Maritime Archaeologist Auriel Robinson has, in recent years, been involved in the promotion of walking in Sligo. Her company Seatrails offers guided heritage tours in several diverse coastal and mountainous areas across the county. The tours suit families, special interest groups, walking groups or independent travellers who want to discover and explore the Wild Atlantic Way.
You can choose a guided walking tour or spend a day with Auriel exploring incredible sites or choose to go on horseback by the golden shores of north county Sligo.
Along the trails, she will focus your attention on unique archaeological sites, local history and folklore, the natural environment and fossils. You will experience and explore ancient sites and monuments in beautiful places that you never knew existed! Auriel is extremely passionate about Sligo Heritage, its stunning landscapes, and seascapes, and she really wants to share it with you to make your time a memorable one.
Sligo has a very interesting and ancient settlement history, stretching as far back as Mesolithic times before the first farmers arrived. Prehistoric sites dot the Sligo coastline and its mountains and for some reason, there seems to be a concentration of megalithic tombs built during the stone age around Sligo and its bays.
Carrowmore, one of the most important megalithic sites in the country is far older than any other passage tomb complex in Ireland and is situated just outside Sligo town in gorgeous rural countryside. Knocknarea Mountain towers over this landscape where Queen Maeve of Connaught is said to be buried. The people who built these sites were far more intelligent than we can imagine!
While out with Seatrails, you will experience something completely different. You will ‘feel’ the magic and ‘touch’ the place you are in. One of the special trails that Seatrails offers is called the ‘Strandhill Shellfish Experience’. Here, you will be introduced to one of the most beautiful peninsulas of the county (Coolera) near the coastal village of Strandhill where you will do a pretty coastal trail arriving at a prehistoric shell midden site. Fresh mussels are cooked in a pot, literally between the rocks beside the site which has been there for thousands of years! You can taste the fruits of the Atlantic right there where people gathered for millennia. This experience is done in collaboration with Anthony Gray, a foodie expert and restaurant entrepreneur, from Sligo. The experience is a part of the wonderful Sligo Food Trail.
Every trail Seatrails offers is in a quiet or scenic spot where you can get away from it all, relax, take it all in and imagine how life was in Sligo long ago. Breathe in fresh Atlantic air or the scent of wild herbs and blooming flora in sand dunes or in the rugged mountains.
Skylarks hover overhead or plovers tip up through the bell heather or marram grass. A variety of rare bees busy themselves searching for pollen through vibrant fuchsia along quiet country lanes. Mountain sheep roam freely while you explore ancient megalithic tombs perched up on karst limestone ridges in the Bricklieve Mountains in south County Sligo. These are special places!
Another unique offering is ‘Heritage on Horseback’. Here, Auriel collaborates with Island View Riding Stables. She accompanies you on various rides, where you will ride along golden beaches at the foot of table-top, Benbulben Mountain. You can trot along a turquoise coloured channel and might see the odd seal basking on sand banks close by. The azure Atlantic refreshes the soul. You are also on horseback, one of the most ‘free’ places in the world to be watching the waves lap up ahead of you.
Auriel loves to chat with customers from all over the world. She has met some of the most interesting people on her trails including an American Zoo Keeper, an ex PGA golfer, a famous photographer from Panama, Irish media figures such as the late Dick Warner, Conor Pope, Pól Ó Conghaile and Manchán Magan. She meets photographers, artists, film makers and nature lovers. She loves to show the world how beautiful and diverse Sligo really is! She has always encouraged marine environmental awareness on her coastal trails which amounted to her winning a prestigious ‘Clean Coasts’ Business of the year award in 2015.
If you want to get involved, visit the Seatrails website at www.seatrails.ie or find them on social media.
For all information on walking in Sligo, visit www.SligoWalks.ie, a free online resource with maps, guides and descriptions of over 50 way marked walks around the county.