surfingKick start your day with a surf lesson from any of the local Irish Surf Association surf schools on Strandhill beach. You’ll never feel so alive and your grin will never be so wide as when the foaming Atlantic waters spray your face as you catch your first proper wave, with magnificent views of Knocknarea to inspire you.

waw-river-garavogueAfterwards, might we suggest soothing your tired muscles with a seaweed bath in the Voya Spa on the seafront. Go on, you’re worth it! And then refuel at the Strand Bar with its big welcoming turf fire, cosy snugs and hearty food. Now you’re all set for a trip into Sligo town, the shopping capital of the Northwest with a plethora of fashion boutiques, high street stores and local craft shops. However if retail therapy is not your thing, you might be more interested to check out Sligo County Museum which contains a fascinating collection of exhibits detailing Sligo’s rich stone-age history, including a large firkin of 100-year-old bog butter. The Yeats Room is also a must-see. It’s full of manuscripts, photographs, letters and newspaper cuttings associated with the Nobel Prize winning poet. You’ll also see paintings by Irish artists George Russell, Sean Keating and Jack B Yeats, brother of the famous poet, as well as artefacts and memorabilia linked to Countess Constance Markievicz and her sister Eva Gore-Booth.

By now you’ll probably be ready to relax and enjoy some dinner. Regardless of your budget, you’ll be spoiled for choice in Sligo and afterwards there are an endless supply of nightlife possibilities – from old-world pubs to trendy bars and nightclubs.

waw-directions-signOr your might prefer to head out of town to somewhere like the Waterfront restaurant in nearby Rosses Point. Here you can enjoy great seafood as well as stunning views across to Oyster Island before bedding down for the night in one of the homely local B&Bs or high-quality hotels. In the morning, you could take in a round of golf at Rosses Point Golf Club, one of the oldest and best known links courses in Ireland. Or take a walk or a swim on the long and sandy Rosses Point beach, with its whispering sand dunes and views of Knocknarea to the south and Benbulben to the north, before enjoying a coffee or something to eat at the nearby Radisson Hotel.

eagles-flying-150x150And then head inland to Eagles Flying in Ballymote. Every member of the family will be wowed by the free flying displays of huge eagles, magnificent owls and awesome falcons. This sanctuary is home to more than 70 species of bird as well as about 350 animals and is a real trip away from the ordinary which will just add to your great memories of your visit to Sligo.

(Content courtesy of Failte Ireland)