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My Ireland

Looking for inspiration? Planning a trip? Or just want to scroll yourself happy? We'll show you an Ireland that's tailor-made for you.

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    4 days 383 km

    Ireland's Hidden Heartlands

    From Cavan Burren Park to Killaloe
    Nearest Airport Ireland West Knock Airport, Dublin Airport
    Attractions Clonmacnoise
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    ihh-clonmacnoise-collage ihh-clonmacnoise-collage
    ihh-portumna-collage ihh-portumna-collage

    Four days, nine counties, endless memories! This is a land of contradictions, of sleepy castles and energetic towns, of calming cruises and adrenaline-fueled watersports.

    Go an entire day without seeing another soul, or spend every moment enjoying a different action-packed adventure. We've filled four days with a little bit of everything—so let's get started! And when you're here, you can really feel it: the heartbeat of the island, coursing through the canals and rivers.

    1

    Day 1

    114 km

    2

    Day 2

    92 km

    3

    Day 3

    115 km

    4

    Day 4

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    Day 1Cavan Burren Park to Carrick-on-Shannon

    Day 1

    From quiet, tranquil loughs to the marina capital of Ireland, there's something in the water around here…

    Explore Day 1

    Neolithic wonders

    Cavan Burren Park, County Cavan

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    One of County Cavan's finest and most fascinating attractions, Cavan Burren Park is free and open to the public year round. Sitting in the shade of Cuilcagh Mountain, this limestone plateau was formed 340 million years ago, when Ireland had a tropical climate. Around 4,500 years ago, the first Neolithic settlers arrived. Today, you can see the remnants of the walls of their fields – as well as the wedge tomb known as the Giant's Grave – on any of the numerous marked trails around the park, including the Giant's Leap Trail and Promontory Fort Trail.
    Of course, they say Cavan has a lake for every day of the year. So, before you head on to County Leitrim, why not visit one of the most beautiful? Glassy Lough Oughter, with the fantastic Clough Oughter Castle on a lone island at its centre, is a spectacular spot. Simply call in to Cavan Adventure Centre, hire a kayak, and you'll be paddling around this historic landmark in no time.

    38 km

    WB Yeats’s muse

    Glencar Lake, County Leitrim

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    Famed – and thanked – the world over for inspiring WB Yeats's beloved poem, The Stolen Child, Glencar is the epitome of Ireland's natural beauty. Fresh, green and peaceful, this picturesque waterfall is surrounded by quiet woodlands and looks exactly like the Ireland most people dream about. Nearby, Glencar Lake is equally romantic, beautiful and tranquil. The car park has public picnic seating areas, making this a great place to take a break, take a breather, and take in the scenery, before making your way to Carrick-on-Shannon.

    62 km

    A watery wonderland

    Carrick-on-Shannon, County Leitrim

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    Known as the marina capital of Ireland, Carrick-on-Shannon has a big personality for a small town! Home to Rowing Ireland's yearly Carrick-on-Shannon regatta, it comes as no surprise that water is the very heartbeat of this place—so if you want to experience it like a local, you'll have to dive in! Carrick is an angler's dream, with easy access to over 40 lakes stocked with bream, pike and perch, and a number of specialist tackle stores in the town, complete with helpful expert staff. For something even more laid back, take a boat tour along the Shannon with Moon River Cruises to see the sights from the comfort of your seat.
    One quirky little pitstop is Costello Chapel. The second-smallest chapel in the world, this ornate 19th-century building is a classic piece of Leitrim's architectural identity.

    14 km

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    Day 2Lough Key Forest Park to Corlea Trackway

    Day 2

    Get your heart racing and your brain working as you hop between counties Roscommon and Longford.

    Explore Day 2

    Get your heart racing

    Lough Key Forest Park, County Roscommon

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    If you want an active day out, you won't find better than Lough Key Forest Park! With a marina, café, visitor centre and caravan park, you could spend your whole trip here and never get bored. The tree canopy walk offers a glorious birds-eye view out over the treetops to the lake beyond; while the walking and cycling trails allow you get your heartrate up along a variety of National Waymarked Ways, designed for all different levels of ability. For the more adventurous, there are even orienteering trails around the 800-hectare park—just don't forget your map!

    46 km

    Riverside fun

    Royal Canal Way, County Longford

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    From lovely Cloondara, County Longford, the Royal Canal Way reaches eastward along level towpath for 130km until it reaches Maynooth in County Kildare. Of course, you don't have to travel the full distance; for inexperienced cyclists, or those simply wishing to take things slowly, there's plenty to see along every stretch. Home to Richmond Harbour, a spot on the National Famine Way and the meeting point of the River Shannon, River Camlin and The Royal Canal meet, Cloondara is a quintessential midlands town, full of friendly locals and proud history. Located on the Camlin River Loop, it's also an access point to the Shannon Blueway.

