6 Walks to take during Heritage Week

With Heritage Week already upon us and events running the length and breadth of the county until next Sunday, we have lined up 6 different walking events most of which will be free to the public and represent the broad range of heritage highlights in Sligo.

These walks vary in length from short (or no walking at all in the case of one of them) through to slightly longer rambles. But in all cases the emphasis is on finding something about the places you visit rather than doing any great exercise – you can leave that for another day.

We’ve picked one highlight per day between now and Sunday when Heritage Week ends – make sure you visit the website for more details and to find out what other events are on and to get the contact details of the guide.

No need to pre book any of these walks unless otherwise stated, wear walking boots or shoes and bring a light mac in case of rain and bring a bottle of water with you.

Sligo Heritage Free Audio Guide – Tuesday 21st (all day & all week) FREE
A way to explore the town at your own pace and in the company of a virtual guide who introduces you to various aspects of life in Sligo. Having downloaded the free audio guide, you get bite sized historical segments about a range of places and people, from the history of Sligo Abbey to the Yeats Memorial Building. Visit abartaheritage.ie to get started.

Woodland Foray of Doorly Park –  Wednesday 22nd 5pm FREE
Find out about the botanical nature of Sligo’s town centre park, starting at the iron gate overlooking Lough Gill. Your guide, chartered herbalist & arboriculturalist Shailagh Healy, will help you to identify the different plant and tree species in the woods, as we as find out about the important place inhabited by trees in ancient Irish folklore. Suitable for all members of the family and for all levels of fitness. It’s also wheelchair accessible.

Tour of Ballintogher & Surroundings – Thursday 23rd 7pm FREE
Exploring parts of Sligo you may not know much about in the company of Ballintogher resident Séamus McCormack – places like Cashelore Cashel, Kilerry Church and graveyard and Creevelea Abbey. You’ll need a car to get around on this tour and we recommend you car pool with friends, or with others who may need a lift from the meeting point, Kilross National School near Ballygawley.

The Rambling House – IT Sligo Education Centre Friday 24th 8pm FREE
Not a walk, but a talk which might get you walking. The rambling house was Ireland’s bush telegraph, back in the day when news, stories and music were exchanged by neighbours who would meet at each other’s houses and deliver the news of the day. A lot has changed – not all of it for the better – since social media took over our lives. This talk from historian Joe McGowan might inspire us to get out and explore our county.

Dark Tales Tour – Sligo Town Saturday 25th 7:30pm €10 (also Thursday)
Join us as we take in some of the darker moments in Sligo’s history. This tour reveals some of the turbulent past experienced by Sligo and its inhabitants, including tales of the undead, execution, jail breaks, disease and more. Led by Melcoo Tours, booking is required, call 085 1735103.

Sligo’s Forgotten Castle at Doonfore – Sunday 26th 3pm FREE
Leo Leydon of Sligo Field Club leads this walk in north Sligo, visiting one of Sligo’s lesser known castles at Doonore, Maugherow. Constructed by the O’Harte family and enhanced by Francis Gore, the first of the Gores to settle in this part of Sligo. This event includes a visit to Robert Gore-Booth’s ‘5 mile avenue’, constructed to impress his second bride. Meet point is at Dunleavy’s shop in Maugherow.

There are several other walking events on offer, from a tour of the Viking settlement at Ballisodare (Sunday 2pm) to the history of the old schoolhouse at Annaghmore (Sunday 10am-4pm) and more besides. Visit www.heritageweek.ie for details and for all info on walking in Sligo head to www.sligowalks.ie .