Trip Planner: Europe / Ireland / Western Ireland / Province of Connacht / County Sligo / Sligo / Benbulben
Benbulbin, sometimes spelled Ben Bulben or Benbulben, is a large rock formation in County Sligo, Ireland. It is part of the Dartry Mountains, in an area sometimes called "Yeats Country".
Benbulbin is a protected site, designated as a County Geological Site by Sligo County Council.
"Ben Bulben", "Benbulben", and "Benbulbin" are all anglicisations of the Irish name "Binn Ghulbain". "Binn" means "peak" or "mountain", while "Ghulbain" means beak or jaw in Irish. The literal translation is therefore "beak" or "jaw" peak.
The name is also echoed in the name of the king Conall Gulban, a son of Niall of the Nine Hostages who was associated with the mountain, however, whether he was named after the mountain or the mountain after him is not clear.
FormationBenbulbin was shaped during the ice age, when Ireland was under glaciers. Originally it was a large plateau. Glaciers moving from the northeast to southwest shaped it into its present distinct formation.
Rock compositionBenbulbin, and the Dartry Mountains as a whole, are composed of limestones on top of mudstones. These rocks formed in the area approximately 320 million years ago in a shallow sea. Uppermost in the limestone layer is a thicker, harder limestone called the Dartry Limestone Formation. Below this is a thinner transitional limestone formation – the Glencar Limestone Formation. Further down, the lower slopes consist of shaly mudstone known as the Benbulben Shale Formation. Scree deposits are found near the base.
Take a look at our Sligo day trip tool to schedule your visit to Benbulben and learn about what else to see and do during your holiday.
So impressive! Would have given 5 stars if we could have found the trailhead to climb to the top.
A wonderful area and the mountain is just fabulous ,so wanna go up on top and enjoy the view over this beautiful part of Ireland
Build a planTell us where and when you
want to go, we will build
the best sightseeing itinerary
Refine itYou have complete flexibility on your destinations and itinerary
Book as a packageUse our travel agents to get
package savings and hassle free booking
Enjoy your trip!Enjoy our 24x7
View all ›
Side trips from Sligo
Hidden gems in Sligo
Nature in Sligo
View all ›
Plans to Benbulben by other users
24 days in Ireland, Derry & Belfast BY A USER FROM CANADA June, popular sights PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 11 days in Sligo & County Donegal BY A USER FROM GERMANY June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 12 days in Ireland & Belfast BY A USER FROM CANADA May, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: May, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 9 days in Roscommon BY A USER FROM GUERNSEY June, kids, popular sights PREFERENCES: June, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 26 days in Tromso, Stornoway & Sligo BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, popular sights PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 2 days in Sligo BY A USER FROM IRELAND January, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, slow & easy, hidden gems PREFERENCES: January, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy