Rediscovering Ireland: The Gleniff Horseshoe.

First port of call when I arrived in Ireland was, Sligo. I had been there before, on a family holiday about twenty-two years ago, but, due to my age at the time, did not have much recollection of the area. However, one thing that had left a lasting impression on me was Benbulben. I remember being blown away at the immensity of this mountain. Especially considering how small I was back then.  So; I was excited to be in the area again and at the prospect of seeing Big Benbulben again.


When I found out that the first stop on my Irish adventure was going to be the Gleniff Horseshoe I really  couldn’t contain myself. It´s funny that it´s referred to as a horseshoe, it´s not a horseshoe at all, in reality it´s an eight kilometer loop of single lane road. However, whatever it may be, it most certainly is impressive. As you drive along the loop you´re surrounded by stunning views of the Tieve Baun, Truskmore, King´s, Benbulben and Benwiskin mountains.

So; off we set, picnic in tow, on our little adventure. We chose to start the loop at Benbulben. However, you don´t have to start there, you can actually start the loop at whichever point you prefer. At first sight, I was rendered speechless. As the sun beamed down on Benbulben´s head all I could do was stand there and soak up the beauty I was seeing. Eventually, once I snapped out of my love struck comma, I managed to take some photos.


Not quite ready to leave Benbulben behind just yet; my friend and I decided to set up a picnic by a stream we had seen under Benbulben´s head. And, let´s face it, after seeing such rugged beauty, we needed to refuel!

After our lovely relaxing picnic it was time to continue the journey. We drove along, stopping here and there when something took our fancy, until we reached the remains of Bartye´s Mill. We parked up here and decided to explore the forest that has been developed through the land. To me, this forest was like a mini horseshoe within the Horseshoe itself. It really was something special. Such a mix of landscapes, textures and beauty.


Having completed the walk we found ourselves back in the car heading towards the Magic Hill and Diarmuid and Grainne´s cave. Amazing. I honestly thought nothing could compare to Benbulben but, I was wrong. As we continued uphill this mass of mountains appeared before us. It was like something out of The Lord of the Rings.


At one point on our journey, the mountains were so imposing that it seemed as though they had shallowed the road and that our only option would be to drive through them.


Then; the magic came into play. We had heard about this magic hill. A hill where, according to people in the area, a car can “magically” drive itself uphill. Crazy. Not being brave enough we didn´t try it. However, I´m starting to wish we had; just out of curiosity!


So; there you have it, the second post in my series: Rediscovering Ireland. Picnics, mountains, caves and magical hills. What more could you want from a drive? If you ever find yourself in Sligo then I highly recommend doing this drive.

That´s it for today´s post. I hope you enjoyed reading about my adventure. Stay tuned for tomorrow´s post.

Hope you all are having a great day.

Thank you for reading and I will talk to you in my next post.

Giana xoxo


15 thoughts on “Rediscovering Ireland: The Gleniff Horseshoe.

    1. Ireland is beautiful, especially if you´re lucky enough to get there in the sunshine! I´m from Cork myself, so the areas I went to on this trip were very different for me! I hope you do get to visit Ireland some day, I know the weather puts a lot of people off! 🙂 Thanks so much for your comment!


  1. Beautiful photos,Giana. Ireland is such a lovely country. I read the other day, that those ‘magic’ gravity hills are apparently an optical illusion. You are actually on a downward slope, but it looks like a hill. 🙂


  2. I’ve been here in Galway for the past several months. And now my immediate family is coming over and Sligo is on the itinerary. This looks like something that would be right up everyone’s alley! Great shots! I also enjoyed your graveyard post with Yeats’ poem! Cheers!


    1. Thanks so much, Jack. I would most certainly recommend a trip to Sligo. There´s just so much to see there. From the Gleniff Horseshoe, Strand Hill, Coney Island, Rosses Point…the list is endless. So happy you liked the shots! I´ve just been reading your blog, amazing photos. They´re so crystal clear! Great job!


      1. I saw that you’re down in Cork. I’m trying to figure out how to get down there cheaply and stay for a night or two this week. Any recommendations or photo must-do’s??


      2. I actually haven´t lived in Ireland in over four years now, so I´m a bit rusty on the transport system in Ireland. I do have photo recommendations though! My favourite place is Kinsale, famous for its seafood, it´s a quaint little town filled with irish charm. West Cork is extremely beautiful, very rugged yet somehow quite different to Connemara. I love Glengariff. I´ll get my thinking cap on and get back to you with a better list of places in that area. I know that Jury´s inn, which has a central location, is quite affordable. In terms of hostels though, I don´t know any. There are some lovely bed and breakfasts along by UCC, the university, and they are also very cheap and pretty central.


      3. Thanks! I might look to couch surf there just because buses here are pricey considering that the distance travelled isn’t that far…I’ll be sure to keep those in mind! It’s crazy that such a small country can house so many terrains.


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