"Your Tranquil Home-away-from-Home in Ireland's Magical North-West"

Things to Do at Herdsman's House

There is easy access to all the splendor of this beautiful county from Herdsman’s House.  Experience the holiday (vacation) of a lifetime in our stunning holiday farmhouse perfectly located in Ireland's magical northwest. Have a great farm and/or marine based activity holiday with us and just relax and enjoy the natural beauty surrounding you. Herdsman's House has superior views of Sligo Bay, Raghly Harbour and Queen Maeve's cairn. A locked storage shed is available for bicycles, surfboards,fishing rods, golf clubs, etc. There is private access to the lands where the Barnacle gees and other migrating birds are plentiful from October to April.  Climbing the nearby fairy fort with us is breathtaking and later visiting the pigeon holes where the sea comes in under the land is amazing.

Guests can participate in farming activities which can include: feeding and petting calves, cows and lambs; turning and making hay; bringing in hay; silage harvesting, driving a tractor; watching cattle playing, feeding and resting in the field in front of the house; moving cows and calves to adjacent fields; particpating in hoof repair, sheering sheep, and veterinary/AI visits.  Have you seen a cow calving before? You may be lucky. When the cattle are housed (November to March/April), we provide supervised visits to the sheds where guests can engage in feeding.  This can be YOUR agri-tourism experience or rural farm stay.

Depending on the weather and tides, guests can go on a short boat trip from Raghly Harbour.  Watch us as we pull up our lobster pot, take out the lobster (if lucky), band his/her claws, re- bait in pot, and throw it back into the sea. There is such excitement when there is a lobster for you!!  Guests can also fish for mackerel, pollack and other fish from the boat.  Alternatively, bird watching from the boat is amazing.  The harbour is tidal.  The boat trip is also weather dependent, so we do not go to sea with swells or waves greater that 0.5m or windy or foggy conditions. 

The local beaches include the Golden Strand or Tra-Bhui (pronounced Tra wee) which is a mile long sandy beach and Cummeen Strand which stretches from Lissadell to Raghly.  We have gated access to the Golden Strand. Local organic vegetables (seasonal) are available as well as local jams, dried seaweed for baths, and other local crafts (handmade baskets, jams, honey, etc.). 

Many people describe the area as a writers and painters paradise. Follow the trail around Raghly where W.B.Yeats walked for years. The area has inspired many a writer since then including the late Dermot Healy (RIP) and Leeland Bardwell (RIP).  Artists and painters have often remarked on the immense natural light in our house and the area. 

Desmond has many interesting and funny stories and history of the area, including the Irish language stories.  We invite you to call into us for a cuppa tea or coffee and a chat.  Des will be more than happy to be your personal concierge - providing advice, immersing you in the farm,and assisting you in whatever you need. Come to Sligo and set your spirit free. 


Other Suggested Activities 

Arrival Day: Meet us and settle into the Herdsman’s House. Walk 5 minutes over the road with us and stand on top of the magical ring forts, the mystical home of the fairies. There are breathtaking views for miles and the sound of musical instruments is amazing from here. Then you could continue walking to the local fishing pier (Raghley Harbour) to get a feel for the area. Pick up some shopping. Plan your stay with us.

Visit Yeat’s Grave. Have a cup of tea and homemade scones/bread in Drumcliffe Tea House. Go to Glencar Lake and Waterfall. After Glencar, you might want to continue on to Parke’s Castle (a restored plantation castle) on the shores of Lough Gill. Alternatively you can travel into Sligo town and take a boat tour of Lough Gill (http://www.roseofinnisfree.com). When in town, visit Sligo Abbey (http://www.heritageireland.ie/en/North-West/SligoAbbey). Go for a walk in Hazelwood or Dooney Rock Nature Trail http://www.irishtrails.ie. If you fancy some food, go to Reidy’s Wine Bar and Bistro on Stephen Street.

