The killaspugbrone loop is a coastal walk which starts in Strandhill close to the canon.
The walk crosses Strandhill camping and follows a path through the dunes. After a while, the path reaches a newly build defence wall to protect the dunes from the force of the sea. From here, some fantastic views towards Strandhill village can be observed.
After a short stroll along this wall, the airport runway is reached. Here, you have to go through a gate and cross the runway (or to be precise, follow a path along the edge of the runway)
From here, you have the choice to add a small extension towards the headland giving fantastic views towards the sea or take a 600 meter shortcut and head towards the ruins of Killaspugbrone church.
This church was a popular pilgrimage site that contained the relic of St Patrick known as the Fiacail Padraig, which is currently in the National Museum in Dublin. The present building dates to the 12th century. The church was the victim of a viking attack.
The church is located beside a lovely beach which needs to be crossed as part of the walk. As a guide, look towards the headland at the end of the beach where a huge beacon post has been placed which is painted in red and white stripes.
It is here that you leave the beach by following a path through the dunes. From here, the path enters the forest and the path crosses through pine forest where on a warm day, you get the lovely smell of the pine trees.
After the forest, turn right on the road and just before you reach the runway again, turn onto the new path which follows the shore. From here, you get sometimes good views towards sandbanks where seals are soaking up the sun.
From this point onwards, you follow the tarmac road which will include the only hill along the loop. At the top, you turn right towards Sligo rugby club. Just before the rugby club, you pass Dolly's cottage which has a nice tatched roof.
Dolly's Cottage is a stone built cottage with two rooms and a loft with original walls, roof, roof beams, fireplace and pouch bed. Dolly's Cottage was preserved and hasn't changed much and provides you to experience how people lived in the past. The cottage is open in June,July and August on Saturdays and Sundays from 10:30 until 1pm and 2pm until 5pm.
From the rugby club, you have 2 options. You can carry on along the Killaspurbrone loop which follows the main Sligo to Strandhill road into Strandhill.
The second option is to cross the road and carry on along the Knocknarea Queen Maeve trail up towards the cairn. (For a description, check the Knocknarea queen maeve trail section)
It is a lovely walk giving fantastic views towards Knocknarea and Benbulben. Only the last mile is on tarmac road along the main road, so hopefully some sort of path will be put in place linking the path with the airport road. Or if you don't like to walk along the main road and you have plenty of energy left, why not hike up Knocknarea along the Knocknarea Queen Maeve trail
Waymarking: purple arrows and walking man symbol
Length (km): 6 km loop
Ascend (m): 50m
Start point grid reference: IG 160350, 335900
Finish point grid reference: G 160350, 335900
Ordnance survey map: OSI discovery series 25