Day# 1 of our Sligo Wild Atlantic Way Roadtrip takes us from Enniscrone to Strandhill. Enniscrone is a small seaside town in south co.Sligo. It is also the first town you find in co.Sligo when you are travelling the Wild Atlantic Way in a northern direction. Enniscrone is flanked by a very long sandy beach popular with swimmers, surfers, walkers,... After a nice walk on the beach, we decided to try one of Gelati's fantastic icecreams on offer. The "Malteser" icecream was a great treat after our walk. We hit the road again following the coast along the R297 towards Easky. Easky is a small village which has the newly opened Pudding Row, a great cafe offering freshly baked cakes and serves sandwiches, salads, homemade soup,... But the weather had picked up and we decided to have a picnic along the Wild Atlantic Way. When you leave the village of Easky, turn left towards easky pier. The castle, also called Roslee castle, was built in 1207, the castle became home to the O'Dowd chieftans of Tireragh. The castle was originally built for Oliver McDonnell who came to the area to marry an O'Dowd widow. A dominant landmark in West Sligo, the castle is beside Easky pier. Much of the original structure of the castle has been lost over time, yet the main body of the castle remains. Easky pier is also a great location to watch the surfers enjoying the Wild Atlantic swell.
Approx. 3 km after Easky, you reach the split rock which is on your right in a field. The split rock is approx. 6 meter by 2.5 meter, and is believed to have been carried down from the Ox Mountains by retreating glaciers. But folklore has another definition. Fionn Mac Cumhaill was challenged by cicsatoin to see who could throw a rock the furthest. So after seeing 2 large rocks, Fionn was challenged to throw it towards the sea and see if he could reach it. He tried and failed. In his anger, Fionn took his sword and hit the rock, splitting it in 2.
Heading further north, we reached Aughris Head where we decided to enjoy another walk, this time along the coastal path. The views were amazing and far. As it had turned into a beautiful day, we were able to see as far as Slieve League in Donegal and towards Benbulben and our destination for the day, Strandhill and Knocknarea.
We enjoyed a great picnic at the end of the walk nearby a small beach with black sand. Back at the car, we decided to stop at Dunmoran strand and the Beach Bar. The Beach Bar is a traditional pub and restaurant with a tatched roof.
We carried on our roadtrip towards our evening destination Strandhill, which we reached by late afternoon. As we hadn't walked enough , we decided to climb Knocknarea and enjoy the views of the surrounding area. And we must say, they are amazing on a clear evening.