Go horseriding at the Island View Stables (http://islandviewridingstables.com) in the morning. Go to Cliffoney to see the Creevykeel Court Cairn (http://www.sligoheritage.com) thought to be 4,500 years old. Then continue on to Mullaghmore Peninsula where you can take a walk on the pier and go to its sheltered beach. You could take a trip to InishMurray Island (http://www.sligoheritage.com). Boat trips may require pre-booking.

Go to Eagles Flying (http://www.eaglesflying.com/index.htm), the Irish Raptor Research Center for birds of prey and owls, in Ballymote (about 45 minutes drive). Watch eagles flying and visit their Touch-Zoo where one and all can cuddle pet animals. This is a fun 1/2 day out for everyone.  The bird shows are at 11am and 3pm. The center closes from 1-2pm. 

Go towards Strandhill. The first stop is the Carrowmore Megalithic Cemetery. About 10-15minutes down the road is the car park for your climb Knocknarea (1.2km walk to the summit) to see Queen Maeve’s Cairn and the spectacular views of Sligo (http://www.sligotown.net/knocknarea). Travel on to Strandhill. Go to the Shells Café, top-rated restaurant in Sligo, for a bite to eat. Then go to the award winning Voya seaweed baths (http://voyaseaweedbaths.com) for a massage or seaweed bath (pre-booking needed) OR for the more adventurous person, go surfing (http://www.strandhillsurfschool.com).

All golf enthusiasts should go to the West of Ireland  championship course at Rosses’ Point (http://countysligogolfclub.ie).  There is also sailing; kite boarding (http://www.lsdkiteboarding.com);  sightseeing on the sea (http://www.sligoboatcharters.com) or just walk along the Promenade. Go to Sligo town for some souvenirs and shopping http://thecatandthemoon.com, http://www.johnstoncourt.ie and http://www.quayside.ie . Then you can go to Lang's (http://www.langs.ie) or Yeat’s Tavern (http://www.yeatstavernrestaurant.com) for lunch or dinner.

Visit Lissadell House and Gardens. Park near the beach. If interested, walk through the woods to the look-out hatch for the Ballygilgan Nature Reserve. Otherwise walk up the road to see the house, garden and surrounding buildings. Go to Streedagh, where the Spanish Armada was washed up. Collect some shells and sea stones. Return home and go rock fishing or crab fishing at the harbor.  Later indulge yourself into a session of reflexology (pre-booking is required). In the evening go to Ellen’s Pub for some traditional music and poetry. 

And then it is:  Time for good-byes!


Click on any of the following headings for more information.

Bird Watching

This area is a paradise for birds and waterfowl. Some of our land has been recently designated as special area of conservation. Barnacle Geese visit us every year from mid-October to late April. A walkway (for able and disabled) provides direct access to view the geese. Close by (10 minutes) is the Ballygilgan Nature Reserve (Lissadell) (http://sligobirding.com/Lissadell). And Bird Watch Ireland / Sligo site (http://birdwatchireland.ie or http://sligobirding.com) provide up to date recent sighting of various birds and waterfowl in the Sligo area.


Arts and Culture

Maugherow is notorious for its artists from writers, poets, painters, and fairy makers, and many have set up home here. The Model (Niland Gallery), Hamilton Gallery, Yeat’s Society, Hawkswell, Blue Raincoat Theatre, the Factory, and more are within 20 minutes drive.


Go to Lislarry (about 6km) for some of the best waves in the northwest. Or go further to afield to Bundoran (http://www.turfnsurf.ie or http://www.bundoransurfco.com) or Strandhill (http://www.strandhillsurfschool.com) and experience the thrills of surfing on the big Atlantic waves (both 30 minutes away). Or the Adventure Sligo site (http://www.adventuresligo.com) can provide additional links.

Sailing / Boating / Canoeing /Kayaking

Within 20 minutes there are 2 sailing clubs (http://mullaghmoresailingclub.org or http://sligoyachtclub.ie) offering beginners and experienced sailing courses for juniors and adults. Or if you have your own boat (sail boat, rib, canoe, etc) bring it along and we will help you launch it from the recently renovated Raghley pier. You can explore and relax in tranquility of Drumcliffe Bay. The boat can be stored in our sheds. Another popular activity is kayaking or canoeing (http://www.adventuresligo.com/water/kayaking).


