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Tucked away in the heart of Ireland’s lakelands, Longford does not scream for attention, but its attractions are well worth seeking out. Within easy reach of the rest of the country, Longford has a gentle charm to its rolling pastureland, lakes, bogs, and little hills, making it a rewarding location for walkers, cyclists, and drivers.
The Corlea Trackway Visitor Centre centres on an Iron Age bog road dating from 148 B.C., which was discovered in the bog at Corlea near the village of Kenagh in 1984. Located 15 km from Longford on the Longford to Kenagh Road (R397), the visitor centre gives pride of place to an 18- metre length of preserved road displayed in a specially designed hall.
The 144km Royal Canal Way connects Dublin to Clondra with a trail that follows the route of the Royal Canal. This unique walkway means you can proceed at your pace through County Longford from Abbeyshrule, via Ballymahon, Kenagh, Longford Town, and Killashee, to Clondra village.
The 98 Memorial Hall in Ballinamuck originally served as a Royal Irish Constabulary barracks, built by King-Harmans in 1830 with two towers that were burned down by the IRA in June 1920 during the War of Independence. In 1948, the barracks was restored (without the two towers) as a memorial hall that houses a visitor centre to commemorate the 1798 Battle of Ballinamuck.
The glassy, island-sprinkled Lough Ree is the second-biggest lake on the river Shannon, at 30km long. It is a haven for boating, fishing, water skiing, canoeing, rowing, and windsurfing. On the northern shore, Lanesboro has developed into a renowned fishing destination famous for its “hot water stretch,” which attracts anglers from all over Europe.
The picturesque gem of Ardagh is steeped in history, with many architecturally significant features and noteworthy literary connections. The village is the centrepiece of Oliver Goldsmith’s 1744 poem “She Stoops to Conquer.”’ Located in a school house dating from 1898, Ardagh Heritage and Creativity Centre charts the history of this delightful village.
The longest and most historic route in the country, the 587km Táin Trail traces the route followed by Queen Maeve of Connacht and her armies in the Irish epic The Táin Bo Cuailgne. The trail winds through stunning scenery, from Rathcroghan in Roscommon, through Longford, and on to the Cooley Peninsula in Louth and back again. Watch out for the distinctive Brown Bull signs.
Backstage Theatre is a modern amenity just outside Longford town renowned for its efforts in bringing world-class theatre and entertainment to the Midlands. An established programme of exemplary theatre has featured the cream of Irish theatre, including productions by Druid, the Abbey Theatre, and Rough Magic.
Lough Ree is sprinkled with island jewels, and Inchcleraun is one of the finest. Known locally as Quaker Island, this little gem contains the ruins of a monastery founded by St. Diarmaid in 540 AD , as well as with the remains of six churches. One of the churches has a clogas, or square belfry, which is unusual in an era when most belfries were round.
The Abbeyshrule Airfield Festival & Family Fun Day takes place in August every year just outside the sleepy canal-side village of Abbeyshrule. The longest-running air show in the country, it attracts spectators from across Ireland and Europe to the Abbeyshrule Airfield, the only airport in the midlands.
Dating from 1985, the Goldsmith International Literary Festival is one of the oldest literary festivals in Ireland. Held in honour of renowned 18th-century writer, who was born in Longford, this June bank holiday weekend event addresses some of the most topical and hotly-debated issues facing contemporary Ireland.
1.9km from Abbeyshrule
This holiday home in rural Abbeyshrule in south County Longford is the perfect destination for a family holiday and a great spot to relax and unwind. The interior is modern and cosy and has everything you need for an enjoyable holiday.
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2.4km from Lanesborough
Stay at a delightful detached two-storey house on the Roscommon side of the town of Lanesborough in the heartland of Ireland. Sleeping eight comfortably, the house lies within a five-minute walk of the river Shannon and the excellent coarse fishing of Lough Ree.
The property contains two double bedrooms, a twin bedroom and two single bedrooms (one of which is downstairs).
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