Benedetta Begley

Benedetta Begley

Published: 23 Sep 2023


Lough Gill is a stunning lake located in County Sligo, Ireland. It is an enchanting body of water that has captivated locals and tourists alike for centuries. With its serene atmosphere and breath-taking landscapes, it is no wonder that Lough Gill has gained popularity as a must-visit destination.

But did you know that this picturesque lake holds a treasure trove of fascinating facts? From its intriguing folklore to its rich biodiversity, Lough Gill never fails to amaze. In this article, we will delve into 20 astounding facts about Lough Gill that will surely leave you in awe.

So, fasten your seatbelts and get ready for an exciting journey as we uncover the hidden wonders of Lough Gill!

Table of Contents

Lough Gill is a picturesque lake located in County Sligo, Ireland.

Situated amidst stunning natural beauty, Lough Gill is a popular tourist destination known for its breathtaking views and tranquil surroundings.

Covering an area of approximately 8 square kilometers, Lough Gill is one of the largest lakes in Ireland.

With its expansive size, the lake offers ample space for various recreational activities, including fishing, boating, and kayaking.

Lough Gill is renowned for its rich biodiversity.

The lake is home to an array of plant and animal species, making it a haven for nature enthusiasts and researchers alike.

It is believed that Lough Gill inspired the famous poet William Butler Yeats.

Yeats spent a significant amount of time near Lough Gill, drawing inspiration from its ethereal beauty and incorporating it into his literary works.

The lake is surrounded by lush greenery and dense woodlands.

These forests create a stunning backdrop for the lake, adding to its overall charm and appeal.

Lough Gill is home to numerous islands, including the idyllic Innisfree Island.

Innisfree Island, made famous by Yeats’ poem “The Lake Isle of Innisfree,” is a must-visit spot for literature enthusiasts.

The lake offers excellent fishing opportunities.

Anglers can expect to catch species such as trout, pike, and perch, making Lough Gill a paradise for fishing enthusiasts.

Lough Gill is shrouded in rich mythology and folklore.

Legends and tales of mythical creatures and hidden treasures are associated with the lake, adding a touch of mystique to its allure.

The lake is a designated Special Area of Conservation (SAC).

This status is in recognition of its ecological importance and efforts to preserve its unique habitats and species.

Lough Gill offers several scenic walking trails.

Visitors can explore the surrounding areas on foot, immersing themselves in the captivating beauty of the lake and its surroundings.

The iconic Hazelwood House is located on the shores of Lough Gill.

This historic mansion is renowned for its architectural beauty and is a popular attraction for history enthusiasts.

The lake features in Irish folklore as the dwelling place of a mystical creature known as the “Gillie Dhu.”

According to legend, the Gillie Dhu is a guardian spirit of the forest and can be seen near Lough Gill during certain times of the year.

Lough Gill is a hub for water-based activities.

From sailing and windsurfing to swimming and water skiing, there is something for everyone to enjoy on the lake.

The lake’s crystal-clear waters are perfect for diving enthusiasts.

Scuba diving in Lough Gill allows divers to explore underwater caves, discover hidden treasures, and marvel at the diverse marine life.

Lough Gill is surrounded by several charming villages and towns.

Visitors can explore places like Sligo town and Drumcliffe, immersing themselves in the rich culture and history of the region.

The lake’s shoreline is dotted with ancient ruins and historical sites.

Explorers can stumble upon old castles, monastic sites, and megalithic tombs, providing a glimpse into the region’s fascinating past.

Lough Gill is a popular spot for birdwatching.

The lake attracts a wide variety of bird species, including herons, swans, and ducks, creating a paradise for bird enthusiasts.

The calming and serene atmosphere of Lough Gill makes it an ideal place for meditation and relaxation.

Visitors can escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and find solace in the tranquil surroundings of the lake.

The surrounding hills offer spectacular views of Lough Gill.

Hiking enthusiasts can embark on scenic trails to witness panoramic vistas that showcase the lake’s sheer beauty.

Lough Gill is steeped in history and has connections to ancient Irish legends.

Exploring this remarkable lake allows visitors to delve into the mystical past of Ireland and embrace the enchantment that surrounds Lough Gill.

Overall, Lough Gill is a treasure trove of natural beauty, fascinating history, and cultural significance. Whether you’re seeking outdoor adventures, literary inspiration, or simply a moment of serenity, Lough Gill has something extraordinary to offer.


Lough Gill is truly a gem of nature, offering a myriad of fascinating features and stories. From its scenic beauty to its rich cultural heritage, this stunning lake never fails to leave visitors in awe. Whether you’re interested in its wildlife, legends, or historical sites, Lough Gill offers something for everyone.

With its enchanting islands, crystal-clear waters, and captivating landscapes, Lough Gill is a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts, history buffs, and anyone seeking a peaceful retreat. So, why wait? Plan your visit to Lough Gill and immerse yourself in the wonders that this extraordinary lake has to offer.


1. How deep is Lough Gill?

Lough Gill has an average depth of around 10 meters (33 feet), with certain areas reaching depths of up to 50 meters (164 feet).

2. Can you swim in Lough Gill?

Yes, swimming is allowed in Lough Gill. However, it is always important to exercise caution, especially in deeper areas or during adverse weather conditions.

3. Are there any water activities available on Lough Gill?

Absolutely! Lough Gill is ideal for a variety of water-based activities such as fishing, boating, kayaking, and paddleboarding.

4. Are there any islands on Lough Gill?

Yes, Lough Gill is home to several enchanting islands, including the famous Innisfree Island, believed to have inspired the renowned poet William Butler Yeats.

5. Are there any historical sites near Lough Gill?

Yes, Lough Gill is surrounded by a wealth of historical sites and landmarks, including the magnificent Parkes Castle, which offers insight into Ireland’s past.

6. Can I fish in Lough Gill?

Yes, fishing is a popular activity in Lough Gill, known for its abundance of trout and salmon. Fishing permits may be required, so it’s advisable to check local regulations.

7. How can I access Lough Gill?

Lough Gill is easily accessible by car, with ample parking facilities available. Additionally, public transportation options such as buses and taxis can also be utilized.

8. Are there any hiking trails around Lough Gill?

Absolutely! There are several scenic hiking trails in the vicinity of Lough Gill, offering breathtaking views of the lake and its surrounding landscapes.

9. Is there accommodation available near Lough Gill?

Yes, there are numerous accommodation options available near Lough Gill, ranging from luxurious hotels to cozy bed and breakfasts, ensuring a comfortable stay for visitors.

10. Is Lough Gill a protected area?

Yes, Lough Gill is part of the Sligo/Leitrim European Special Area of Conservation, ensuring its preservation and protection for future generations to enjoy.