To the east of Sligo town lies one of Ireland’s most entrancing lakes, Lough Gill, set beneath wooded slopes which provide the backdrop to almost all its 40km shoreline. The best route around the lough, and one easily navigable in less than a day’s cycling, is to follow the shore clockwise by following the R286 from Sligo town, and taking in the plantation Parke’s Castle, just inside County Leitrim, from where you can board a cruise boat and catch a sight of idyllic Innisfree.

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Ireland features

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In pictures: 12 reasons why you should visit Ireland

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