If you own your own horse(s), you can have a unique holiday by bringing him/her/them with you. Access to the local beaches (Ardtarmon Strand or The Golden Strand or Tra Bui) can be provided through the owner’s land. Then the horse(s) can graze under your watchful eye. All options considered. Contact us for more information.

Alternatively, Island View offers horseriding for all the family year round (http://islandviewridingstables.com). This family run business is located about 15 minutes away and offers beach rides, trekking, lessons, and carriage riding. Use these links for additional riding stables: http://www.irelandonhorseback.com or http://www.markreestables.com) in the Sligo area.


Ireland is renowned for its golf courses and Rosses’ Point is no exception. The County Sligo Golf Club at Rosses’ Point (http://countysligogolfclub.ie) is ranked in the top 10 links courses in Ireland. The club boasts renowned visitors and champions, Rory McElroy and Tom Watson. Or you can go to Berties Pitch and Putt (http://www.bertiespnp.co.nr) or the Tyeconnell Pitch and Putt course in Bundoran.


There are plenty of excellent fishing points on the Raghley peninsula, where you can catch mackerel, pollock, bollin or if you are lucky sea trout. Raghley Harbour is located ¼ mile away. Spoil yourself with some fresh lobster and crab caught by local fishermen (available on request). Or try your hand at getting some razor fish or rock fishing. Crab fishing off the pier provides fun for everyone. In Mullahmore (http://www.offshore.ie or http://www.inishmurrayislandtrips.com) or Rosses’ Point (http://www.sligoboatcharters.com or http://www.irishanglingcharters.ie ) charter boats are available for the serious fishermen. We can help with any bookings.

Walking / Hill Walking

Exploring North Sligo on foot can be a beautiful way to see the county. Various magical walks include: Lissadell House and Woods; Glencar Lake and Waterfall; Streedagh Point and Beach; Glennif Horseshoe at the foot of Ben Bulben to name a few. Go to http://www.sligotourism.ie and/or http://www.irishtrails.ie or http://www.coillteoutdoors.ie for more information on mountain walks, nature trails, coastal walks and more.

Local Attractions

Shopping and Restaurants

Sligo offers shopping with a difference. There is a good mix of the extraordinary shops with hand-crafted pieces, the shops passed down through the generations and the more typical shops. Wooden sculpture by Michael Quirke and hand-crafted jewelry at The Cat and the Moon offer some unusual items while Mullaney’s and Moffits have been in the center of town for generations. The shopping centers provide a good mix on newer shops. Café’s, restaurants, and bistros are plentiful in Sligo town and North Sligo. Yeat’s Tavern (Davis’); Henry’s Restaurant and Lang’s Bar and Restaurant are within 10-15 minutes of ‘home’.

Upcoming Events

January: Yeats Winter School

February: Western Drama Festival

March: St. Patrick's Day Festival; So' Sligo Food Festival;

April: Sligo New Music Festival (The Model); Sligo Feis Ceil; Sligo Myths and Legends School

May: Sligo Races; Cos Cos Sean Nos Dance Festival; Writer's Retreat: The Creative Writer's Workshop; South Sligo Walking Festival

June: Temple House Music Festival; Sligo Races; Celtic Fringe Festival

July: Cairde Summer Festival; James Morrison Traditional Music Festival; South Sligo Summer School; Sligo Jazz Summer School; Fleadh Chonnacht; Yeat International Summer School (end of July and beginning of August – 2 weeks)

August: Mullaghmore Harvest Show and Donkey Darby; Coleman Traditional Festival; Warrior's Run Festival; Carmel Gunning International Summer School


October: Sligo Live Session

November: Sligo International Choral Festival



A Home for all Seasons









Upcoming Events

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Special Offers

 Please enquire with owners for special offers. (Landline: +353-719163744; Mobile: +353-(0)861722309)


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Where We Are

Only 45 minutes from Knock Airport

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