What to do

Outdoor adventure, relaxation or cultural exploration? A stay at Milk Harbour will offer so many options, it could be hard to choose what to enjoy first!

“When I come out on the road of a morning, when I have had a night’s sleep and perhaps a breakfast, and the sun lights a hill on the distance, a hill I know I shall walk across an hour or two thence… no land in the world can inspire such love in a common man.”

Frank Delaney – ‘Ireland’

Walking is just one of the many activities that can be enjoyed in Milk Harbour and north Sligo. Whether you are looking for active outdoor adventure, or are simply interested in relaxing and ‘getting away from it all’, your options are many and varied.

In your comfortable apartment with fantastic views, you will have time and space to do nothing but sit and stare at the views or read a book: take the time to recharge your batteries!  We have great places for you  to sit or wander in the gardens where you can take in the 360-degree views.

The boat shed has a table tennis table and a makeshift badminton set. It also provides secure storage if you want to bring your own kayak or cycles, Alternatively we can put you in touch with local tutors and hire companies including kayaking  (www.sligokayaktours.com ) and Stand Up Paddle (www.sligobaysup.ie ) and  Wild Atlantic Wheels (contact e.jarlath@ecotravel.ie).

If the tide and weather is right, kayakers might be able to set off from the slipway, to explore the sheltered tidal Grange River channel. The channel provides miles of pleasant waters, teeming with wildlife and there is a seal colony only 400 metres away. Kayaking in the channel gives access to the dunes and glorious sandy two mile long beach at Streedagh – where a number of ships from the Spanish Armada were sunk.

For cyclists two local rides take you north to Mullaghmore Harbour with the stunning coastal ride past Classiebawn Castle or south to Lissadel House, former home of Countess Markievicz and regularly visited by WB Yeats.

We are also blessed with not one, but two horse riding stables within a mile of the house providing introductory sessions or longer treks and may be contacted via Island View and Holiday Horse Farm.

Walking and hill climbing – There are numerous walks including a beautiful and usually solitary walk from the house along the shore to Cliffony beach. Other beach walks are only a short drive away at Streedagh beach and Mullaghmore, while the Ben Bulben Forest trail is only a 10 minute drive away.  If you want to get off the beaten track or go climbing then Carraig Climbing http://www.carraigclimbing.com/ offer guided mountain walks and hikes, climbing and more!

Nurturing the body -The west coast is rich in seaweed and the curative powers of a seaweed bath are recommended. There are several locations in the county, such as Voya at Strandhill.

Sheepdogs in training – The internationally renowned and award-winning owner of Atlantic Sheepdogs, Mr Feeney operates locally. As one of the rarer experiences in life, why not book a visit to see his training in action? This provides a fantastic demonstration of the bond between a shepherd, his dogs and the control of sheep. Advance booking is required.

Culture – There is a rich array of cultural institutions in the area. The most prominent are:
The Model, Sligo’s centre for art and performance
The Hawkswell Theatre
The Blue Raincoat

WB Yeats
Probably the most powerful writer of the 20th century is buried in the nearby Drumcliffe Church. His headstone reads:
Cast a cold Eye
on Life, on Death.
Horseman, pass by.
For more information visit the ‘Visit Ireland’ site here.
Drumcliffe is also a convenient stopping place between Sligo and Milk Harbour on the main road going north – where a visit to the Drumcliffe Tea House and Craft Shop provides a welcome and tasty stopping point.

Traditional Crafts
Renowned worldwide for its traditional crafts, here are just a few locations from which to begin your explorations:
For hand woven unique designs of Donegal tweed, a car trip north via Donegal town and then onwards to St Johns Point will reveal Castle Murray House, St John’s Point. Cindi Graham is a delightful lady and an incredibly skilled weaver. On the same trip you may choose to visit Killybegs, a thriving fishing port – a great day out!
For unique jewellery designs, much of which is inspired by the landscape and flora of Dernish Island – just across the water from Milk Harbour – visit ‘The Cat and The Moon’ in Sligo town to see the work of Martina Hamilton and her team.
If taking a trip down the county, passing near Knocknarea, see the wonderful Breeogue studio and pottery.
There are also regular markets for local produce and arts/crafts. The two most local are the Rathcormac Artisan Food and Craft Market – visit on Saturdays between 10am and 3pm to watch artists at work; and the Strand Hill People’s Market, which hosts an impressive array of bakers, chefs and artists.
Exploring the Wild Atlantic Way
Milk Harbour sits between Westport to the south and Donegal in the north. The Wild Atlantic Way is the connecting artery and allows for much of the region to be explored by car. The best guidebook in publication is called (unsurprisingly) The Wild Atlantic Way Guide, which is available from Amazon and many good bookshops.
Of particular note is reference to Langs Bar in Grange, just two miles south of Milk Harbour, which is recognised to beone of the best traditional bars in Ireland.
The carpentry work was installed by Milk Harbour Holidays proprietor Geraldine’s grandfather.