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Carrowkeel Passage Graves-
One Of The Best Places To Visit In Ireland

Carrowkeel is of our favourite places to visit in Ireland without a doubt. Carrowkeel is a complex of megalithic tombs in a beautiful location up on the Bricklieve Mountains in Sligo, Ireland.

Inside a cairn at Carrowkeel Passage Graves, County Sligo, Ireland.

What Is There To See?

Take a twenty minute walk up the hill from the car park, enjoy the views from up here all around where you can see Lough Arrow and Lough Key. The highest point is at some 320 metres and from here, you have a view of five counties all around the Bricklieves. Of all the places to visit in Ireland- one of the most stunning for sure.

Then, marvel at the passage tombs which are accessible for free. An original piece of Ireland’s heritage left in the landscape and accessible to anyone for free-what a gift. Simply amazing. As well as 14 hilltop cairns, you will also be able to make out the Irish stone age village on the plateau below. Most likely, this was where the builders of the cairns resided.

Carrowkeel, County Sligo, Ireland- view from one of the cairns.

One of the best places to visit in Ireland- Carrowkeel passage graves

Significance

Carrowkeel is more than 5,000 years old, older than Newgrange, and of the same tradition. They are among the very best stone age remains in Europe. These cairns containing the tombs are some of the oldest buildings on earth, a memorial of Neolithic Ireland. They were built by some of the first farmers who were worshipping Mother Earth. From Carrowkeel, you can see as far as Carrowmore, another, related megalithic site just outside Sligo town.

Other Heritage Places To Visit In Ireland

Find out more facts about Carrowkeel here.

Read about the sister sites at Carrowmore and Newgrange.

Read about neolithic Ireland, part 1
and part 2.

Directions

If you are travelling from Galway, plan a two hour drive; from Dublin a three hour drive, and from Westport the journey will take two hours, from Sligo no more than 30 minutes.

The best way to get to Carrowkeel is from the main Boyle- Sligo road. Turn off at Castlebaldwin which is a 16 mile or twenty minute drive from Sligo town. Follow the signs for Carrowkeel. Continue past the first farm gate you come to. Park at the small car park shortly after, and walk up the hill from there following the path. The walk is easy enough and will take about twenty minutes.

The walk up to Carrowkeel megalithic tombs in County Sligo, Ireland.

Prices And Opening Times

The good news is that visiting Carrowkeel is free. You can go anytime you want, although you should keep in mind that the mountain roads will be pretty much inaccessible if there is any snow or ice. A fair weather day is best of course in order to get the best out of the views all around.

What To Bring

Wear good walking shoes, and breathable raingear with an option to ‘peel off’ layers should the sun come out. A rucksack is a good idea, and a picnic inside the rucksack is an even better one.

What To Look Out For

  • Make sure to include a bag for your rubbish. Leave no trace on the mountain.
  • Don’t climb up on the cairns.
  • Don’t displace any rocks.
  • Don’t take anything in or out of the cairns.
  • Leave the place exactly as you found it.
  • This monument is precious.
Cairn with collapsed top at Carrokeel, County Sligo, Ireland.

Our Special Tips

Tip No 1:

Bring your kids if you have kids, or any kids you know, nieces, nephews and so on. Tell them about neolithic Ireland. They will remember this trip for a lifetime.

Tip No 2:

Combine your excursion with kids with a visit to Eagles Flying which is located nearby about a half an hour from here. The two experiences together will combine to a long day of fun for the whole family.

Tip No 3:

Visit Carrowmore on the same day to get an idea of just how impressive prehistoric Ireland was.

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