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Top 7 Activities in the West of Ireland

As the owner of www.henandstagsligo.ie Fergal Quinn brings groups of people into Sligo and its surrounding counties every weekend to sample the best activities the West of Ireland has to offer. We asked him to give us the top 7 activities that he would recommend to visitors coming in through Ireland West Airport.

1. What SUP? SUP, or Stand-up paddleboarding, is one of the most popular new adventure activities that suits people of all ages and physical abilities. What’s great about this activity is you can do it right in the centre of town on the Garavogue in Sligo or out on Lough Gill amid the beautiful countryside immortalised by WB Yeats 

2. A-MAZE-ING! One of the most popular activities year after year is one on offer at Lough Key Forest Park in Boyle, Co. Roscommon. There is so much to do at Lough Key, from Zipit and boating to bike trails and Segway tours. But by far the most popular group activity is their indoor puzzle house, a Crystal Maze-type challenge, called Boda Borg; a truly unique experience.

3. SURF’S UP. As we have some of the finest surfing beaches in the world, you can’t experience the West coast without riding the waves. There are plenty of surf schools dotted along the beaches of the West, but our two favourites are Bundoran in Co. Donegal and Strandhill in Co. Sligo.

4. ON THE EDGE. For the even more adventurous, Coasteering is hugely popular with adrenaline junkies exploring old smugglers’ coves and whirlpools before thrilling sea jumps off cliff edges. We love Mullaghmore in Co. Sligo or Co. Bundoran in Donegal for the best craggy cliffs.

5. RAPID THRILLS. Whitewater rafting is an action-packed activity that is very popular, especially with the all-male groups. Those taking part drop over waterfalls and power through gorges as they ride the rapids on the rivers of Sligo and Leitrim.

6. MOUNTAIN HIGHS. If jumping off cliffs and throwing yourself into the surf sounds a bit too adventurous, you can slow down along some of the most beautiful hikes and walks in the country. There are numerous tracks and trails all over the West but we particularly love the various trails up Knocknarea in Sligo – there is literally one to suit every level of ability and the views from the top are stunning.

7. LAID BACK. An even more laid-back way to view the West is to take one of the various boat tours. Some of our favourites are in County Leitrim – from a cruise on the Shannon to a tour of Lough Gill around Parke’s Castle.

Activity Blog by Fergal Quinn