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15 Best Things to Do in Athlone (Ireland)

15 Best Things to Do in Athlone (Ireland)

The town of Athlone is at an ancient crossing point on the Shannon River, near the very centre of Ireland.

When the idea of a federal Irish Republic was floated by the political party Sinn Féin in the 1970s, Athlone was mooted as the capital of a united federal Ireland because of its central position.

The Shannon is longer than any river in Ireland, or Britain for that matter, and a mile or two up river it flows from Lough Ree, a vast lake with furrowed banks and dozens of islands.

When the summer comes the Shannon and Lough Ree have a flotilla of yachts and cruise boats, and you can amble around the shore or play a round at one of the clubs by the water.

In the town the Norman castle and Church of Saints Peter and Paul command the scene on the Shannon’s west bank.

Let’s explore the best things to do in Athlone:

Enjoy a grand family day out, absolutely free of charge, along our tranquil canals and rivers. Download our free guides to places to visit near you.

While the town is at the end of the navigable river, you can walk along the towpath to the Castle Gardens Park, with play area and Waytemore Castle mound

With a sculpture trail and heritage walks, what a wonderful place to take the weight off your shoulders

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Olympic Park and the hidden river

Whatever your take on wellbeing, you’re sure to find it in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and wider waterway walks

Celebrating Green Flag status

The Lee Navigation joins 11 of our waterways with a prestigious Green Flag — read more here

2. Lough Ree

With indented shores and scores of islands, large and small, misty Lough Ree to the north is the second largest lake on the Shannon.

The scenery is awesome, under the wide open sky and on the shores that offer a habitat to migratory waterfowl, varying from woodland, to bogs and meadows for grazing sheep.

Lough Ree is also burned into Ireland’s memory as the “Lake of Kings”, where real history and legends are entwined.

Ancient kings marshalled their lands from the islands, and on Inishcleraun there was a great early-Christian monastery founded in the 6th century by St Diarmaid the Just, whose grave is on the island.

There’s endless inspiration for activities at Lough Ree, whether you’re golfing, birdwatching or hiking by the shore, or on a voyage by cruise boat, kayak, yacht or boat rental.

Enjoy a grand family day out, absolutely free of charge, along our tranquil canals and rivers. Download our free guides to places to visit near you.

While the town is at the end of the navigable river, you can walk along the towpath to the Castle Gardens Park, with play area and Waytemore Castle mound

With a sculpture trail and heritage walks, what a wonderful place to take the weight off your shoulders

Читать еще:  Jumping Joe & Friends

Olympic Park and the hidden river

Whatever your take on wellbeing, you’re sure to find it in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and wider waterway walks

Celebrating Green Flag status

The Lee Navigation joins 11 of our waterways with a prestigious Green Flag — read more here

15. Glasson

Glasson Village Restaurant

The ten-minute drive to this quaint village is worth every second.

The road climbs a little as it leaves Athlone and you can park up for dreamy views of the lake around New Forest.

Glasson isn’t much more than a hamlet but in summer people berth their boats at one of their four nearby marinas and make the short, picturesque walk up past the sheep herds for lunch at the Wineport Lodge, Glasson Village Restaurant or Grogan’s Bar and Restaurant.

The Glasson Country House and Golf Club has its own small harbour, allowing you to go straight from the water to the fairways.

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