Things To Do In Mullaghmore : A Gem On The Wild Atlantic Way

Created by Colleen Sims | Updated : 5 January 2024 |

Mullaghmore, in Irish An Mullach Mór, is a tiny seaside village on the Mullaghmore Peninsula in County Sligo, Ireland and a point on the fabulous Wild Atlantic Way.

Whilst only a small seaside village, Mullaghmore is nonetheless a popular holiday destination with a glorious beach, stunning scenery and is the perfect base for exploring Sligo and all that the fabulous west coast of Ireland has to offer.

View of Mullaghmore Head and Classiebawn Castle, during our Mullaghmore Head walk, one of the things to do in Mullaghmore

Things To Do In Mullaghmore

It was after our Benbulbin Forest Walk that we picked a point on the map for a picnic; a random spot near a beach.  How lucky we were because the beach at Mullaghmore is as wide and as glorious as any beach we’ve seen.   

If you love the great outdoors then Mullaghmore would be the perfect place to spend a few days or more.

road along the Mullaghmore Loop with distant views of Benbulbin Mountain, Cassie Bawn Castle and the green fields that line the atlantic coast

Mullaghmore History : Why Is This Sea-Side Village famous?

From the 17th century the village was part of the Temple Family estate, granted to Sir John Temple in the 1600s. Sir John’s descendant, The 3rd Viscount Palmerston (and Prime Minister of England) inherited the lands and built Classiebawn Castle.  In 1822 he also began the construction of the stone-walled harbour. 

The estate and castle have been handed down over generations, and even W.B. Yeats was a frequent summer guest.  In 1939 it was inherited by Edwina Mountbatten and her husband Lord Louis Mountbatten, the last Viceroy of India

After leaving their home at the Viceregal Lodge in Shimla, the family spent their summers at Classiebawn.  It was in 1979 that Mullaghmore hit the headlines when Lord Mountbatten was killed when his boat was blown up by the IRA.

view from the walk around Mullaghmore with a little cove and spring flowers

Is Mullaghmore Worth Visiting?

It would be fair to say that Mullaghmore is definitely more glorious on a sunny day and there is a lot more happening in the summer than at other times of year. 

However, tucked away on Ireland’s Wild Atlantic coast, Mullaghmore is not only worth visiting, the memories of that glorious beach will remain with us for a long time.

Mullaghmore is the perfect place for beach lovers and walkers; you’ll be hard pressed to find another village with these views. The golden, sandy three-kilometre long beach is edged by crystal-clear waters that are safe for swimming. 

Pause a while here, build sandcastles with the kids, or soak up the sun and salty air and on the way back to the village drop in to Fís tiny Fine Art Gallery by the harbour wall.

Mullaghmore Head is just a few kilometres stroll along the coast from the sheltered beach and boasts some of Europe’s biggest waves. These are serious waves and not for the inexperienced. The colossal Prowlers Wave attracts surf loving visitors from around the globe.

Classiebawn Castle certainly paints a pretty picture. While the castle itself is a private residence, its silhouette whispers of tales of Yeats, and Lady Gregory and of Irish aristocracy, which all adds to Mullaghmore’s charm.

Mullaghmore is a compact little coastal village which means that everything is within walking distance. The village is busy and bustling in summer and comes complete with cosy pubs that beckon a visitor in after a day of adventure or hiking and local cafes which provide fuel for the surfers.

And if this isn’t enough to keep you occupied the village sits in the shadow of the famous Benbulbin mountain.  If you like hiking there are several fabulous hikes here including the Benbulbin Forest Walk.

We knew as we sat eating our picnic that we would have to return to Mullaghmore one day. It’s a great location and the perfect base for exploring this part of Ireland. But for that day we had to content ourselves with finishing our lunch and walking the village headland loop before moving on.

two images from Mullaghmore.  One of the rocks leading down to the atlantic ocean and the other a view of Classiebawn castle

Can You Visit Classiebawn Castle?

Sadly you cannot visit the castle or the estate.  It is privately owned and not open to the public.  You can, however, enjoy fabulous views of the castle from the Mullaghmore Headland. 

