Sligo has long been known as Yeats Country as the poet WB Yeats, though born in Dublin, was greatly inspired by the county.

His mother Susan Mary Pollexfen was from a local wealthy merchant family, and he spent much time there through his life.

Now, a Yeats Trail has been devised so that visitors can "see the Sligo landscape through the eyes of Ireland's national poet".

The looped route brings visitors to 14 locations connected to WB Yeats, beginning at the foot of Knocknarea and taking in places like Rosses Point, Lissadell and Glencar, all of which are synonymous with his poetry.

His final resting place at Drumcliff, and locations which inspired poems like 'The Lake Isle of Innisfree' and ‘The Wanderings of Oisin’ are all part of the journey.

Máirtín Enright, former President of the Yeats Society and a member of the team that wrote the content for the Yeats Trail website said: "They really are a remarkable series of locations that underline why Sligo was so important in the writings of WB Yeats.

"Many of the locations remain largely unchanged, so a visit to them means that you really are, in large part, seeing them in the same way Yeats himself did all those years ago."

An investment of almost €1.2 million allowed for the creation of the trail including the development and upgrading of car parking and other amenities including upgrades to walking trails.

Installation art works at each of the sites "allow the visitor to sit, look around them and listen, and where the words of the poetry associated with the location are printed".

Maps by illustrator Annie West and a QR code linking to the trail website further immerse the visitor in the Yeats experience, allowing them to follow his relationship with the county through the places he loved and wrote about.

The website for the trail outlines the route and gives information on each of the locations and its connection with the poet.

The Yeats Trail map

WB Yeats' granddaughter Caitríona Yeats attended the official opening of the Yeats Trail by Minister Heather Humphreys in Sligo today.

She said that he would definitely have approved of the new trail, describing it as a wonderful initiative.

Ms Yeats said it was a great opportunity for people to go for walks in beautiful countryside, where her grandfather used to walk himself.

She also commended the art installations at various locations on the trail which include some of Yeats' poetry.

A ribbon was cut at the foot of Knocknarea by Ms Humphreys marking the official opening of the initiative.

The minister, whose Department of Rural and Community Development, was the principal funder of the project.

The investment included enhancement works including better car parking and upgraded walks at many of the locations associated with Yeats.

Minister Humphreys said she believed that the trail will draw thousands more visitors to Sligo from home and abroad.

More people will want to come to see the landscape which inspired Yeats, she said, and this is where culture meets tourism.

A map of Rosses Point by illustrator Annie West

Director of Yeats Society Sligo Susan O'Keeffe said WB Yeats made Sligo "his spiritual home", and chose to be buried there.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, she said his mother Susan was from Sligo and while living between Dublin and London, at any opportunity she took her children to Sligo to stay with her parents.

"That was the start of a love affair for all of the children in fact, but particularly for William Butler Yeats."

She said at each point on the trail people can enjoy a sculpture, some lovely seating and some poetry that has been installed at each site.

"You can have a moment to consider the place, time to think about the poetry and for some people that is a lovely link to allow them access. They will half remember the poems, a lot of people. And of course for some people it is new. "

She said that is a lovely gift for people and said all the locations have been chosen also for their spectacular beauty.