A Short Break Starts In Roscommon
We regularly get asked what areas are best to see in Roscommon. As our depot is based in Roscommon, we feel like it’s a great opportunity to see some of our local areas of interest that are not so popular on many Irish Tourist maps. Explore the best of Roscommon directly from your campervan. If you’re looking for a short break to get outdoors and soak up fresh country air in serene, tranquil settings, Roscommon is a perfect place to visit.
County Roscommon has a rich and vibrant local history. This captivating history is enhanced by the landscape of the Roscommon heartlands.
The Roscommon region is a hidden gem of Ireland. Beautiful landscapes and unspoiled nature are waiting to be explored. This article will explore the best of what Roscommon has to offer, and hopefully inspire some future trips. Some suggestions are for longer experiences while some are worth stopping for a quick visit while on your route.
Arigna Mining is a Historical Mining Experience
Discover Arigna and Arigna Mines in a picturesque valley in north Roscommon with breathtaking scenery and an unspoilt landscape. Jump into Roscommon’s history at the Arigna Mining Experience, the country’s first coal museum documenting the fascinating history of mining in the area. Explore the working conditions of life underground during mining up until 1990. Take a tour and explore the underground accompanied by an ex-miner. Hear firsthand what it was like to work there and experience the feeling for yourself. Learn about the impact the industry had on the local communities over the years and watch a short film showing original mining footage recorded just weeks before the closure of the mines.
Arigna is the starting point of the Miner’s Way and Historical Trail, a 118 km-long network of paths through three of Ireland’s most picturesque and unspoilt counties of Leitrim, Roscommon and Sligo. There is a lovely bar in Arigna called The Miners Bar, with open fires in winter and a beer garden in summer. Perfect for a pint after
Explore Kilronan Castle’s Woodland Walks
While navigating the Roscommon main roads, take a spin to Kilronan Castle, where a luxury castle and amazing scenic walks are well worth the visit. You could find yourself being swept away by the beautiful Irish scenery and find yourself taking deep breaths of fresh air as you explore the area. The tranquil walks take you through Kilronan Forest and along the path to the shores of the lough – the perfect spot to have a quiet moment to yourself and enjoy the peace.
Kilronan Castle Estate & Spa in Ballyfarnon, County Roscommon, is one of Ireland’s most luxurious castle hotels and is the ancestral home of the Tennison family and the legendary Colonel King Tennison. This secluded, luxury Castle is majestically set on the shore of Lough Meelagh, surrounded by over forty acres of breath-taking scenery, lush green pastures, ancient forests, and historical points of interest.
Lough Key Forest Park is a day to experience
A family favourite tends to be a few hours at Lough Key Forest Park. Visit one of the most unique and thrilling zipline experiences in Ireland at Lough Key Forest Park.
Just 20-minutes away is one of County Roscommon’s most popular locations, Lough Key Forest Park. There’s a lot to explore in the 350 hectare park – walk, run, cycle or even Segway your way around the woodlands, lake, islands and gorgeous trails. In this forest park, every trail tells a different story. For example, visitors can enjoy llamas at the bog garden, have a relaxing time in the observation tower and finish off your day playing in the wishing chair.
Explore 750m of ziplines through the forest canopy, ride a BMX across a treetop bridge, run across suspended ladders and swing into cargo nets. For the truly fearless, there’s also a base jump to test your nerve. Pre-booking is advised so don’t miss out.
Hire a boat and experience Lough Key, one of the most beautiful lakes in Ireland. It’s navigable from the Shannon via the Boyle River and the Lough Key jetty harbours many pleasure cruisers. Lough Key is a serene haven in the heart of Ireland. This lake-bound paradise has been used as a retreat since the Iron Age. The boat tours provide visitors with a new way to see Lough Key, including its watery surroundings and island-studded lake.
Did you know that Lough Key forest park is considered a hotspot for UFOs? It has been a hotspot for UFOs since the UFO Society of Ireland was founded there in 1972. The lakeside tower provides an ideal place to watch the skies.
Visit Strokestown House and National Famine Museum
Another historical gem in Roscommon is Strokestown House. In Strokestown, discover an 18th-century mansion that has been faithfully restored and even contains its original furnishings. Get a guided tour of Strokestown House and imagine life in the lap of luxury of Georgian Ireland.
This house is so fascinating that even if you can’t imagine leaving. In the grounds of the house, the Famine Museum uses original documents from The Great Hunger and pictures from The Mansion’s museum collection to demonstrate what it was like to live at this difficult time in Irish History.
Just beside Strokestown Park House, find a woodland first planted in the early 1700s where you can see some of the original mature specimens of oak and beech. Bring the kids on this enchanting woodland walk.
Worth a stop off at Galey Bay
Stop off along the shores of the majestic Lough Ree in Co. Roscommon and just a short distance from Roscommon Town. Galey is a perfect base for exploring the many islands of Lough Ree, Clonmacnoise, Galway, Knock and Sligo. It is an ideal location for outdoor pursuits, such as watersports, fishing, sailing, hunting, walking and cycling.
Galey Bay is a noted Pike Fishing Bay. You will encounter most coarse fish like bream, roach and hybrids. There are many beautiful walks laid out around the area to suit all abilities. Notable among them are Mote Park and Warren Point.
Learn from the Past at Roscommon Castle
With a long history of battle, Roscommon Castle has changed hands many times. Now in ruins, this dramatic and imposing 13th-century Norman castle was once in the hands of Hugh O’Connor, King of Connaught. It features a quadrangular plan with rounded bastions at the corners and a double-towered entrance gate.
Today this castle’s past can be explored while you enjoy the adjacent Loughnaneane Park which features a turlough and wildlife conservation area. The natural features of the park include a turlough and a wildlife conservation area, which is a habitat of unique flora and fauna. There are a variety of features in the park such as a wildlife viewing deck, a bird walk, and children’s playground. The hill o’ bones is located nearby.
Get a taste of Roscommon at Black Donkey Brewing
Top off the day and wind down after your adventure with a cool, refreshing, local brew at Black Donkey Brewing. A multi-award-winning brewery, their ground-breaking ‘Sheep Stealer’ created the Irish Farmhouse Ale category. Take part in a brewery tour and see how beer gets made firsthand. See the operation and meet the head brewer.. Word to the wise – this is a working production brewery so sensible shoes are advised.
Elphin Windmill is a delightful 18th-century windmill in Elphin, Roscommon. Originally it was used to grind wheat and barley, but by the early 19th century it had fallen into disrepair. The local community restored it in the 90s and it’s now a working windmill with a visitor centre that explains how the windmill works. It is viewed as a rare piece of Irish Industrial Architectural Heritage. Today, people from all over the world come to discover this hidden gem of Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands. Add it to your route for a quick stop off while enjoying your Roscommon drive.
Hike the day away at The Suck Valley Way
Lace up your walking boots and take off on the Suck Valley Way that runs up the west side of the Suck from Mount Talbot to the outskirts of Castlerea. Experience the river valley, bogs, woods and traditional Irish farmland of dotted fields. You’ll find varied lowland with a pleasant mix of quiet country roads and stretches along the banks of the river. The rich heritage of Roscommon remains as you stumble across ancient churches, ring forts and quaint villages.
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