Originally from Dublin, Steve Wickham has been living in Sligo for 20 years. Best known for his fiddle playing in the band The Waterboys, when he’s not touring or recording Steve and his wife Heidi spend their time exploring the many tracks and trails county Sligo has to offer.
Steve and Heidi are doing two walks over two days. Heidi knows this landscape intimately – she is a member of the Sligo mountain rescue team. Their first walk is just over 10 kms long and takes them along a varied route starting at Strandhill. They walk along the sea, cut inland then make a steep ascent to the top of Knocknarea, followed by a more gentle descent on the other side. They then walk along the road to the historic Carrowmore.
Sligo is one of Ireland’s richest counties in ancient history and heritage. It is abundant in dolmens, Neolithic burial sites, cairns and pagan tombs. Steve and Heidi find themselves walking through a variety of terrains from seashore to woodland. Along the way they get a panoramic view of Strandhill and Sligo bay. They meet Padraig Meehan, a local guide and an expert on the ancient history of Sligo.
On day two of their walk Steve and Heidi ascend the woodland trail from Colooney Bridge to Union Rock passing through Ballygawlly and head over the Ox Mountains to Loch Luman and emerge at Slish Wood – famous for playing a role as a location in many of WB Yeats poems. The fields are awash with dolmen and ancient pagan relics. As they end their journey at the lake Isle of Inishfree, Steve celebrates with one of his own original compositions.