6 Sligo walks to do when restrictions ease

Yesterday’s announcement that the Government is to allow people to travel within their county is also good news for walkers. The easing of travel restrictions from April 12th onwards means that we will be free to visit places in Sligo that were previously beyond our 5km limit.

With this in mind, we have listed a number of walks around the county that are well worth a visit, and provide all kinds of variety in terms of landscape and location. These are all quieter locations, and away from the most popular walks, so discover a little more of Sligo and try one or two of these out.

Located in the rural landscape of south Sligo, the walk up Knocknashee is relatively new, and one to pencil in if you haven’t already done it (or even if you have!) The walk – mainly along gravel paths – is short, and offers spectacular views across the countryside. It’s worth noting that parts of the path are steep and can be slippy, especially on descent, so wear suitable footwear.
https://sligowalks.ie/walks/knocknashee/ for maps and directions.

Knocknashee – photo SligoWalks.ie

Union Wood
There are a couple of looped trails in Union Wood, which is located just a few kilometres from Sligo along the R284 to Ballygawley. Approximately 4km from Carraroe, turn right for Union Wood car park. From here, follow the path indicated with red markers which will bring you towards a boardwalk which ascends to Union Rock. Note that some of the paths are unmarked, so we recommend you retrace your steps rather than take the looped walk.
https://sligowalks.ie/walks/union-wood/ for maps and directions.

Union Wood – photo Deirdre Kennedy

Bunduff Lake
A visit to north Sligo is always a treat and the views around Bunduff Lake make this no exception. This walk is essentially a ramble along country roads which form the perimeter of this lake, which is located near Mullaghmore. Its peaceful and serene qualities mean that it’s a good place to spot birdlife, and while the route isn’t waymarked, it’s easy to make your way around the lake, for most walkers in under an hour.
https://sligowalks.ie/walks/bunduff-lake/ for maps and directions.

Bunduff Lake – photo Paul Reidy

Lissadell Beach
Sligo is spoiled for beautiful beaches, but few are as scenic or as quiet this time of year as the one at Lissadell. Take the route north from Sligo, turning left for Carney Village, and then left again for Lissadell, which is located just a few kilometres from the village. Park considerately and walk along the country land which leads to the beach itself. If the tide is out, you should be able to enjoy a good walk along the beach before retracing your footsteps to the starting point.
https://sligowalks.ie/walks/lissadell/ for maps and directions.

Lissadell Beach – photo Deirdre Kennedy

Duneil River Walk
Located in the village of Dromore West, this short looped walk takes you along a riverside path which has been planted with a mix of young and mature trees. At the end of the path, you will reach a public road, where you turn right, and this road then meets the main Sligo-Ballina road, where you turn right to return to the starting point. Note that traffic can be busy and the hard shoulder isn’t very wide at places, so take care on your return.
https://sligowalks.ie/walks/dunneill-river-walk/ for maps and directions.

Duneil River Walk – photo Sligo County Council

Ballymote Heritage Trail
Starting in the centre of Ballymote beside the public park, follow the path through the park, past the train station and the underpass for Ballymote Castle, as the path winds along past the Corn Mill and into open countryside to Emlaghfad Church, a striking building which dates back to the Middle Ages. A short looped walk will bring you back to the marked path, from where you can return to your starting point.
https://sligowalks.ie/walks/ballymote-heritage-trail/ for maps and directions.

Emlaghfad Church – photo Micheál Ó Domhnaill

We’d love to hear from you. If you have any photos of your favourite lockdown walks to share, or want to get in touch about anything else that’s walks-related, follow us on social media: