Caves of Kesh, Sligo, Ireland

Driving northeast toward Sligo, we were searching for the Caves of Kesh and they should be easy to find – they are big and on a hill. It’s a beautiful day for a hike!

While researching Ireland sights, we stumbled onto the Caves of Kesh. We like hiking and the pictures captured our attention. So here we go…

The Caves of Kesh, also called the Keash Caves or Caves of Keshcorran, are limestone caves located near the village of Keash, County Sligo, Ireland. There are sixteen caves and several are connected giving you the option of going into one, crawling around and coming out another one. Fun to explore and dark so bring some light.

Parking

After following the GPS direction to “Keshcorran Caves” we easily found the main parking lot. There were several spots available but we thought we’d drive uphill toward the caves to see if there were other parking areas. Luckily we found a very small parking area, enough for 4 maybe 5 cars, about 100 feet to the left of the trailhead. Definitely worth checking first as the other parking lot will add an additional 30 minutes roundtrip to your walk.

Hiking to the Caves

The hike to the caves is approximately .5 miles one way. The trail is fairly flat at first but gradually gains in elevation as seen in the photos below. There are some benches along the trail if you need to sit and take a break or just want to take in the view. The upper section of the path was being upgraded when we hiked.

Inside the Caves

Taking photos looking out of the caves gave some cool effects. Don’t forget to look around / explore as there are some narrow paths or tunnels leading from one cave to another.

Cave Entrances

The cave entrances were each unique. Some covered in ferns and very green and others very plain with little color. One entrance had the shape of a cross and another appeared to have a keystone. Fascinating place!

Mythology

We met some locals while hiking and they told us about Cormac Mac Airt and how he was taken as a baby by a wolf and raised by the wolf and her cubs in the caves. After we arrived home, we searched for this story online to learn more. We found that according to medieval Irish legend and historical tradition, Cormac was raised by a she-wolf and was likely a High King of Ireland. He may have been the most famous of the ancient High Kings. So maybe not a myth after all.

These same people also told us they were writing a fictional book about druids and it revolved around a place named Uisneach. We looked this up too and Uisneach is a hill in the center of Ireland. In Irish mythology it’s an assembly place for druids and it’s an ancient ceremonial site and burial ground. Another interesting sounding place and if we had time we would visit!

Another hiker we met told us of two other hikes we should add to our list. Queen Maeve’s Burial Cairns and Croagh Patrick Mountain. Due to the perfect weather, both were visible from the caves. After he gave us the history of both we will be adding them to our lists. If anyone has hiked either of them, we’d love to hear your thoughts!

Final View after the Hike

The Caves of Kesh are easily seen from the main road. If you have time for a short and not terribly difficult hike, this is a good one. It was a beautiful day and the views were amazing!

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