So this is the summary page for stranded recommendations of things worth checking out in Sligo.  I’ll also tag each post with categories like walks or sligo so if you click on the categories on the bottom left you should get a shortcut to sligo things, or you might want to start with my Top 10 Things to Do in Sligo post.

If you want to get an up to date listing of things that are on head to stranded faves sligoevents for general listings or sligomusic for a terrific guide to the huge variety of quality music on offer in the county.

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The main places to check out for music/comedy/theatre/film/dance/art and what not are:

The Model – one of irelands leading contemporary arts centres which has music, film, exhibitions and great kids programmes, along with a great cafe called Slice, from Lyons’ chef Gary Stafford. The Model is free in and has just undergone a pretty fantastic redevelopment so is worth going to see the building alone.  Check out their busy blog which runs along the main site with news and updates.

the factory – a contemporary theatre space, home to blue raincoat theatre company which also holds non-raincoat theatre, dance and music events

the hawkeswell theatre – the largest theatre in sligo with a busy programme of drama, childrens theatre, music and dance and a busy am-dram progamme

Cat and the Moon – local commercial gallery with a lovely craft/jewellery shop right in the centre of town. They’ve recently renamed the upstairs gallery as The Hamilton Gallery

If film is your thing The Model has a busy film programme of cultural cinema presented in association with the IFI. Info here> and there’s the commercial cinema The Gaiety.

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Other spots that often run music gigs are:

McGarrigles pub – on O’Connell St in Sligo. A busy pub with a broad selection of gigs upstairs and trad sessions every Thursday at the moment. No site I can find but they’re on facebook. also does lunch and has free wifi.

Barry’s of Grange – a brilliant pub and live venue about 20mins north of Sligo town. Regular trad and folk gigs are a speciality.

Lots of the other pubs in Sligo have live music in them, best to follow your ears or check out sligomusic.ie which is a new site of local listings and links. The local papers are good too and come out weekly; The Sligo Champion (Tuesdays), The Weekender (Fridays)

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Pubs:

For a great plain old pint try the terrific Hargadons on O’Connell St (snugs at the front are the most prized and the most packed), Not only do they rustle up a fine Guinness but they have a lovely selection of wine by the glass which comes from a proper wine bottle, and not one of the headache inducing mini-bottles, oh- and it comes in a proper wine glass too – more of that please.   Great lunch food and winner of Georgina Campbell’s Pub of the Year 2011.

For more of the “real” pints head to Connollys on Markievicz Road, or the old shop/pub side of Langs in Grange.

Strandhill is a world to itself and top pubs there are  The Strand for lunch grub and night time shenanigans, Bella Vista for truly terrific Pizza, and, in the top village,  The Venue  for good pub dins with an ocean view and The Dunes bar can be a great spot. Mostly a local crowd, and whatever surfers are staying in the Dunes B&B, it can vary from quiet pints to singing and dancing fun.

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Grub:

One of the best Cafe’s in Sligo is actually in Strandhill – Shell’s Seaside Bakery. It’s full of home baked breads and cakes and has a perfect menu of tasty bits. Brunch on the weekend is a real treat and it’s location on the seafront is perfect for summer people watching. Get their early for brunch though- it’s jam packed.

I say the best of the proper full on restaurant is Coach Lane.  It doesn’t hit the mark 100% of the time but when they do it’s amazing, and that’s most of the time. The wine list is great, the warm bread is fantastic, the fish is really good (when they lay off the heavy sauce) and I eat the Ostrich more times than I should.  Worth a try.

I also love Source – more for the tapas than the downstairs dining, which can be a little hit and miss. The room and staff are lovely though and cafe there during the day is terrific.

If you want more casual dining, but great food, head for Osta on the waterfront- great for a sunny lunch, or Lyons Cafe is a must visit for amazing irish brekkies and hearty self service lunches with homemade crumble. Old School charm with a clean edge.  Lyons’ chef Gary Stafford has also opened a lovely cafe in The Model, so the marrying of great food and beautiful surroundings (with free wifi) is another great find. Get the steak sandwich!

for me the best coffee in town is from Kate’s Kitchen (deli and shop on Castle Street), or the lovely new Chapters Cafe on the corner of Bridge Street. Chapters has a small but lovely menu, free wifi and a lovely upstairs library room which is great for meetings or long lunches. I love Cafe Victor too but it’s teeny, so you musn’t go there between 12-2pm on a weekday or I won’t be able to get in! I don’t like strong coffee though so my tastes are subjective of course.

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There are no end of great outdoor things to do in Sligo and I post as I go. I’m talking walking up mountains (Benbulben or Knocknarea), getting to the beach (Streedagh, Mullaghmore,  Strandhill, Killaspugbrone, Culleenamore), wandering through a forest (Union Wood) or finding a Waterfall (Glencar) a Magic Road or a Hidden Glen…

Have  little watch of this to whet your outdoorsy appetite:

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