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County Longford

County Longford has a gentle landscape of lakes and waterways, a rebellious past and vibrant festival scene.

Its central location makes it an ideal place for getting to know the wider region, but there’s plenty to keep you fully occupied right here. This low-lying county offers the visitor a gentle, laid-back pace of life, with plenty of water based activities, country walks and historical places of interest to visit.

County Longford occupies the basin of the River Shannon and the upper area of the River Erne, ideally located in the heart of the Lakelands region of Ireland. Despite being inland, the county is blessed with water all around it, including rivers, lakes and canals. This makes it a haven for watersport activities, especially sailing, canoeing, kayaking and white water rafting. Or of course you can simply enjoy canal-side strolls, gentle boating or a spot of angling.

The relatively flat terrain means it is suitable for walkers and cyclists; there are scores of trails that meander through forests and pristine bogland, which is distinct to the area, where as well as soaking up the scenery, you have ample opportunity to discover interesting plant, animal and bird life. Special sites of conservation and protection include the Glen Lough bird sanctuary, Lough Kinale, Derragh Lough, Fortwilliam Turlough and Lough Forbes Complex.

The principle town of Longford has plenty to keep the visitor engaged and offers a good mix of shopping and restaurants combined with interesting sites of historical interest. St Mel''s Cathedral is a remarkable, Renaissance building that towers of the town.

Some of the most fierce fighting of the 1798 Rebellion took place at the Battle of Ballinamuck and more ancient monuments to explore in the region include the portal tombs at Aughnacliffe and Cleenrath. The Motte and Bailey castle at Granard is thoroughly impressive and a reminder of the Anglo-Norman presence in the area.

County Longford has a thriving programme of festivals which include literary events, a traditional harp festival (Easter) and the Sean Og Set dancing Festival (November).

To help you get to know this charming region see our holiday cottages in County Longford and start exploring this tranquil part of Ireland.

County Longford

Being one of the lesser known areas of Ireland choosing a self-catering cottage in County Longford will mean you escape the crowds. The gentle landscape includes many lakes and waterways adding to its very own special charm. This is a perfect destination if you enjoy the outdoors with lovely walks to choose from, plus perfect for history and culture buffs and water sport enthusiasts.

You will be delighted at the choice of locations such as along the banks of River Shannon which are picturesque to say the least. There are some spectacular inland waters, Lough Ree is 32 kilometres long and claims to be the geographical centre of Ireland, a renowned fishery. At its’s narrowest point is Althone which is a lively place full of heritage sites, waterside restaurants and great shopping.

The county town is Longford which is a bright and bustling centre with a skyline dominated by the historic St Mels Cathedral Spire. There are many fine buildings of architectural and historic interest, take a stroll along Battery Road which boasts many beautiful private homes. There are individual shops, restaurants and traditional pubs perfect to enjoy a glass or two of the ‘black stuff’. Mall Park is a great space to enjoy as a family with the River Camlin flowing through its centre and beautifully landscaped so perfect for leisurely walks, picnics and sporting activities.

Whilst on your travels you will discover a land brimming over with myths and legends, Queen Maeve is believed to have met her death on Lough Ree and even before this tales associate the county with Etain, one of Ireland’s ancient fairy people. Prehistoric monuments are scattered all over the countryside including the Corlea Trackway of oak planks dating back to 148BC. This is a significant Iron Age bog road which crossed the boglands close to the River Shannon and near the village of Kenagh and because of its archaeological importance it is now a major attraction with a Visitor Centre.

A very pretty village is Ardagh Heritage Village which is steeped in history and a monastery founded by St Patrick. There are lovely buildings designed by Victorian architect John Rawson plus a heritage centre with a cafe and craft shop. If you want a bit of action go to the Outdoor Discovery Centre in Ballymahon where you can go white water rafting, river tubing, white water boarding plus much more. A boat or canoe trip is a great way to explore the waterways, try the heritage boat cruise near Kenagh on the Royal Canal or between Abbeyshrule to Ballymahon.

Blessed with a remote, unique and unspoilt landscape walkers, cyclist and nature lovers will be very happy. Derrycassin Woodlank Walk is very picturesque along the shores of Lough Gowns or perhaps the Royal Canal Way, Tain Trail, Goldsmith Trail or Humbert Trail, the choice is yours.

A self-catering cottage really is the best way to make the most of a holiday here giving you the space and freedom to do exactly what you want when you want and enjoy Ireland at its best.

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