Ballina to Tullan Strand
This Wild Atlantic Way route takes you from Ballina to Tullan Strand in Donegal. The route starts in Mayo, and passes through the counties of Sligo and Leitrim, ending at the first beach in Donegal in Bundoran.
The map of the Wild Atlantic Way below from Ballina to Tullan Strand does have quite a few places to stop along the way. Especially if you want to enjoy some of the detours available and have a hike or a walk at some of the locations.
It also passes through the town of Sligo, where you will see traffic lights again!
There are quite a few Wild Atlantic Way Discovery Points along the way, which are mostly beaches. Easky Pier, Aughris Head, Strandhill, Rosses Point and Streedagh are all along this route.
The Wild Atlantic Way Signature Point of Mullaghmore Head and Classibawn Castle along this route.
You pass the imposing mountain of Benbulbin, which is visible for miles around. You can hike here up the mountain or in the forest, or make a detour to the Gleniff Horseshoe or the Glencar Waterfall in Leitrim.
The route passes the grave of the famous poet W.B.Yeats.
The roads are mainly good quality along this route.
Wild Atlantic Way Sligo Route Map
Approx. 173km distance, 3 hrs 27 minutes driving time
This Quay lies on the river Moy, Ireland’s most productive salmon river.
The salmon season is between May and August and we saw salmon jumping at this actual location when we were here.
This is another Irish location which has different spellings – Enniscrone, Inishchrone etc.
This Wild Atlantic Way Discovery Point has a coastal path and you can see a variety of birdlife here throughout the year.
In the 19th Century, there used to be Cliff Baths here where you could swim in seawater.
At the beginning of the 20th century hot seaweed baths could be enjoyed to improve health. That must have been fun.
If you get a view of an aircraft while passing Ennischrone, do not worry, no, you are not going mad! The Boeing 767 is still there having been transported from Shannon in Clare to be part of a glamping village in Ennischrone.
The brainchild of a funeral director David McGowan who was trying to build an interesting glamping site with trains, planes and automobiles. Unfortunately, the site still appears to be closed to visitors but the plane can be seen.
This pier is located next to Rosslea Castle which belonged to the O’Dowd clan and dates back to 1207.
There is an information board that describes the sinking of the Arandora Star, with the loss of 800 lives, mostly Italians, in 1940 by a German Submarine.
Easky is well known for good surfing over its two reefs, although as you can see when I visited it was as calm as a millpond.
Accessible via quite a narrow road, this beach has a campsite as well as a bar next to the beach.
This place has nice views over Sligo bay out to Benbulben.
At the start of the 20th century locals harvested seaweed on this beach. As you can see there is still a reliable supply.
Strandhill Caravan & Camping Park
The Strandhill Camping in Sligo is a great campsite with good facilities. The campsite is protected by an automatic barrier for which you can hire a magnetic key to open it to go in and out.
The Strand Bar is within walking distance from the campsite and does food.
The campsite is right on the beach behind the dunes. There are nice sunsets to be seen on the beach.
Located on dunes next to the campsite the beach is a renowned surfing spot, though it was very calm when we were there.
The beach is west of Knocknarea Mountain which looms up behind the campsite.
Rosses Point Beach
With nice views out to sea and the Irish Coney Island, Rosses Point Beach is located adjacent to the County Sligo Golf Club.
You can look out to the Blackrock Lighthouse and the lighthouse nearby on Oyster Island.
Deadman’s Point nearby has its own little seafood cafe that looks out onto Coney Island.
William Butler Yeats, Ireland’s famous poet, gained inspiration from his holidays here as a kid in the 1870’s.
Nearby you can also see the ‘Metal Man’, a 4.3m high Royal Navy officer statue, that has pointed to the safe channel since 1821.
W.B. Yeat’s Grave
In the St. Columba’s Church of Ireland in Drumcliffe you find the final resting place of of William Butler Yeats, probably Ireland’s most famous poet.
Yeats won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1923 and served in the Irish Free State Senate for 6 years.
Yeats died in 1939 in France. Because of the war they could only repatriate his body to Ireland in 1948.
His grave bears his epitaph: ‘Cast a cold eye/On life, on death. Horseman, pass by!’
The grave is marked with a stone that says ‘George Yeats’ (1892-1968). George Yeats was Yeats’ wife Georgie Hyde-Lees, whom Yeats called George.
At the base of this amazing mountain, there is a lovely walk you can take through the forest with spectacular views of the mountain.
In Irish people call this mountain Binn Ghulbain. In English it is called Benbulbin [Benbulben or Ben Bulben]. This incredibly imposing mountain, which formed in the Ice Age, is located in county Sligo in ‘Yeats country’.
WB Yeats himself was buried close to the mountain about which he wrote in ‘Under Ben Bulben‘.
The mountain, part of the Dartry range of mountains, is one of the highlights of county Sligo as can be seen for miles around, especially when you are travelling the Wild Atlantic Way. Some people call it Ireland’s version of ‘Table Mountain’.
It is really quite impressive and can be walked and climbed.
This is another small detour from the WAW but well worth the time to visit.
The Annaconna cliffs are beautiful and quite imposing all through the year.
The views are pretty spectacular and the horseshoe is rather iconic when viewed from different angles. This is a good place for a hike or cycle through the mountains.
The 3km Streedagh beach is a sandy surfing beach (once you have crossed the pebbles) with great views back to Benbulbin.
The car park here is quite large.
In 1588 another 3 Spanish Armada ships shipwrecked off this coast. This west coast really did some damage in 1588!
This house was built initially for Lord Palmerston, (the 3rd Viscount Palmerston) the British Prime Minister.
Palmerston commissioned the building of the house on the Mullaghmore Peninsular.
They only finished building the house after his death in 1874.
From 1916 the house lay empty until the 1950’s. In 1939 the house passed to The Rt. Hon. Edwina, Countess Mountbatten of Burma, the wife of Lord Mountbatten (the last Viceroy of India).
Lord Mountbatten used to spend his summers here. The IRA murdered Mountbatten here in a boat off the coast in 1979.
The location is quite striking and you can see the house for miles around.
Photo Point for Classiebawn
This is a good location to take iconic photos of Classiebawn Castle. I did not have my best camera with me, and furthermore, I am not that proficient 😊
But if you are really clever with a camera you can get great photographs of the castle with Benbulbin looming up in the background which is quite stunning.
This spot is close to the Mullaghmore Head Signature Point which is a little further down the road.
Mullaghmore means the ‘Big Summit’. There are amazing views out to the coast of Donegal from this Wild Atlantic Way Signature Point.
The village of Mullaghmore is close by with a protected working fishing harbour and a long sandy beach.
The walk around Mullaghmore Head is great and you will see people walking it every day. There are charming little coves along the coast, nice for a picnic.
A beautiful sandy beach up against the dunes near Bundoran. This is another surfing spot along the coast.
There are fairy bridges there (natural rock arches) and a wishing chair. Near to Bundoran Golf Club, one of the oldest courses in Ireland.
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Last Updated on October 13, 2023 by Gav