Wild Atlantic Way Sligo
Have you ever wondered what the Wild Atlantic Way actually is? Well I am going to tell you! Welcome to one of the most incredible coastal routes that you can travel on foot, by bike, by boat, by car or by bus… in the world!
Where is it? This route stretches from Kinsale in County Cork to Malin Head in Co. Donegal and skirts the entire western seaboard of Ireland and overlooks the wild Atlantic Ocean, hence the name, Wild Atlantic Way! One of the most remarkable things about this route is that it is truly wild, refreshing, rugged and absolutely stunning. I would highly recommend you leave enough time to see as much as you can as you really will feel like you are getting away from it all. The route characteristics are huge cliffs, golden beaches, rugged mountains, seabirds, crashing waves, tremendous energy, stunning scenery, wild natural habitats, amazing geology and archaeology, stone walls, little rural fields, wild ponies, mountain sheep, lagoons, blue lakes, sand dunes, cows grazing, stone cottages and coloured houses, castles, churches, colourful fishing boats, historic harbours and little green islands. There is more but I’d be here forever if I had to add everything!
The route is marked by brown signs with a blue wavy line pattern that say Wild Atlantic Way/name of place. There are several Wild Atlantic Way discovery Points along the route for each county that skirts the Atlantic seaboard. These are opportunistic vantage points for visitors and there are also information signs at each point. You can buy little passports to the Wild Atlantic Way in local post offices and have them stamped there and at tourist offices once you have stopped at a certain point. For Sligo, there are seven Wild Atlantic Way Discovery Points including one Wild Atlantic Way signature Point at Mullaghmore Head. The seven are Enniscrone, Easkey, Aghris, Strandhill, Rosses Point, Streedagh and Mullaghmore, all stunning and unique in character.
The beauty of doing a trail with Auriel or spending a few days doing a customised tour or holiday with her is that you will experience the wonderful Wild Atlantic Way without having to travel the entire coastline! Sligo’s Wild Atlantic Way is really beautiful and there are so many things to see along this route alone. Many of Seatrails trails are on the actual coastline which are extremely scenic, refreshing and inspiring. They are at or close to Natural Heritage Areas or Special Areas of Conservation which means there generally is very little development around and the views are pretty much uninterrupted. There are unusual species of insect, plant or flower within these protected areas. No matter where you go, the air is clean and fresh and so is the land or coast.
On her coastal tours, Auriel will tell you about the local history of the area, how it has been shaped and formed and how it was affected by the Irish famine long ago. She will also tell you how locals lived by the coast in the olden days, pointing out common seaweeds and kelp on the shore and providing examples of what shellfish was picked regularly. What we see today in our surrounding landscape is quite different to that of 100 years ago. There are disused boat houses, remains of signal towers, look out posts from World War II, castle sites and church ruins, seaweed stands and remains of ridge and furrow from potato beds. Now these sites are full of wild flowers and scrub and nature thrives within them.
The food that you will taste and experience along the Wild Atlantic Way of Sligo is delicious and second to none. There are many local producers, farmers, localised fish farms producing mussels, clams, scallops and oysters which will melt in your mouth and there are many local vegetable growers who supply local Cafés, Restaurants and Pubs. The lamb tastes of mountain herbs and the beef is delicious too. If you are staying at a Bed and Breakfast, you should not miss home-made brown bread, a free-range egg at your breakfast table, local bacon and sausages and home grown, fried tomatoes! The bakers are excellent in Sligo Town too so don’t miss those either! Aside from your own foodie adventure, why not try Auriel’s Heritage Walk and Shellfish experience which is part of the wonderful Sligo Food Trail. You can taste the fruits of the Wild Atlantic Way while out venturing a magnificent coastline near Strandhill. Aside from this, Auriel will give you loads of tips on where to go for a good pub lunch, tasty seafood, seaweed pesto, a chilled-out Café by the sea, or where to find select produce and fine foods that are made in Sligo or within the region along the Wild Atlantic Way. She’ll also tell you where you can relax and unwind before enjoying a good auld pint of Guinness and some really good ‘live’ trad.
Whatever trail you choose or how much time you spend with Seatrails in Sligo, you will catch a good glimpse of the ‘Wild Atlantic Way’ of life in ancient and modern times and leave informed, refreshed and ready for your next adventure so have a look at the options and get in touch!