Tucked away in the north-west of Ireland, Leitrim truly is the hidden gem of the country. Unspoilt landscapes, exhilarating experiences, historical haunts and fantastic festivals await visitors of all ages. I’m delighted to share with you, my 94 favourite things in and around Leitrim.
Why 94 though? It was the obvious number to run with when trying to compile a list of the highlights contained in and around Lovely Leitrim. Locals will pick up on the significance immediately but for the unfamiliar 1994 is a pretty historic year in Leitrim.
As well as being the last time Leitrim’s football team won the Connacht championship, our proudest adopted son Charlie McGettigan was one-half of the “Rock ’N Roll Kids” who took home the Eurovision Song Contest trophy to Ireland.
With no further ado and in no particular order here goes:
1) Visit Glencar Waterfall
With a number of rivers, canals, lakes and waterfalls across the entire county, it seems like the best place to start. The absolute gem in the crown is Glencar Waterfall, located just on the county line between Manorhamilton and Sligo. A short path from the car park brings you to the small pool which lies beneath the falls. There is no charge to visit the waterfall. You can stop into the tearooms for a cuppa when you’re there.
2) Relief Our Medival Past At Parke’s Castle
Just outside the town of Dromahair, along with the shores of Lough Gill, stands the imposing Parkes Castle. The three-story castle which dates from the 1600’s is now a museum which is open to the public during the summer season from March to September. A nominal admission fee applies.
3) Enjoy Traditional Boxty
A traditional potato pancake which was commonly associated with Leitrim. The most common version is made with a fried mixture of finely grated, raw potato and mashed potato with loud, baking soda, buttermilk and sometimes egg. Local suppliers include McNiffes & Dromod Boxty.
4) A Cruising Holiday
Why not spend a week or a long weekend with friends or family on a cruising holiday from Carrick on Shannon, along with Ireland’s longest river or the Shannon-Erne Waterway between Leitrim Village and Belturbet. Enjoying the phenomenal Leitrim scenery from the big blue watery road will have you screaming “I’m on a boat” at the top of your lungs. No experience or licence is required to rent a cruiser from Emerald Star or Carrick Craft.
5) Get On Your High Horse
You can get your equestrian kicks at a number of places across the county. Drumcoura City is an old school western style dude ranch on the banks of Drumcours Lough. Other options include trekking along the shores of Lough Allen at Moorlands Equestrian Centre, Drumshanbo and Hayden Equestrian Centre in Bornacoola
6) Going Underground
An ex-miner will guide you through an old disused coal mine, explaining the lengthy history of coal mining in the Arigna Mining Experience. Ireland’s first coal mining museum in Ireland’s first and last coal mine is situated in the Arigna hills of north Roscommon overlooking Lough Allen. Coal mining was carried out at this site for 400 years until 1990 when the last mines closed in the area.
7) Hike Eagles Rock
Standing proudly in Glenade’s valley, Eagles Rock is a glacial formation which has resulted in Ireland’s highest free standing tower formation. The breathtaking view out across Glenade Lake is the reward for the 3km hike from the car park off the road.
8) Catch The First Salmon Of The Year
The famed Drowes River in north Leitrim has often been the location for the first Salmon caught and released in the country each year. There’s also plenty of other fantastic locations for angling and fishing across all the lakes and rivers in the county.
9) Add Some Drama To Your Life
Why not catch a live show in the many fantastic performance spaces dotted around the county. The Dock is an 117 seater theatre which lives in the old Courthouse in Carrick on Shannon. Carrigallen’s Corn Mill Theatre and the North Leitrim Glen’s Centre in Manorhamilton also provide excellent options for entertainment.
10) Explore Creevelea Abbey
Situated a short walk from the town of Dromahair, along with the banks of the River Bonet, is Creevelea Abbey. Built over 500 years ago as a Franciscan friary, the remains of the building include elements of the church, chapter house and cloister.
11) Catch the Cycling Buzz
Why not explore the county on two wheels with a little extra help. Electric Bike Trails in Leitrim Village & Lough Key Forest Park will afford you the luxury of having the cycling experience on the rolling hills of Leitrim with a battery assisted motor, making the effort a little easier than normal. Suggested routes with maps are provided to help and all ages are catered for.
12) Moon River Pleasure Cruiser
When compiling a list of the top 94 things to do in Leitrim it would be impossible not to include Carrick on Shannon’s Moon River. One of the region’s premier tourist attractions since it’s launch in 1995. Catering for 110 passengers, a full bar, onboard entertainment and light refreshments make your cruise on the Shannon an absolute delight.
13) Get Bowled Over
Enjoy a game of 10 pin bowling while the kids tire themselves out in the Kid’s Kingdom in the Mulvey Centre in Carrick on Shannon. A full arcade, pool and air hockey will keep the munchkins of all ages occupied while refreshments and snacks are available from the snack shop.
