Yeats Day in Sligo

Today, June 13th 2024, is Yeats Day, the annual tribute to WB Yeats on this his birthday. We are encouraged to record our favourite poem of Yeats and post it online using the #YeatsDay hash tag. What’s your favourite Yeats poem? Here are a few of the beautiful places he described in his poetry. You’ll find lots of information, like the poems that were inspired by these places, at Apart from the ones we’ve listed there are 14 locations in all with connections to the Yeats family, including Rosses Point, Glen Wood, Union Wood and elsewhere. We hope you get to enjoy at least some of them in the coming days and weeks.

On each of the links below, you’ll find all kind of information on the trail, including directions, distance, level of difficulty, as well as photos, videos and more. And don’t forget to review the walk using the feature at the end of each page!

Slish (Sleuth) Wood

Part of the Sligo Way, this is a lovely meandering walk which takes in a boardwalk that gives unrivalled views over Lough Gill. Alternatively, there’s a short looped trail which is slightly uphill. The longer walk eventually brings you as close as you can get to the Lake Isle of Innisfree, possibly Yeats’s most famous poem.

Slish Wood – photo

Dooney Rock

An easy looped forest trail that skirts the edge of Lough Gill and rounds Dooney Rock. One for the family to do together and between the birdsong and tranquillity you’ll want to spend some time here just taking in the views.

Dooney Rock – photo Aoife McElroy


Or Ben bulben, as Yeats wrote. Benbulben Forest Walk is a series of looped trails that bring you right up to the flank of the iconic table mountain so revered by Yeats. he considered it a passage way into the Otherworld. So keep your eyes open for faeries as you ramble on this ancient trail!

Benbulben Forest Walk – photo Eddie Lee


Home of Queen Maeve’s Cairn, the walk here is one of the most popular in Sligo. True, it is graded as strenuous, so you might need to take your time. But the spectacular 360 degree views are worth it, although always remember to just admire the 5,000 cairn on the summit and not to climb it!

Knocknarea – photo


A series of forest trails, suitable for all levels of fitness and with a newly installed car park, so plenty of space for everyone. Although it’s just a few minutes from Sligo itself, you could be a million miles away, and you’ll see plenty of people out and about, whether on a break from the office or out on a ramble with the younger (or older!) members of the family.

Hazelwood – photo