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Helsinki City Guide

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Tag Archives: sights of western Ireland

Go West in Ireland

Sligo Abbey, Sligo, Ireland

The west coast of Ireland is the perfect place to lose yourself and take the time to get away from it all. To make sure you take in as much of this beautiful landscape as possible, it’s best to drive along the coast and you can find cheap hire cars available to collect when you arrive at any of the west coast airports.

Begin your journey in the north-west at Donegal. Here you’ll discover everything that Ireland is famous for. Starting in the centre of town, visit the recently restored Donegal Castle for an insight into Ireland’s troubled past before discovering ‘The Diamond’ of Donegal in the heart of the town. Here you’ll find a thriving traditional music scene, pubs, shops and plenty of places to eat. With Donegal being at the base of the Bluestack Mountains, it’s the perfect place to stay to explore the rest of the County. Take a drive north to Glenveagh National Park which, with its 16,000 hectares of lakes, mountains and boglands, will quite literally take your breath away. Ireland does spectacular scenery very well.

Donegal castle, Donegal, Ireland

Once you’ve explored Donegal, it’s time to head south on the N15 to Sligo, the county made famous by the poet WB Yeats. Driving here, it’s easy to see why he was so captivated by Sligo as its beauty is truly poetic. On the way down to Sligo, take a detour to Glencar to see the waterfalls here – they are utterly breathtaking and well worth the stop off to visit. If you have time, also stop at Rosses Point just off the N15 and 5 miles from Sligo town. It’s the perfect beach to relax on and stretch your legs whilst drinking in the view across the bay. Sligo town has much to offer too, as well as the traditional Irish way of life which you will be welcomed into with open arms.

Glencar Waterfalls_ County Leitrim_ Connaught_ Ireland

Within the town itself is Sligo Abbey, dating back to the 13th century and looming large over the town is Ben Bulben, a mountain which inspired Yeats’ final poem. Heading further west along the coast, take a drive out to Strandhill. Here you can indulge in some surfing on one of the finest points to do so on the Irish coast and then take a hike up Knocknarea Mountain where you’ll find the ancient tomb of Queen Maeve. On the road back to Sligo from here, detour off to Carrowmore to see the largest collection of megalithic tombs in Ireland.

Kinvara, Galway Bay, Ireland

From Sligo, it;s back onto the road, taking the N17 south for 90 miles to Galway. Here in Ireland’s third largest city, you’ll find the cultural heart of the country with many festivals, events and activities available to enjoy. Check the local paper for details of what’s going on during your stay. The city has much to offer if you want to explore its deep history and a visit to the city museum is a good place to start. You should also check out Galway’s cathedral, which dominates the skyline with its large dome.

Natalie Likness‘ love of travel was introduced to her from an early age due to a trip abroad before she was even born! Having close family and making friends across the world, she has continued to travel ever since.