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Glencar Waterfall, County Leitrim, Ireland

Glencar Waterfall well worth the staycation

Glencar Waterfall

Just 10 mins north of Sligo at lies the beautiful Glencar Waterfall, lough, walk and hike. Although so close to Sligo it it’s actually in county Leitrim.

The waterfall itself is a large 50 ft fall, and has a loop walk where you get right up close to the waterfall and come back down the other side.


Situated about 15 minutes from Sligo center. Driving would be essential as it is a rural location.

Did You Know

Glencar Waterfall was known to be the inspiration behind one of Ireland’s favourite and rightly famous poets, William Butler Yeats. The waterfall itself actually features in his poem the “Stolen Child”.

Our Trip To Glencar

Lockdown was over and we decided we had to get out and see something, 4 months stuck in our four walls and adventure was needed. We packed up some swimmers, some refreshments and got ready to set off on a day trip.

After doing some research I came across Glencar Waterfall, the pictures looked great and from our time in Australia we were often on a hunt through rainforests looking for waterfalls.

Off We Go

We set off early as we figured we would beat the crowds (and the irish don’t like to get up to early). And about an hour an half drive and my 1 year old son playing wheels on the bus 100 times we arrived at Glencar.

On arrival at Glencar and about only 100 metres or so from the falls car park is a separate stop with these great views over the Glencar Lough and all the surrounding beauty of County Sligo.

The entrance to the Glencar waterfall walk. (please note Glencar is totally free excursion making it an even better place to visit).

First thought was how well maintained and kept the area was. We had brought wellies but there was certainly no need for them.

After entering the walking track up to the falls you come across this beautiful stream which is where the waterfall runs to. After spending 5 minutes trying to stop my son jump in we finally got a few seconds to stop and admire the stream.

Past the stream and you then get your first glimpse of the beautiful Glencar Waterfall. We where surprised by the amount of water as it had a bit dry a few days prior. We were pleasantly surprised at how stunning it was.

Glencar Waterfall in all its beauty

Close up of the falls from hallway up the stairs is one of the best shot of the falls. And like we said previously so good to see so much water. Railings stop you getting up close but your close enough to admire its beauty.

Glencar waterfall

The walk has regular signs with information on the Waterfall

Falls Info

A side view of the fall as we turn up the path to start the Glencar walking track. Not before a pose next to the falls.

The Falls

The Walk Out

The walk out and loop through the dense forest is lovely and with the crashing noise of the waterfall in the background adding to its beauty.

The second loop which brings you down to where you started at the stream. As you can see it is all very well maintained.

Glencar also has a café serving teas, coffees, sandwiches, snacks and drinks. Also a great playground for the kids to play in ideally located in front of the cafe allowing you to keep an eye whilst you recharge.

Glencar Hill Walk

Unfortunately not something we could do due to being with the kids. However we were told the views over Knocknarea, Sligo Bay, the Leitrim Hills and Glencar Lough & Valley are unbelievable.

This 7km walk takes you from the Lough of Glencar through the side of Waterfall and through the hills towards Dooneens and either back along the same track or out around by Hudson’s road.

The walk is relatively simple and is classed as a moderate walk .Its estimated to take 2 hours, and as stated goes for 7km, Suitable walking gear is regarded as needed.

The 5 Glens Atlantic Loop

The signs below show the 5 Glens Atlantic loop route.

The 5 Glens is a idea developed by local businesses to help promote local tourism. Its aim is to grow economical prospect for the local counties in the North West Region, Leitrim, Sligo, Donegal, Cavan, Fermanagh, Roscommon.

To find out more on this loop check the useful resource below

5 Glens Atlantic Loop

Tips For this trip

With it location being so close to Sligo city a favourite café of our would be the ever popular Sweet Beats Cafe. Its a Vegan cafe, but even for non vegans the flavour and quality in the food is second to none. And it’s why they have been nationally recognised as a leading café.

