A travel blog of Ireland, Europe, and New Zealand

Sligo Day 3

Sligo29Highlight of the day was travelling west up to Ceide Fields via Ballina, a journey of about an hour and a half from Sligo. There we met Mairin (a colleague of Pip’s) and Red who helped to show us around and then shouted us afternoon tea at Ballycastle. Thanks guys! It’s always great to have a visit supplemented with good local knowledge.

Ceide Fields is a Neolithic site discovered about 80 years ago buried under the peat along the cliffs above the Atlantic in north-west Ireland. A stone age civilisation lived here about 5,500 years ago but all that can now be seen are the collapsed stones showing the fencelines, the outlines of domestic quarters and the burial tombs. It was a different Ireland from our previous day’s faery glades around Lough Gill, being a bleak and seemingly arid landscape, yet it exerted an influence over us that was just as potent.


A fenceline leading down to the award-winning Visitor Centre


We were initially disappointed to learn that Ceide Fields was a week away from opening for the tourist season but Gretta, the Centre Manager and an archaeological specialist, very obligingly took a small group of us through the Centre and up onto the fields. She has obviously contributed a lot to the ongoing exploration here and it was great to have someone with such a passion for the archaeology telling us the discovery stories.

Further up the hill we were then confronted by this neolithic animal:

Sligo28It was also a good vantage point to get a panorama of the area, with Downpatrick Head in the distance. Note that part of the peninsula is in sunshine – the other part is either raining or about to rain!

Sligo25Earlier in the day we had travelled south to Foxford and then around Lough Conn, stopping a couple of times to watch the fishermen and enjoy the lake.

Sligo22 Sligo23 Sligo31 Sligo30Completing the circuit of Lough Conn, we stopped back in Ballina for a delicious lunch at The Broken Jug, then headed north again.

4 thoughts on “Sligo Day 3

  1. MEL

    Happy Easter ..a tad late but the thort was there !

    Phil… was the staff to fend of the neolithics from 5500 years ago?!

    Boat shot beautiful so taking up painting when you return to Aotearoa the logical next step
    Mel x

    1. admin Post author

      Actually, Mel, I thought that since you are a Nordic Walking instructor you might have recognised that stick. It was one of a pair we found on the beach and apparently dates back to Viking times, the original Nordics, although at that time they were called Nordic Raping and Pillaging poles. It’s only in modern times that the effete western civilisation has used them just for walking. In fact, the influence of the Vikings is still quite strong in Ireland and in some parts of rural Ireland raping and pillaging is still legal. So when I saw that look in Pip’s eye after taking the photo I hopped back in the car pretty quickly, I can tell you!

  2. Bim

    Looks like a lovely spot. Great you were treated to your own little select group tour. Looking great with stick in hand Pip, with he who must be obeyed taking the photos.

  3. Andie

    I’m loving the tour through different parts of Ireland. The photos are stunning, and yes I have been looking at your high resolution ones on Flickr-well worth the hop over. What I love most about your posts are the interesting and funny commentary. Keep it up.

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