Getting Oriented

"The Hidden Ireland," the Northwest region covers the most northerly part of Ireland's Atlantic coastline, running from Sligo in the south up to Donegal's remote, windswept peninsulas.

  • Sligo. What the poet William Butler Yeats would say about his native Sligo Town—a once-idyllic spot now overrun with modern shopping malls—can only be imagined, but it makes a great jumping-off point for exploring Yeats Country: the Lake Isle at Innisfree, the cairn-crowned Knocknarea (a peak often painted by brother Jack), and Drumcliff, where W.B. lies buried under the shadow of Ben Bulben.
  • Lough Gill. A freshwater lake shared between Sligo and Leitrim and a place of serene beauty.
  • Lake Isle of Inisfree. Famed in the poetry of W.B. Yeats, this island is on most visitors' itinerary.
  • Carrick-on-Shannon. A bustling town filled with characterful shops and pubs, and a launching place to see the River Shannon.
  • Rosses Point. Small village at the entrance to Sligo Harbour, which features in the paintings of Jack B. Yeats.
  • Drumcliff. At the foot of Ben Bulben mountain, the church graveyard is a place of pilgrimage as the burial place of W.B. Yeats.
  • Mullaghmore. A long-established holiday village with a superb beach and ocean views.
  • Ballyshannon. One of Ireland's oldest towns on the banks of the River Erne and good base for exploration.
  • Donegal Town. A vibrant town noted for its historic 15th-century castle and excellent shopping.
  • Killybegs. This fishing town is one of Ireland's busiest ports and a regular stop for cruise liners.
  • Gleann Cholm Cille (Glencolumbkille). Wild and remote, Glencolumbkille is a get-away-from-it-all destination by the ocean.
  • Ard an Rátha (Ardara). A laid-back, old-fashioned town noted for its weaving shops and time-burnished pubs.
  • Letterkenny. A large modern town with many historic buildings, well suited for exploring the Wild Atlantic Way.
  • Gartan Lough. Home to Glebe House and Gallery.
  • Glenveagh National Park. The wildest part of Donegal is home to a fairytale castle and nature trails.

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