Sweet Beats homemade beans and soup

Another top tip would be with the short nature of the waterfall trip, tapping on a trip to the popular Strandhill beach. Located about 15 minutes outside the city Strandhill is a popular beach destination with tourists and holiday makers. Fine fish and chips shops and any number of restaurants.

As always thanks for stopping by, be back soon for some more action.

Why not check out some more of our Ireland posts HERE

Love waterfalls? so do we here are a few of our favourite waterfall posts Curtis Falls Waterfall Mount tamborine, Purling Brook Falls Springbrook Mountain Gold Coast and Victoria Falls By Helicopter

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32 thoughts on “Glencar Waterfall, County Leitrim, Ireland”

  1. Pingback: Lough Key Forest Park, Roscommon, Ireland - Chalk & Cheese Travels

    1. Chalk and Cheese Travels – We are adventure seekers who love to explore the world. So one day, we decided to write about it here is our story so far

      I’m always thinking of my stomach no good hike is planned without a final destination for food 😅

  2. Lannie Travels – Isle of Islay – Full time aid-worker, part time food and travel blogger. Love experiencing the world through its food culture! Happily fueled by coffee, great food, and whisky.

    What a beautiful waterfall! I love how it falls. (Does that make sense? Who knows…). The walk looks really nice too! Glad you ended it with some food 🙂 🙂

    1. Chalk and Cheese Travels – We are adventure seekers who love to explore the world. So one day, we decided to write about it here is our story so far

      I know what you mean its almost like someone turned a tap on. Its beautiful waterfall

  3. What a gorgeous waterfall and one I’d love to see when I do make it to Ireland! I like how it has a nice paved path and stairs for easy access. Hiking the Glens Atlantic Loop would be fun too!

    1. Chalk and Cheese Travels – We are adventure seekers who love to explore the world. So one day, we decided to write about it here is our story so far

      The easy access is great especially when we take the family

  4. Vinn – Cyprus – Vinn has been living and working in the middle east for more than 10 years. She started traveling since 2007 mostly in Southeast Asian countries, middle east regions, Greece and Cyprus. Currently in Cyprus for another round of adventures! Catch her at VinnEnRoute!

    Exploring waterfall is very refreshing and to some extent therapeautic. Just hearing the sounds of the water can be very calming. That vega cafe is definitely worth a visit!

    1. Chalk and Cheese Travels – We are adventure seekers who love to explore the world. So one day, we decided to write about it here is our story so far

      Love the sound of a good waterfall. The beans were amazing and that’s fromna non vegan would definitely go back

  5. Ida

    Looks like a really beautiful spot! I’d love to visit Ireland one day – I’ve only been to Dublin but I want to see the countryside. Those rustic beans on toast look delicious (and I’m not even vegan!)

    1. Chalk and Cheese Travels – We are adventure seekers who love to explore the world. So one day, we decided to write about it here is our story so far

      Me neither but the beans were well worth it. The countryside is so beautiful when you get the right weather

  6. wattwherehow – Bernie and Jess Watt are travel bloggers from Australia, living in NYC. Award winning copywriter by day (Bernie) and legal professional (Jess), casual photographers and hobbyist Vloggers in the making, our blog blends travel experiences from around the world with tips for those coming to NYC to live or vacation.

    I’d love to go and take photos there!

  7. kasiawrites – Kasiawrites Cultural Travel Blog is about adventure, exploration and discovery with a focus on responsible travel. An exciting way of learning about the world as well as self-reflection and personal freedom. A place for curious travellers, looking for new experiences, discovering new things and learning something new along the way.

    There is something so relaxing about waterfalls! Now, the Sweet Beats is totally up my alley!

    1. Chalk and Cheese Travels – We are adventure seekers who love to explore the world. So one day, we decided to write about it here is our story so far

      Sweet beats is great i myself am not vegan but uts still one of my favourite places

  8. Pingback: Airbnb At The Bective Stud Farm Navan, Ireland - Chalk & Cheese Travels

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