If you’re debating staying in Rosses Point in Sligo, you’ve landed in the right place.
Rosses Point is a delightful little town to head to just 10-minutes away from Sligo Town. Located on a small peninsula, it has incredibly beautiful views across to Oyster and Coney Island and the Dartry Mountains.
It’s the perfect destination for a quick weekend getaway, with two kilometres of Blue Flag beaches to enjoy and a lively pub scene.
In the guide below, you’ll discover everything from things to do in Rosses Point in Sligo to where to eat, sleep and drink.
Some quick need-to-knows about Rosses Point in Sligo
Although a visit to Rosses Point in Sligo is nice and straightforward, there are a few need-to-knows that’ll make your visit that bit more enjoyable.
Located on the north west coast of Ireland, it’s both the name of a town and peninsula just 8km west of Sligo town on the Wild Atlantic Way. The peninsula is at the entrance to Sligo Harbour, with Coney Island and Oyster Island just off the coast and visible from town.
2. A lively little town
Rosses Point is a popular seaside destination with a long 2km beach and beautiful views over the ocean, as well as Dartry Mountains. There are plenty of good restaurants and accommodation in town, which give the place a lively vibe, especially in summer.
3. A fine base for exploring
While it’s just a small town, there are still so many things to do in and around Rosses Point. From soaking up the views to heading further afield to waterfalls and taking scenic drives, it makes for a nice base for exploring County Sligo.
About Rosses Point
Rosses Point is both the name of the small town west of Sligo, as well as the peninsula in which it sits at the entrance to Sligo Harbour. While it’s small, it’s known for its incredible scenery and beautiful beaches which draw plenty of visitors in summer.
Oyster Island lies off the coast from town, while Coney Island is just a bit further out. The town also has an incredibly stunning backdrop of the Dartry mountains, with Knocknarea to the south and Benbulben standing tall to the north.
The town and peninsula are known for inspiring poet William Butler Yeats. In fact, he and his artist brother spent their summers at Elsinore House in Rosses Point, and much of his inspiration can be traced back to folk tales of the area.
Things to do in Rosses Point (and nearby)
There are a handful of things to do in Rosses Point and there’s an endless number of places to visit in Sligo a short drive from the town.
Below, you’ll find everything from the mighty Rosses Point Beach and the brilliant Rosses Point Coastal Walk to a clatter of nearby attractions.
1. Grab a coffee to go from the Little Cottage Café
You might have to wait with a long line of eager people at this cafe, but the wait is worth it. The Little Cottage Café has incredible coffee, along with delicious food and treats which are perfect to take away.
Located in the middle of town and looking towards the sea, it’s ideally located to grab a coffee before you head out to the beach.
2. And then saunter along Rosses Point Beach
There are actually three beaches, all stretching around three coves. However, the closest one to town is the most popular, and is the easiest one to reach on foot.
You can walk along the sand and enjoy the coastal views and fresh salty air. In summer, it can get rather busy, but you can opt for an early morning walk for some peace and quiet.
3. Soak up the views on the Rosses Point Coastal Walk
For those looking for a decent walk to do while in Rosses Point, there is a nice 4km or 1-hour coastal walk starting from the Church of Ireland and taking you along the promenade.
This easy rated ramble takes in the pier, the Lady Waiting on the Shore monument, Elsinore House ruins and Metal Man statue. At the end of the walk, you can either walk along the beach or follow the road back to the Yeats Country Hotel.
4. Take a boat trip to Inishmurray Island
For a perfect day trip, you can head out to the uninhabited mythical island of Inishmurray. There are boat trips leaving from Rosses Point when the weather is fine, which provide a very scenic journey across the beautiful coastline of Sligo.
The island itself is known for being home to an early Christian monastic settlement until it was abandoned in the 1940s. You can still see the remains of the monastery area, as well as stunning and unique flora and fauna including seabirds.
5. Give stand up paddle boarding a bash
The calm waters of Rosses Point Beach make the perfect place to give stand up paddle boarding or SUPing a crack. You’ll find Sligo Bay SUP in Rosses Point which is an ASI accredited and passionate operator for your first experience.
No matter what your age or ability is, they will be able to instruct and help you learn the ropes of SUPing. It’s the perfect new experience to try which will also give you a completely different view of the coast.
6. Visit Drumcliffe Church and W.B. Yeat’s Grave
Just north of the peninsula, you can easily visit the village of Drumcliffe and the final resting place of William Butler Yeats. Drumcliffe Church is where you’ll find the grave of the famous poet with a simple headstone.
Nearby, you can also explore the 6th century Columbian monastery in the village while you’re there. It’s less than 10km from Rosses Point, so it’s a great place to explore on your way to Glencar Waterfall or Mullaghmore.
7. Do the Gleniff Horsehoe Drive
Further inland, the spectacular Gleniff Horseshoe drive takes in a scenic 9km loop of single lane road south from Cliffoney. Along the stretch of road, you’ll be able to admire the incredible cliffs and mountains of Sligo including Tieve Baun, Truskmore, Benwiskin and Benbulben.
