Off the beaten track - interesting places to visit in Ireland


In Sligo, a massive cairn on top of Knocknarea mountain is said to be the resting place of Queen Maeve. The 55 by 10 metre neolithic passage tomb can be seen from many miles away and would indeed be a majestic place for the burial site of a royal figure. Though many other passage tombs are also scattered across Knocknarea, Maeve’s tomb is the largest and has never been excavated though it is commonly known as Queen Maeve’s Cairn. The trip to the top of the mountain is long but worth the effort for the vantage point if offers.

5. Climb the walls of an ancient fort for a breathtaking 360 degree uninhibited view

It is said that, on a clear day, you can see 5 counties of Ireland when standing atop the ancient stone fort of Grianán an Aileach (Fort of the Sun) in County Donegal. And indeed that is entirely believable as the Inishowen Peninsula appears to be laid out at your feet as you gaze out from the fort’s restored walls. 

The fort can be traced back to 1700BC and is shrouded in myths concerning the Tuatha de Dannan people who invaded Ireland before the Celts. Dagda (The Good God) was said to have been responsible for the fort being built and it is even thought that St Patrick visited the site in the 5th century to baptise the local chieftain.