Mullaghmore Beach

Did we mention the beach?  This stunning pristine beach stretches as far as the eye can see. As well as being sand castle heaven for children the beach is also safe for swimming. 

We’ve seen some beautiful beaches in our travels around the world but I have to say that there aren’t many that could hold a candle to this stunning sweeping bay.

stunning mullaghmore beach, with glorious sand and safe swimming

Mullaghmore Head Loop

From the beach car park or the village you can take the small road that leads to the headland, the walk is known as the Mullaghmore Head Loop.  It is a road walk and not a trail but most folks seem to treat it as a path.

The trail head is Mullaghmore carpark overlooking the beach and the loop is just shy of 5kms with virtually no elevation.  What is does have though, are spectacular views.  A walk this long should probably only take just over an hour but we were gone for more than two; it’s simply beautiful. 

If Benbulbin offered us mountain splendour then this hike offered us everything you could wish for from a coastal walk; including the magnificent views of Classiebawn Castle.

As we walked we stopped and clambered down to the giant rocks that give access to rock pools and closer views of the crystal clear waters.  How many times can I say glorious or beautiful or stunning in one sentence? Seriously just wow! This is a beautiful little walk.

The trail led us to Mullaghmore Head, the renowned surfing spot and described as Ireland’s ultimate big wave destination.  We stopped to enjoy the view, the glorious weather and to take far too many photos of the beautiful Classiebawn Castle.

Time was marching though and so must we, heading back along the road to where the loop started at Mullaghmore beach.   

map showing the route of the Mullaghmore head loop, one of the many things to do in mullaghmore

Mullaghmore Pubs Cafes and Restaurants

This little fishing village offers a selection of eateries.  Expect fresh seafood, hearty local stews, maybe a pint of Guinness and possibly a little lively craic. 

  • Clashybann Restaurant
  • Quay Bar & Grill

Mullaghmore Places to Stay

Mullaghmore is the perfect place to base yourself if visiting the area. There are a few options for accommodation from hotels beside the sea to tucked away little rentals offering a home away from home.

Things to do in Mullaghmore

Mullaghmore isn’t just a village or a beach but a vibrant little community that forms part of the string of pearls otherwise known as the Wild Atlantic Way. There are lots of outdoor activities to keep you busy but beyond Mullaghmore you have Sligo and County Donegal, Yeats Country and Drumcliffe and the incredible hikes around Benbulbin.

With it’s golden sand and rugged coastline, charming pubs, and legendary surf this epic coastal centre offers a lot. Whether you’re driving, cycling, or walking, Mullaghmore welcomes you and invites you to experience the untamed beauty of Ireland’s west coast.

Come for the waves or the walking but stay for the warmth that only Ireland can offer; Mullaghmore is the perfect place for exploring this glorious regions.  It was never just a dot on the map but a vibrant village with a glorious heritage that demands a visit.

Gerry on the Mullaghmore Headland walk.  We wandered down to see the rockpools beside the blue Atlantic ocean

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance

Whenever you travel, you should have a great travel and medical insurance policy.  None of us expect anything bad to happen, but in the event of an incident, you want to be sure that your insurance will be there for you.

I’ve ended up in hospital in Peru, Indonesia, Portugal, Japan and Ireland! Every time my insurance took care of everything. I would never leave home without full and comprehensive insurance.

TrueTraveller : We have this policy and we are very happy with the cover, especially considering our ages and pre-existing conditions.

Globelink : We have used and recommended Globelink for years and we’ve not heard of any issues. They are a great choice for European and UK Residents.

Safety Wing : Many of my travelling buddies from the USA have recommended this company to me, although we’ve not used them personally.

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Colleen in Salamanca on the Via de la Plata

Hey I’m Colleen. I’m married to Gerry, we’ve three fabulous kids and been living in France for almost two decades. I fell in love with Spain in the 1980s and I’ve walked 1000s of miles along the Camino de Santiago. Now we’re exploring and walking the world and I can’t wait to share what we’ve learned!

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