It seriously has some of the most insane views you’ll see in the whole county, so it’s worth the drive just north of Rosses Point for an afternoon adventure.
8. Visit Glencar Waterfall
While you’re out and about, you can also check out Glencar Waterfall. This 15-m high waterfall can be reached by a short but magical walk through a pretty forest from the carpark.
It’s well-known for inspiring William Butler Yeats, so it’s a fitting addition to a trip to Rosses Point. It’s easily reached just 17km north east from town.
9. Take a trip to Mullaghmore
Further north along the coast, you’ll come to another pretty seaside town, Mullaghmore. This makes for a perfect trip from Rosses Point and is a lively town with a beautiful Blue Flag beach stretching for 3km.
It’s also a big wave surfing destination. In winter, you might see some keen and experienced surfers trying to tackle the epic waves off the coast of Mullaghmore Head.
Accommodation in Rosses Point
There are a handful of places to stay in Rosses Point for those of you that fancy making the village your base for your trip to Sligo.
Note: if you book a hotel through one of the links below we may make a tiny commission that helps us keep this site going. You won’t pay extra, but we really do appreciate it.
1. Radisson Blu Hotel & Spa
Definitely one of the nicest places to stay in Rosses Point, Radisson Blu Hotel is a classy 4-star hotel located a few kilometres outside of town. It’s nicely surrounded by countryside and conveniently just 5-minutes from the beach and 10-minutes drive from Sligo.
The hotel has very comfortable and stylish rooms, with some even offering sea views. This is one of our favourite hotels in Sligo for good reason.
2. Yeats Country Hotel Spa
This classic hotel and spa is perfectly located right in the middle of Rosses Point town. With views out towards the sea and a luxury spa and leisure centre, it’s a great place to unwind and relax.
They have a range of rooms available from singles up to family rooms to suit almost everyone. It’s certainly kid friendly with a children’s pool right next to the indoor pool and a kid’s club during the summer season.
3. Sligo Bay Lodge
For a more boutique option, this bed and breakfast is a great choice in Rosses Point town. It’s less than 1km from the beach, meaning you can virtually walk everywhere that you need to for a short stay.
The property has a range of double and single rooms with en-suite bathrooms and many offering ocean views. There’s also a shared lounge area for all guests to enjoy.
Pubs and restaurants in Rosses Point
You’ll find some of the best restaurants in Sligo tucked away in Rosses Point, each of which are perfect for a post-hike feed.
There are a handful of solid pubs in the area for a post-swim pint or a cup of tea, if the bones need warming up.
1. Austies Pub and Kitchen
One of the iconic places in Rosses Point, Austies is a landmark 200-year-old bar and pub in the middle of town. The traditional pub has casual dining with sea and island views across the bay, so it’s certainly a favourite at sunset.
You can find dishes like calamari, fish and chips and homemade burgers on the menu. You’ll also find live music here most weekends with Irish and folk music being a popular choice.
2. The Driftwood
Another great and centrally located restaurant, Driftwood is a bar and smokehouse restaurant with beautiful views over Sligo Bay. The delicious restaurant is open from Wednesday to Sunday for dinner, with wonderful high-quality meals.
Their speciality is smoked meats and seafood, which have been slow cooked in the smoker for up to 15 hours delivering incredible flavour. It’s also a popular place to go for a drink, to relax after a day of exploring.
3. Harry’s Bar
Just down along the promenade, this pub looks straight across the bay with views over the islands. It’s one of the original places in town, having opened in around 1870 and run by the same Ewing family for five generations.
It’s got plenty of quirkiness and character, with memorabilia all over the walls. You’ll also find delicious food there with fresh, homemade meals including locally caught fish which go perfectly with their variety of drinks available at the bar.
FAQs about visiting Rosses Point in Sligo
We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from things to do in Rosses Point to where to grab a bite to eat.
In the section below, we’ve popped in the most FAQs that we’ve received. If you have a question that we haven’t tackled, ask away in the comments section below.
Is Rosses Point worth visiting?
Yes! Rosses Point is grand little place to stop off in for food or a stroll along the beach. It’s also a great base to explore County Sligo from.
What are the best things to do in Rosses Point?
Arguably the best of the many things to do in Rosses Point is to saunter along Rosses Point Beach, soak up the views on the Rosses Point Coastal Walk, take a boat trip to Inishmurray Island and more.
Are there many places to eat in Rosses Point?
Yes – there’s plenty of cafes, pubs and restaurants in Rosses Point in Sligo. Our favourite spot is the Driftwood, but the other places mentioned above are brilliant, too!
Elisha is a freelance writer, content creator and blogger and her work can be read in Lonely Planet, Remote Lands and Matador Network. You’ll usually find her travelling in offbeat places or hiking wherever there are mountains; always with a camera in hand.