Ben Bulben

The majestic table mountain of Ben Bulben is one of Sligo’s most iconic landmarks. It was formed during the last Ice Age when moving glaciers cut across the land, giving Ben Bulben the distinctive shape we see today. It forms a dramatic backdrop to the Sligo Racecourse.


Benbulbin Mountain, County Sligo
Courtesy of Sam Moore, Archaeologist.

Ben Bulben forms part of the Dartry Mountain Range that extends along Sligo’s border with Co. Leitrim. The uplands of Ben Bulben, together with King’s Mountain, Benwiskin, Truskmore and Tievebaun have been protected as a Special Area of Conservation (SAC).

This area has been designated as an SAC principally for its botanical wealth. A huge variety of Arctic-Alpine plant species inhabit the scree slopes and cliffs of these upland areas of the Dartry Mountains. These are the only slopes in Ireland where many of these species occur, including Alpine Saxifrage and Chickweed Willowherb.

Given the dominating presence of Ben Bulben, it is not surprising that it features strongly in Celtic legends. It is said to be the resting place of the legendary couple, Diarmuid and Gráinne as well as the home to the famous band of Celtic warriors, the Fianna. 

W.B.Yeats was deeply inspired by the landscape of Co. Sligo and remembers it in his famous poem Under Ben Bulben.

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