Top 10 Things to Do Near Carrick-on-Shannon
With so much on offer, it’s tough to choose just ten things to do in Carrick-on-Shannon and the wider Lovely Leitrim. Listed below are some of our favourite options, with something for all the family. An ideal list for your North West holiday itinerary and all easily accessible from the stylish, self-catering Courtyard Apartments.
Moon River Cruise
Take in the local scenery in style on the Moon River cruise, a pleasure cruiser with full bar service and nibbles. You can opt to sit out on the deck for an unhampered riverside view or nip inside to enjoy the musical entertainment in the cabin.
The Moon River cruise is a popular choice with over 30,000 people a year taking the trip, and for good reason – the trip allows you to soak in the natural landscape at ease. The trip lasts an hour and takes you up the Shannon as far as Jamestown. For more information and the boat schedule see https://www.moonriver.ie/
Of course, there are also options to rent boats too, with several companies (such as https://www.rentourboat.ie/) offering a variety of different sizes.
Lough Key Forest Park
Lough Key Forest Park is one for the top of your ‘Must-See’ list. You could centre a whole weekend around the stunning Lough Key area, there’s so much to do.
This is a great option for families too, with several different packages combining wildlife, history, a Tree Canopy Walk, family quests, their Adventure Play Kingdom and more. There’s also walking and cycle trails, a visitor centre and a restaurant in the park.
Lough Key is considered a magical place, not only for its spectacular beauty but the area is also rooted in local legend as the resting place of a mythical druid God. It is believed the lake water erupted from his grave, creating the fabulous lake of today!
For more on the park and the different packages available see https://loughkey.ie/
Lough Allen Adventure Centre
For all of the outdoor adventure, head to the award-winning Lough Allen Adventure Centre in Ballinaleara County Leitrim. Ideally surrounded by the Slieve Anerin mountains and the Arigna hills, the centre’s location creates the perfect conditions for its popular windsurfing, boating and kayaking options. You’ll find exciting adventure programmes on offer here which also include plenty of hiking, canyoning and lots more.
The centre is an eco-facility and actively aims to reduce one’s carbon footprint. Lough Allen Adventure Centre is open year-round and is suitable for all skill levels. For booking information and more head over to http://www.loughallenadventure.com/ or give them a call on +353 71 9643292.
Lissadell House & Gardens
Lissadell House, an impressive neo-classical Greek revivalist building, is located just under an hour from Carrick-on-Shannon. Here, you can delve into the histories of the original and revolutionary Gore-Booth owners. There are guided tours of the house and a museum with wonderful displays on Countess Markiewicz.
The house is surrounded by beautiful grounds and woodland, overlooked by Benbulben, and there is a cosy café onsite. Lissadell House was a holiday retreat of W.B. Yeats and is mentioned in his poetry. Indeed, a great add-on visit to Lissadell House is W.B. Yeats’ grave, only a ten-minute drive further north.
For more on the current exhibitions and rates see http://lissadellhouse.com/.
The Glenview Museum is a private collection of household and farm objects/memorabilia owned by the Kennedy family in Ballinamore, County Leitrim. The artefacts range from large (cars and carriages) to small (such as a collection of egg cups!). There is also a reconstructed street scene with several shops and a pub, all of which are stocked with real olden day products.
This a truly special experience with guided tours from knowledgeable and passionate locals. The museum caters for all group sizes and you will also find a restaurant and bar onsite.
For more on this 1930s experience head over to http://glenviewmuseum.ie/
Arigna Mining Experience
Another great historical experience is a visit to the Arigna Mining Energy Centre in County Roscommon, approximately 20 minutes from Carrick-on-Shannon. Overlooking Lough Allen, the valley itself is worth a visit for its stunning landscape.
The Arigna coal mine was the last working coal mine in Ireland and the centre now preserves the 400-year heritage of the trade. Tours are led by knowledgeable ex-miners and include access to exhibits and presentations. You will even have the opportunity to go underground to the coal face for a more realistic taste of what life may have been like for the miners that worked here from the 1700s until 1990.
For booking, opening times and prices see https://www.arignaminingexperience.ie/.
This spectacular natural beauty gets its claim to fame from its mentions in the poem ‘The Stolen Child’ by W.B. Yeats. Reaching an impressive 50 feet, the Waterfall is located near Glencar Lake and is most impressive after heavy rainfall.
The idyllic landscape and woodland walk make for a pretty romantic spot and also a great option for families that may wish to take the short loop walk. Afterwards, grab a decent coffee in the café by the car park or make use of the picnic area, playground or Tourist Information point.
For directions and more see https://leitrimtourism.com/stories/glencar-waterfall/.
The Shed Distillery
A very exciting new experience opening this July is The Shed Distillery, home of the popular Drumshanbo Gunpowder Gin!
The experience promises to be fully immersive and invites visitors to embark on a ‘Curious Journey of Discovery’. Guided tours take visitors from the discovery of Gunpowder Tea in the Far East to today’s creation of not only Gunpowder Gin but also the Drumshanbo Single Pot Irish Whiskey and other unique blends by PJ Rigney. Tours include opportunities to experiment as well as whiskey and gin tastings.
The fabulous new distillery will also be equipped with a large café and gift shop, offering special gin and whiskey ranges and other local artisan products. For more see https://www.thesheddistillery.com/.
Cycle through the Countryside
For a wonderfully fun family day out, why not peddle through the picturesque Leitrim countryside? With paths for all levels of fitness and skill, there’s something for everyone.
Bring your own or rent - you can even get electric bikes, allowing you to see even more of Leitrim’s landscapes with a leisurely amount of effort! You can cycle traffic-free on the Shannon Blueway or take the woodland trails in Lough Key Forest park (mentioned above).
Bikes can be rented from Electric Bike Trails. They also offer tours and lots of other helpful information. https://electricbiketrails.ie/
St. George’s Heritage Centre
Built in 1827, the reformed church that is St. George’s Heritage Centre, is the perfect place for those interested in really diving into the roots and histories of County Leitrim. The small museum is located in St. Mary’s close in the centre of Carrick-on-Shannon.
The heritage centre boasts of over 400 years of Irish history with many artefacts, presentations and an audio-visual display depicting old Gaelic traditions to the Great War. Visitors can take tours which include the church itself, the smallest chapel in Europe (Costello Chapel), The Famine Workhouse and Graveyard and a Sensory Garden.
For opening times and admission prices see http://www.carrickheritage.com.