14) Climb Ben Bulben
While normally associated with nearby Sligo, Ben Bulben, with its distinctive vista, is a popular walking destination which is easily accessible from the south side. A paved path starting at Glencar Waterfall making the gentle slope an easy walk. There is a unique variety of plants growing on the mountain, including some found nowhere else in Ireland.
15) Visit Yeat’s Grave
Seeing as we’ve already ventured a little distance over the county line into Sligo we might as well come down the hill into Drumcliffe churchyard and the final resting place of William Butler Yeats. A particular personal highlight is a statue bearing the words of the Yeat’s poem “He Wishes For The Cloths Of Heaven” situated in the car park.
16) A Fusion Asian, Irish Feast In The Cottage
Just 5 miles from Carrick on Shannon, set in Jamestown overlooking the Weir on the Shannon. The Cottage is a multi-award winning restaurant which boasts a bright contemporary dining space. Head Chef Sham Haifa hails from Malaysia and brings his own Asian twist to contemporary Irish cuisine using local ingredients from local producers where possible.
17) Enjoy A Trad Music Session
There are plenty of decent traditional music sessions scattered all over the country. Notable mention for Anderson’s Thatch Pub just outside Carrick on Shannon (Wednesday, Friday & Saturday), Beirnes of Battlebridge (Friday’s) and Donnellan’s Bar, Leitrim Village (First Sunday of the Month)
18) Sample Some Locally Grown Produce
The weekly Farmers Market in the market yard (Thursday, 10am – 2pm) provides a direct contact between the customer with the local producer. Market stalls include fresh fish, organic meat, bread, eggs, fruit & veg, cheese, organic wine and lots more besides.
19) Pay Your Respects At The Second Smallest Church In The World
Sandwiched between Flynn’s Pub and Armstrong’s on Carrick on Shannon’s Bridge St., the second smallest church in the world was built as a shrine to a deceased wife by the husband she left behind. Now both coffins lie under glass panels on the floor of the chapel. The memorial is a ‘blink and you miss’ it the location that always brings back the warm glow of reminding you of the lengths that people will go to on behalf of their loved ones.
20) A Day Boat on the River / Canal
Leitrim Quay holiday village in Leitrim Village also offer a day boat hire opportunity. A small cruiser which is perfect for a single day trip in all four directions from the base. The Shannon-Erne waterway runs to the east, while with about one hour’s cruising time you can reach Lough Allen and Drumshanbo to the north or Carrick on Shannon down the Shannon to the south. Lough Key is about a two-hour journey west along the Boyle River.
21) Murder Mystery Weekend
The Old Rectory in Fenagh plays host to a real “Who done it?” Murder Mystery Weekend where the residents have to harness their inner Sherlock Holmes or Miss Marple and establish which of the guests was responsible for the ghastly murder that has taken place. Was it Reverend Green with the Candlestick in the Library, only time will tell.
22) Victoria Hall
Set along the banks of the Shannon in Carrick on Shannon the picturesque old Victorian building houses a stylish and contemporary culinary offering in Victoria Hall. With food to suit those with a liking for both Asian and European dishes, there is something for everyone including distinctive Boxty wraps and their house speciality, the Bento Box.
23) Glenview Folk Museum
Glenview Country House is located just outside Ballinamore along the Shannon-Erne Waterway. As well as plenty of accommodation options available a full museum with 6,000 antique, historical and novel items range from pre-famine Ireland. Old household items adorn the street scene build to replicate shops and pubs of yesteryear, complete with a variety of products and equipment as they would have been in days gone by.
24) Soul Space
Looking for a place you can relax and release all your stress, well one small piece of paradise will allow you that opportunity. Soul Space, a spacious 2,000 square foot studio in Carrick on Shannon hosts classes in yoga, meditation, aerial yoga, dance, drama, music lessons.
25) Tullyboy Farm
Let the kids run wild with the animals of Tullyboy Farm, a real working visitor farm in a beautiful setting on the Roscommon and Leitrim border. Your children and the big kids with them will enjoy feeding and cuddling the animals of all sizes who call Tullyboy home.
26) Shannon Blueway
The first of it’s kind in Ireland, the Shannon Blueway is an innovative, safe and easy to use series of on-water and land-based trails. It allows guided and unguided paddling, walking and cycling along the Lough Allen Canal and River Shannon from Drumshanbo to Leitrim Village.
27) The Leitrim Design House
Housed on the ground floor of The Dock, the Leitrim Design House is a showcase for the very best of handmade unique Irish craft. Fine art, ceramics, glass, prints, metal, wood, jewellery, textiles, paper-craft and cards. The selection of work is carefully curated with a strong emphasis on quality, design and innovation.
