxing dip in the pool to rest your muscles.
Strandhill Beach & Killaspugbrone Loop
8 minutes drive from the hotel
Strandhill Beach is located in the coastal town of Strandhill, just an 8-minute drive from the hotel, and has a reputation as being one of the best places in Europe to surf!
If you’re not much of a surfer, not to worry, Strandhill Beach still has a lot more to offer. You can wander along the sandy beach and check out the coastal dunes, with the walk offering stunning views of the surrounding mountains and hillsides, or relax in an oceanfront café, and sample scones and jam while you watch the roaring sea.
The Killaspugbrone loop is a coastal walk that starts in Strandhill close to the canon. This trail goes through a variety of coastal habitats including sand dunes, salt marsh, and pine woodland. Along the way, there is the Killaspugbrone Church, an early Christian site founded by Saint Patrick in the fifth century.
Along the Killaspugbrone loop route, you are sure to get some magnificent views of Benbulben, Knocknarea and Sligo Bay. Pro-tip, sturdy footwear is recommended when going on this adventure as some of the trails is over uneven terrain.
Clayton Hotel Sligo
After a day exploring the stunning coast of Sligo, relax with a dip in our in-door heated pool. Spend the evening over a delicious meal in our bar & bistro before enjoying a comfortable night’s sleep in our spacious rooms.