William Butler Yeats won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1923. His mother came from County Sligo and he spent a lot of his childhood here. He requested, in one of his poems, to be buried here, a wish that was granted in 1948. While this tour highlights locations associated with the poet, there is so much more to see. The tour includes legends of Irish queens, stories of stone age farmers, a romantic castle and a sad assassination. A recitation of one of Yeats’ poems is included for your entertainment. Magnificent mountains and delightful dales created during the ice age contrast with beautiful beaches and super sea views along the Wild Atlantic Way. Lots of opportunities for fantastic photographs and a stop for a tasty lunch. All in all, a great day tour with lots of variety for the culturally curious.
From An Mullach Mór, Gaelic for the ‘big summit’ this is a beautiful peninsula jutting out into Donegal Bay. It is a very popular surfing location with waves as high as 15 metres breaking off the headland. The views around the headland are spectacular and change at every bend. The charm is added to with the view of the ‘romantic’ Cassiebawn ‘Castle’, a 19th century baronial style house, profiled on the hill in the distance. This was a popular holiday destination for Admiral of the Fleet, Lord Louis Mountbatten, until his murder by the IRA in August 1979.
Located in a valley that was created during the last Ice-Age, the water cascades from a height of 15m and flows into Glencar Lough. The alkali-rich soil and mineral-rich water provides the perfect environment for a rich biodiversity of plant life that surrounds the approach to the waterfall. Glencar provided inspiration to W B Yeates for his poem, The Stolen Child published in 1886. ‘Where the wandering water gushes, ‘From the hills above Glen-Car, In pools among the rushes, That scarce could bathe a star, We seek for slumbering trout’.
Considered one of the greatest poets in the English language. Yeats played a big part in the Irish literary revival and co-founded the Abbey Theatre with Lady Gregory in 1904. He had strong connections with Co. Sligo as his mother came from here and his maternal grandfather was rector of the church at Drumcliffe. Yeats died in 1939 in Cap Martin in the south of France and was buried in Roque-brune-Cap-Maratin. His dying wishes to be buried in Durmcliffe could not be carried out due to the proximity of the second world war, However his bones were collected and transported by Irish navy ship for burial in Drumcliffe in 1948.
Dating from more than 5,000 years ago this is one of four main passage tomb sites in Ireland which include Newgrange, Knowth and Loughcrew. This site contains the remnants and remains of 30 passage tombs while another 25 are estimated to have been destroyed since 1800. The tombs form a rough oval shape with a central space for ceremonies. Typically the tombs consist of a circle of large boulders with a roofed chamber in the centre. The tombs show a sense of community, a social symbol and proves cooperation between the people at the time.
With a height of 300m this hill dominates the locality and is topped with a large cairn known as Miosgán Maedbh (Maeve’s Lump) said to the the grave of Queen Maeve. Her father was the king of Connaught and he arranged a marriage for her to Conchobar Mac Nessa the king of Ulster. Medb however had a voracious sexual appetite and she soon grew tired and left him. Indeed she is once said to have boasted 30 lovers in one day. Her escapades led to the great Gaelic saga known as An Táin Bó Chuilnge, The White Bull of Cooley. The basis of the story is a competition between her and her husband as to who had the greatest fortune leading to a war to capture a champion bull.
This little island, located on Lough Gill, inspired W B Yeats to write possibly his best known and loved poem Lake Isle of Inishfree. It was written in 1890 when he was living in London. In the poem he is homesick and reminisces about time he spend in Sligo and wishes for a peaceful life close to nature and far from the busy ‘pavements grey’ of London. In his minds eye and ear he can escape the hustle and bustle of the city by his thoughts of a simple quiet life. ‘I will arise and go now and go to Inishfree, and a small cabin build there of clay and wattles made’. This poem has been learned as school by tens’ of thousands of Irish children.
Professionally guided tour by Neal Doherty in a top spec Land Rover Discovery classified as a Limo. Expect an interesting and entertaining tour with lots of stories, history and anecdotes that you will remember and take home to your family and friends. Our tours are designated tours but if you have some subject or area in which you are particularly interested please let me know and I will tailor the tour to your needs.