Queen Maeve'S TRAIL
Roscommon and the whole county of Sligo have lots to offer in terms of travel, adventure, culture, history and culinary delights. There are also lots of opportunities to delve further into the story of Queen Maeve.
Start in Maeve’s rumoured birthplace of Tulsk, County Roscommon and discover more about the queen of Connacht at the Rathcroghan Visitor Centre. The area would have been considered the capital of Connacht during Maeve’s time. Also discover the magnificent Tulsk Abbey, which was founded by Fedlimid O’ Connor in 1448.
Travel north to Sligo Town, where you can enjoy a great mix of pubs, food stops and literary highlights as you wander through the town. The town’s quaint stone bridges and narrow streets can be easily explored on foot – taking in the shops, buskers and The Garavogue river along the way. There are also several intriguing sites to admire, including Yeats Memorial Building, Sligo Abbey, Douglas Hyde Bridge and Sligo County Museum.
Come evening, Sligo has a great line-up of traditional pubs, where live music, céilidh sessions and a pint of Guinness can be found.
The town itself is also a wonderful base to explore the wider intrigue of what is known as Yeats country. The reference to Yeats goes back to the Irish writer spending much of his childhood holidays in the countryside of County Sligo and, in fulfilment of his own wishes, he is now buried in Drumcliff cemetery in the heart of Sligo’s countryside.
From Sligo town visitors and locals can indulge in the delights of the Sligo Food Trail, which encompasses much of the food scene in Sligo town and its surrounding area. The trail provides a wonderful tour of local food and drink producers that includes delicious seafood from Mullaghmore; lobster in Strandhill and craft beer in Sligo town. It is safe to say that Sligo has set itself firmly on Ireland’s culinary map.
Start with an early morning surf at Strandhill, one of Ireland’s top surfing spots, followed by brunch at one of the village’s cosy and inviting cafes. In the village are several surf schools that hire out equipment and give lessons for beginners or those needing to brush up on their skills. If surfing isn’t really your thing then there are always the Voya Seaweed Baths to spend a relaxing few hours in.
A short distance from Strandhill is Knockerea, Queen Maeve’s supposed burial place. The site is situated at the top of Knocknarea Hill, along the Queen Maeve Trail, a wonderful hike for all levels. Choose a clear day to make the most of the stunning views across Strandhill and along Sligo’s beautiful coastline.
From here, take the coastal road towards Mullaghmore Point and soak up many of Sligo’s highlights along the way. Stops include Drumcliff cemetery (where Yeats Grave can be found); the impressive Ben Bulben mountain range and it 4km looped walk; and Classiebawn Castle, one of Sligo’s most instantly recognisable attractions.
Make a final stop at the quaint fishing village of Mullaghmore, where incredible views and excursions out to nearby islands can be made. Then finish your day with a delicious seafood dinner at one of the village’s great restaurants.