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Finally we got there
So it finally happened, we got to visit the Caves of Keash. We had talked about visiting many times but due to a number of reasons, one being the weather we just never made it. Actually one clear day we headed off and got to the foot of the hill only to find that it was lambing season and entry to the walk and caves had been restricted. So that’s my first tip check ahead to see if it’s lambing season. We found up to date information on Sligowalk.ie site.
A little information on the Caves
The caves have 17 chambers along the hill, some of these connect to one another. For safety reasons the walk upto the Caves ends after the first 3 and with safety concerns the recommendation is only visiting these. Signs on the Caves tell you where the trail ends. (We listened to the advice and just saw the 3)
Note – The caves of keash are on private land so please when you walk through respect the land and listen to the advice and stick to designated tracks.
Early days there were archaeological investigations they say around the 1900s, that man lived in the Caves of Keash.
Those investigations also discovered bones from animals, with evidence of hares, brown bear, red deer, Arctic lemming and wolves all dating back to more than c.12,000 years ago.
It is said that Ireland’s famous High King, Cormac Mac Airt was born by a well near the caves. He in later life ruled as King.
The parking bay
In recent years a car park has been erected and is situated right at the entrance gate of the walking track (see picture below). Please be aware and here is tip 2 for the day. The Caves of Keash parking sign brings you a 10 minute walk away from the entrance to the walking track by the local church. New signs for the new are not clear.
Enter the hike
Entrance to the hike is gated and as I mentioned earlier about lambing season this is locked during that time. Signs explaining safety precautions and local notices are present.
As you can see from the two photos above you can see in the hills the 17 different openings that make up the Caves of Keash . It looks cool from below and very enticing to go explore what’s in there, well it did for us anyway.
According to the information post guided tours are starting soon although no other details were present on here. It does say that tours operate from the Fox’s Den pub a 5 minute from the Caves. Heading back out on to the main road and start to head south you couldn’t miss it.
Start the walk
The walk starts with a slight incline through the field you can’t go off track there’s a perfectly mown strip for you to follow. As you walk up the Cave entrances start to look all the more impressive.
At the end of this field a gate and sty await for you it asks for your assistance in closing. These reasons are normally as the lands are private and farmers cattle roam freely
The walking tracks
The walking tracks are in good condition, but please note we did for on a very dry week. The Start of the walk is through the grass. And this is why I emphasised we went when it was dry because during wet tines (that’s often in Ireland) this section will be muddy
About halfway up the walk a sign (Middle left above photos) the steep gradient starts and the track turns stoney giving a bit more grip. Believe us you will need that grip as it gets a bit steep.
And approach the cave
And all your hard work finally pays off as you finally start to see the entrances to the caves. In all depending on fitness it takes about 15 – 20 minutes to reach the cave.
The below video gives a glimpse into what to expect at the Caves.
Inside the cave
Once inside the cave the beautiful limestone formation is just amazing to see. The caves you can enter interconnect to each other showing openings and also as seen in a couple of the photos below a few holes which lead into the unknown. I would certainly be tempted to get back with headlamps and test it out.
Once inside the Caves of Keash you look out and there you photo opportunity. As you can see in the photos below the view looking out through the cave openings over the beautiful Sligo countryside is as Instagramable as it gets. I’d have to say these are two of my favourite photos I have taken.
The views looking out onto the Sligo countryside are just jaw dropping. We had some of the best weather of the year this day so we could see for miles and even though its taken us a while to get to the days the wait for a sunny day was well worth it.
Was it worth it?
Absolutely, we killed a few hours got some stunning views. Had fun exploring the caves and enjoyed some much needed fresh air.
Would it be as good on a rainy day? Probably not maybe plan last minute if the weather is reasonable.
Other close stuff to do
The caves although are in County Sligo, it is only minutes from the Roscommon border and in fact the closet main town is Boyle which is one of Roscommon’s largest towns.
Boyle is a great hub for things to do. Below is a list of a few of the popular places to see
We love to get out into the open and see new things and is often the way these adventures are free which are all the better. Below is a list of 5 things we have done for free around Ireland.
And whilst we are on the subject of caving we had a great trip Caving at Swildon’s Hole on the Mendips in the west of England to name one this is well worth a read if like something extreme.
No access is shut off during lambing season.
It’s short but can be steep in places a moderate fitness would be recommended
No it isn’t. about 200 metres in is a sty that needs crossing and this is the only way in
In places it can be however as you approach the caves there is a stone path