Read on to find out how to make the most of a short break in Roscommon.
Arigna Mining Experience
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. Experience the working conditions of life underground where mining was carried out for 400 years until 1990. Book a tour and explore the underground accompanied by an ex-miner. You’ll get to hear first-hand what it was like to work there and experience the feeling for yourself.
Kilronan Castle’s Woodland Walks
Take a spin 15-minutes down the road to Kilronan Castle, where a luxury castle and scenic walks are well worth the visit. Set across 40 acres of lush Irish scenery on the shores of Lough Meelagh, breath in the fresh air as you explore the beautiful grounds. 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.
Lough Key Forest Park
Just 20-minutes away is one of the 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. Each trail in this forest park brings you to gorgeous attractions, like the bog garden, observation tower, ice house, wishing chair and the underground tunnels.
Lough Key Boat Tours
Explore Lough Key from the water aboard one of the Lough Key Boat Tours. See the stunning island-studded lake and learn its history from the Walsh and McGreevy family owners, locals who have been welcoming visitors since 1984, and know this great lake like the back of their hand.
Zipit Lough Key
For the adrenaline hungry, you’ll find one of the most unique and thrilling zipline experiences in Ireland at Zipit in the forest park. 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.
Strokestown House and National Famine Museum
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.
You can even book in and stay in this fascinating house if you can’t imagine leaving. In the grounds of the house, The Famine Museum uses a combination of original documents and images from the mansion’s collection to highlight what The Great Hunger was like for the tenants of this estate.
With a long history of battle, Roscommon Castle has changed hands many times. Discover its story from its 13th century Norman beginnings to the siege by King Aodh O'Connor of Connacht in 1272 to its time in the hands of the British garrison who had it fully restored. Today this castle’s past can be explored while you enjoy the adjacent Loughnaneane Park which features a turlough and wildlife conservation area.
Gleesons Townhouse Restaurant
Less than five minutes away from the castle is Gleeson’s Townhouse Restaurant. You’ll find this charming and comfortable restaurant in a 19th century restored townhouse on the edge of the Roscommon Town’s square. Enjoy the local produce celebrated in the creative menu, all homemade and fresh from the kitchen. The restaurant caters to a range of tastes whether you’re looking for a hearty breakfast, a quick bite, something green or an ‘all-out’ meal full of flavour.
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 a tour and watch the beer go from grain to glass, and experience what life is like for the head brewer in the aromatic, steamy facility. Word to the wise – this is a working production brewery so sensible shoes are advised.
If you have time in Roscommon…
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.
Warren Point loop trail
If you can’t get enough of that fresh country air, Warren Point Loop Trail near Athlone will certainly have you breathing in all the good stuff. This is a 4.3km looped walk, suitable for all levels of fitness. On the Rinn Duin Peninsula at Lough Ree, discover one of the best-preserved former Norman towns in Ireland. Now deserted, the town’s wall with towers, gatehouse, windmill, parish church and even hospital can be seen.
If you’re looking for a short break to get outdoors and soak up fresh country air in serene, tranquil settings, get a trip to Roscommon in your diary now.