Welcome to Lough Gill

The lake, which is dotted with some 20 small islands, is a mere 8km southeast of Sligo town and simple to reach. It's shaded by two magical swaths of woodland – Hazelwood and Slish Wood – which have waymarked trails; there are good views of Innisfree Island from the latter.

You can take a cruise on the lake from atmospheric Parke's Castle, in nearby County Leitrim. Watch for the shadows of huge salmon and the ripples of otters.

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Lough Gill in detail