    17 km

    An Iron Age legacy

    Corlea Trackway, County Longford

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    One of the most amazing treasures of Ireland's Hidden Heartlands is the Corlea Trackway, tucked away in County Longford. This Iron Age road, built way back in 148 BC, is the largest of its kind in Europe. Constructed from great planks of Irish oak, the pathway eventually sank into the soft bogland, before being uncovered in 1985. Today, it's on permanent display at the visitor centre.

    29 km

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    Day 3Athlone to Clonmacnoise

    Day 3

    Explore the deep, rich history of the midlands, and discover just how much it has shaped the Ireland of the 21st century.

    Explore Day 3

    The heart of Ireland

    Athlone, County Westmeath

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    Pretty much smack bang in the centre of Ireland, Athlone can also be found at the heart of a lot of our history. There's been a settlement here for thousands of years, at least since the Bronze Age, and the town has been home to the many ancient kings of the province of Connaught. It's thanks to one of them – Toirdhealbhach Mór Ua Conchobhair – that we have Athlone Castle. Sitting right at the edge of the riverbank, this spectacular castle has been the defining feature of the town for centuries, and is well worth a visit.
    After your urban stopover, grab a bike and take to the 40km Old Rail Trail Greenway. Reaching all the way to Mullingar, this off-road cycle path snakes through lovely rural countryside and passes by the Dún na Sí Amenity and Heritage Park along the way.

    37 km

    Bogs, birds and brilliant sculptures

    Lough Boora, County Offaly

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    The park at Lough Boora bog has everything an outdoor enthusiast could desire: cycling routes, five separate walking trails, two angling lakes, dedicated bird-watching spots, and flourishing flora and fauna. Archaeological finds have even shown that people lived here as far back as 8,000 years ago, Once a peat harvesting site, the land has now been reclaimed as a nature reserve by the Irish Wildlife Trust, and has taken on a whole new life. As well as its natural attractions, Lough Boora's collection of 24 outdoor sculptures is unique in Ireland. Weathered and altered by time and the seasons, the diverse, large-scale structures stand proudly against the stark backdrop, decorating the bogland in a way its Mesolithic settlers could never have even dreamed of.

    30 km

    Heavenly history

    Clonmacnoise, County Offaly

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    The cool grey stone of Clonmacnoise contrasts beautifully against the blue sky that peeps through the pointed arches and broken stonework of this 6th century monastery. This site is home to no fewer than nine churches, two round towers and a castle, as well as a number of intricately carved stone crosses and statues. The scale alone is enough to show the importance of this monastery, which was once a thriving settlement, not just for religious purposes, but also trade, education and craftsmanship. So integral was it to Irish life, that a number of High Kings of Tara were even laid to rest here.
    If you stop by, make sure to seek out the 15th century "Whispering Door": the spot where lepers could come to confess their sins at a safe distance from the clergy.

    48 km

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    Day 4Portumna to Killaloe

    Day 4

    There's no time to rest on your last day—between Galway, Tipperary and Clare, you won't want to miss a thing!

    Explore Day 4

    The delights of Portumna

    Portumna, County Galway

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    Day and night, Portumna has something to offer. From fairytale history to 21st century trends, this is town that ticks all the boxes. First up is Portumna Castle and Gardens: a glorious 17th century estate, built in the early 1600s by the fourth Earl of Clanricarde. From the castle itself, the views out across Lough Derg are spectacular, as are the charming formal gardens in front of it. Make sure to take a turn around the kitchen garden before you leave – it's a beauty.
    For something completely different, why not try a night glamping? Podumna Village offers charming curved eco pods, as well as family cabins, for those looking for an alternative sleeping experience. Cute, cosy and environmentally conscious, you'll definitely get a good night's sleep here!

    29 km

    A lovely Lough

    Lough Derg, Counties Galway, Clare & Tipperary

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    Ireland's third-biggest lake, Lough Derg touches three different counties: Galway, Clare and Tipperary. Of course, you can take to the water from any of these spots, but a good bet is Lough Derg Watersports, based at Kilgarvan Quay in north Tipperary. With bespoke guided kayaking and canoeing tours for all ages, this is the absolute best way to get to know and appreciate the lough, its beauty and its vibrant ecosystem.

    33 km

    Sail away, sail away

    Killaloe, County Clare

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    Whether you stick to the road or take a boat down to the mouth of the lough, it won't take you long to reach the lovely village of Killaloe. A fishing hotspot, the waters here are teeming with pike and trout, so it's worth casting a line, even if you're just a beginner! Afterwards, you can get your heart pumping a little faster by travelling just a couple of kilometres outside the town to UL Sport Adventure Centre. Here, take your pick of water-based activities, including sailing, stand-up paddleboarding, windsurfing, and even high ropes. But perhaps one of Killaloe's greatest assets is its entry point at the centre of the Lough Derg Way: a 68km linear trail stretching all the way from County Limerick to County Tipperary. A moderate trail, the southward stretch down along the River Shannon to O'Briensbridge is well worth the journey.
    As your trip comes to a close, treat yourself to a Killaloe River Cruise for a gentle way to wind down, waving goodbye to Ireland's Hidden Heartlands…until the next time!