Sligo - Drumcliffe - Lissadel House - Raghly - Grange - Cliffony - Mullaghmore - Gleniff Horseshoe - Bundoran - Ballyshannon - Belleek - Farrancassidy - Garrison - Lough Navar Forest - Church Hill - Enniskillen - Florence Court Forest Park - Marble Arch Glen - Belcoo - Glenfarne - Lough Gill - Dromahair - Ballysodare - Carrowmore - Strandhill.
This drive steeps you not only in the poetic inspiration of WB Yeats but also in the scenery painted so often by his famous brother Jack. The works of both are the pride of Sligo Museum. Fishing in the two big Loughs Erne (and the countless other waters in his region) has been likened to pardise by anglers inspired to cast words on paper. Foreign tongues extol the cruising in the Ulster Lakeland. Views range from vast horizons at Lough Navar Forest's mightly clifs to the slow-dropping peace of the Lake Isle of Innisfree. Lovers of man-made beauty have the pottery of Belleek. The mystery of time broods over Carrowmore's great necropolis. These are but a few of the route's fascinations which are enough to make the tourist and expert on Ireland's mesmeric hold on her lovers.
Excellent holiday centre on the broad Garavogue river which drains Lough Gill into Sligo Bay. Ruined Sligo Abbey, founded in 1252 for the Dominicans, has fine cloisters. St John's church is 17th Century. Sligo Museum has a section on WB Yeats. Day cruises in Lough Gill in summer. ROSSES POINT Popular seaside resort with championship golf course, sweeping beaches and yacht club.
Burial place of Yeats 'under bare Ben Bulben's head'. Nearby are a fine 7th Century high cross and the remains of a round tower.
Open daily, except Sundays, in summer. Home of the Gore-booth family whose most famous member was Countess Markievicz who was active in the 1916 rising. Yeats spent much time at Lissadell.
Picturesque village at the head of sligo Bay with 17th century Ardtermon Castle.
Detour to Streedagh and spaniards Rock where in 1588 , 1,100 Spaniards perished when three armada galleons were wrecked in a storm. At very low tide part of a wreck can still be seen.
Attractive short detours north and south from this village to Mullaghmore and Gleniff horshoe.
Charming fishing village harbour with beaches. cliff walks and views of Inishmurry Island , an early Christian monastic settlement.
Spectacular scenic circuit into the Benbulben mountains.
Donegal's main holiday resort, with sandy beaches, cliff walks and championship golf course. The donegal Mountains rise across the bay.
Birthplace of the poet William Allingham, at the mouth of the Erne. Here, according to the 'Book of Invasions' , Partholand from Scythia began the first conquest of Ireland 3,500 years ago. The Erne hydro-electric power station dams a great artificial lake.
Village in Fermanagh with ancient pottery, mecca for collectors of lustrous Irish designs. noted angling centre on the Erne.
At these crossroads turn right for a loop to the north shore of Lough Melvin, famous for its fishing trout.
Exists almost solely for anglers who come from far and wide to put themselves against the gillarroo, sonaghan and ferox trout.
LOUGH NAVAR FOREST
On a high plateau with vast views over Lower Lough Erne, it has a 7- mile scenic drive of memorable wilderness
Join the lakeshore road north of this village and visit, if desire, ruined Tullly castle ( built by Ulster planters) , Inishmacsaint island monastic ruins (by rowing boat from farmhouse) and Carrickreagh forest viewpoint. Monea Castle is a short detour west.
Chief towns of Fermanagh , old and interesting. Town museums in the ancient castle on the lakeside. Waterbuses to Devenish Island, rich in prehistoric remains and the Erne teems with pleasure boats and anglers. A good shopping town, particularly for regional products including lace.
FLORENCE COURT FOREST PARK
The Georgian mansion is open daily except Friday in summer . There is a touring caravan camp.
MARBLE ARCH GLEN
A worthwhile loop takes in this pretty glen which leads to a huge cave out of which bursts the underground Cladagh torrent, formed by the confluence of streams in a network of caves in the limestone of the Cuilcagh Mountains. Return by the Marlbank Blacklion scenic loop to Florence Court and Letterbreen.
Villages between Upper and Lower Lough Macnean, very pretty and first class coarse fishing water. St Patrick's well is resorted to for cures.
Foot of a peaceful Leitrim valley where the old Sligo, Leitrim and Northern counties railway used to wend its leisurely way.
A market and angling centre beautifully situated at the junction of five mountain valleys, with the ruined 17th century manor of Sir Frederick Hamilton.
Spectacular valley, with Glencar waterfall and lake, also forest walks and drives.
Turning east just before Sligo, one reaches Lough Gill, 'the bright lake' rivalling Killarney in its picturesque setting. By the road to Dromahair is Parke's Castle, a fine example of a Plantation castle.
An old village with an exceptional number of things to see in the neighbourhood: Breffni Castle, Creevelea Abbey and (by a side road) the famed Lake Isle of Innisfree. It is possible to hire a boat to Yeat's dreamland. Dooney Rock is a delightful lakeside picnic area, facing Cottage Island.
A pretty village with and old mill and salmon fishery.
A short detour north east reaches this low hill which has the largest group of prehistoric tombs and stone circles in Ireland. Wet of it its Knocknarea, on whose summit an immense cairn is said to be the tomb of Queen Maeve of connacht, heroine of Celtic epics. Sligo riding centre is close by.
A village with long sandy beaches , golf course and the chasm of Knocknarea, a mile long and only 30 ft wide. Five miles east from Strandhill and you are back in Sligo.