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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