Sligo has lots of secret places are known only to the locals. They have some great names and fascinating stories associated with them. Here’s our list of 10 of our favourites, but there are probably many more so please add your suggestions below.
Please note that some of these locations may be on private property. Please view all landmarks from a road or way-marked trail or obtain landowner’s permission.
Lough Na Súil
On the scenic drive between Lough Bo and Lough Arrow, Lough na Súil (picture above) is a disappearing lake that sometimes vanishes only to reappear a few days later. The last time was in 2006. Article from the SLigo Champion 2006
The lake got its name from the mythical Battle of Moytura which took place at nearby Highwood. The story goes that the god Lugh defeated Balor of the Evil Eye by spearing him in his magic eye. When the eye fell from Balor’s head onto the ground, it created Lough Na Súil (In English Lake of the Eye). You can read more about the Battle of Moyturra on the carrowkeel.com website
We aren’t sure if there is a story of a mermaid who lived here but it’s definitely a lovely place for a swim on a sunny evening with lovely views over Donegal Bay.
Caves of Keash
The Swiss Valley
A wooded steep sided gorge in the Glencar valley, you can get a lovely view of the Swiss Valley from the Glencar Forest Walk
The Hungry Rock
The Hungry Rock is the place where people from south Sligo would stop to eat on the way back from selling their butter in Sligo town. They went to Sligo once a month and would walk in groups, meeting at the Hungry Rock, the highest point on the journey home, for a bite if they had it.
A really excellent spot from which to watch a sunset, Milk harbour is a small harbour between Grange and Cliffoney. This was the main harbour for the area until Mullaghmore harbour was built in 1826 and was used by the Inishmurray islanders as well as coastal traffic.
This enormous split boulder got its name (in English Bran’s Stone) from a piece of folklore. The story goes that the warrior Cu Chulainn was hunting in the Ox Mountains with his hound Bran. When Bran got distracted and instead of hunting deer, went chasing after a mountain hare, Cu Chulainn struck him with his mighty cane and split him in two.
Fossils at Streedagh
Streedagh is a great spot for a historical walk. The prehistoric fossils litter the coastline here in what was a tropical underwater garden millions of years ago. You can also see the Butter Boat and take a walk to the remains Stáid Abbey. Streedagh is where 3 of the Spanish Armada boats were shipwrecked in 1588. More info available from the Spanish Armada Experience in Grange.
Some of the most secret places in Sligo are on the beautiful lakes, like the islands of Lough Arrow. On Lough Gill, Beezies Island is famous for its last resident – the lady of the lake. Read more on Sligo Town