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Despite its small surface area, County Sligo perched in the north western corner of Ireland's breathtaking Atlantic Coast is home to a diversity of landscapes and rich plethora of prehistoric sites. Irish poet and playwright, William Butler Yeats had close ties with Sligo. Although born and educated in Dublin, his poems and works are inextricably associated with the county of his maternal grandparents and ancestors. There are many reminders of Yeats' frequent visits to Sligo in and around Sligo Town such as and intresting sculpture with his verses inscribed, located outside the town's Ulster Bank.

The county town of Sligo is fairly modest in size and to compensate this, it has an exuberant collection of heritage sites. Founded in 1250 by Maurice Fitzgerald, founder of Sligo Town, Sligo Abbey was ravaged by fire and burnt to the ground on two occasion. Today, its ruins remain and opened to visitors from June to September. A fine example of the town's victorian grandeur is the Courthouse, an unusual architectural edifice that is reminiscent of British Rule. With its ornate and extravagent neo-gothic exterior modelled on The Royal Courts of Justice in London, The Courthouse continues to function as the name suggests. The Sligo County Museum and adjoining Niland Gallery is a must see for art and heritage lovers, featuring a host of exhibits that pay hommage to Yeats and an impressive portfolio of landscape paintings of various sites around County Sligo.

Radiating in each direction from Sligo Town, a treasure trove of historic sites are found across the county and and certainly worth exploring, most of which are preserved by Ireland's leading heritage organisation, Dúchas. The Site of an ancient battle between two Irish lords in 1257, Rosses point is home to a beautiful blue-flag beach and is easily accessible by public transport from Sligo Town. The Point is an excellent base for a vacation, boasting a wealthy provision of good quality hotels and guesthouses, a carvan and campsite, first-class eateries and leisure activities for the energetic in mind. Nearby is Carrowmore Megalithic Cemetery, the largest of its kind in Europe with more than 60 stone circles and passage tombs on this Dúchas site. An extensive network of hilltop cairns proliferate the Carrowmore area with Knochnarea and Deer Park Court Cairns being the chief sites to visit.

The main route west to County Mayo is pleasantly tranquil and a popular haunt for surfers braving the Atlantic's breakers. The small town of Easky has a Surfing and Information Centre where you may hire wetsuits and boards or take advantage of the many instruction courses programmed during high season. A couple of kilometres away is the sandy blue-flag beach referred to as the Hollow, nestling in the popular resort of Enniscrone. For theraputic and medicinal purposes, why not indulge and invigorate yourself at Kilcullen's Seeweed Baths open all year round.

If you are seeking a peaceful sanctuary to enjoy and appreciate County Sligo's dramatic landscapes and beauty spots, The Gramph Ox Mountains in the West and Bricklieve Mountains in the east are the perfect retreat to escape from it all with lonesome valleys, undulating peaks and crystal clear loughs, ideal to engage in a spot of fishing or taking a gentle stroll. Glencar Lough to the north of Sligo Town is an idyllic beauty spot for capturing the essence of this romantic county in Ireland's Northwest.



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There are 5 counties in Connaught Province.
Galway, Leitrim, Mayo, Roscommon and Sligo.
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