28) Ard Nahoo Eco Retreat
Established in 2001 near Dromahair, Ard Nahoo is a fantastic eco retreat with two treatment rooms, a green room, changing area, yoga studio and Uisce (Water) area. Offering accommodation packages to go with the activities on a site it’s an amazing all inclusive package. They also offer yoga teacher training courses and numerous relaxing treatments.
29) Elphin Windmill
A short distance across the Roscommon border from Carrick on Shannon lies the town of Elphin. Here you will find the oldest working 18th-century windmill in the country. Located on the plains of Elphin to harness the sweeping winds. It has some distinct and unusual features including the revolving thatched roof and four sails that are turned into the wind by using a cartwheel on a circular track. It’s open until 3pm on weekdays and by appointment on weekends.
30) The Organic Centre
Established over twenty years ago, The Organic Centre sits on 19 acres of farmland in Rossinver, Co. Leitrim. An award winning ecologically designed building is the main hub of operations. Having won countless awards for their food, their community work and their contribution to Irish food training and education this small but thriving non-profit inspires visitors to grow food organically and live sustainably.
31) Cavan And Leitrim Railway
Step back in time and travel on a narrow gauge train, visit the transport museum and see an extensive collection of steam, diesel trains, rolling stock and vintage buses. A tour of the site will take approximately 40-50 minutes and includes a trip on the train and a tour of the engine sheds & workshops. The last train is at 5pm.
32) Poll an Eas Waterfall
While Glencar gets all the plaudits outside the county, Poll an Eas, or bathing place in Irish, is a very scenic alternative in Aughacashel. In the foothills of the Iarainn, the quiet beauty of nature will really leave a lasting impression. Ample parking and public barbeque area mean you can take the kids and enjoy a picnic beside the waterfall.
33) Tullaghan Beach
Yes, that does say beach. County Leitrim might not boast much of a coastline in terms of length, but it’s a case of quality over quantity. With some of the best big wave surfing along this coast from Mullaghmore, Sligo to Bundoran and Rossnowlagh in Donegal.
34) Ziplining through Forest Park
If you’re not a fan of having your feet planted on terra firma but water isn’t your favourite location maybe you would be happy flying through the treetops of Lough Key Forest Park. Zip-It offers the opportunity to climb high into the treetops, swing into cargo nets and fly down many different ziplines. Designed to accommodate all ages and abilities from 7 years of age, the only requirement is a real sense of adventure.
35) Boda Borg
Also in Lough Key Forest Park is Boda Borg. Suitable for everyone over the age of 7, this crystal maze style experience will keep you and your team mates occupied as you try to solve the puzzle contained in each of the 47 rooms to progress. It requires teamwork, ingenuity, trial and error and skills you didn’t even know you have.
36) Lough Key Forest Park
As well as the range of activities that are on offer at the visitor centre in Lough Key Forest Park, the park itself is a wonderland of nature. The endless paths through woodlands, lakeside and tunnels are a warren of adventure themselves. The visitor centre also contains a restaurant & gift shop.
37) Dereen Wood
Located just outside Lough Key is the beautiful Dereen Wood. Located on the Ardcarne to Knockvicar road it’s especially amazing when it’s carpet of bluebells are in full bloom. Usually in April and early May each year.
38) Go Glamping
Situated just outside Leitrim Village, on the Roscommon side of the river Shannon in Battlebridge, Beirne’s of Battlebridge is a scenic location to go camping with a difference. Glamorous Camping in eco pods, stilted cabin or a shepherd’s hut is an unforgettable experience for the entire family. Friday night’s traditional music session is a particular highlight of the week.
39) Lough Macnean Sculpture Trail
Along the shore of Lough Macnean, you will find eleven pieces of sculpture which form the Lough Macnean Sculpture Trail. Along with other prominent features along or near the trail, most notably the Ladies Rest, Myles Big Stone and the badgers well. The entrance to Glenfarne Wood is about 1km outside of the town on the road to Kiltyclogher. The lake itself acts as a natural border between Leitrim, Cavan and Fermanagh and doubles as an international border between Northern Ireland and the Republic.
40) The Rose of Innisfree
Take the opportunity to explore the spectacular Lough Gill environment which WB Yeats made famous in his poetry. The full commentary on board the Rose of Innisfree will educate you on the islands and other features of the lake, including the world famous “Lake Isle of Innisfree”.
41) Discover your Leitrim roots
The Leitrim Genealogy Centre is housed with the county library in Ballinamore. The friendly staff will help you source information on your ancestors with records dating back to before the famine times when the population of the county was over 160,000 people. One hundred and fifty years later in 1996 the census recorded the population at 25,000.
42) Visit Hamilton’s Manor
After the “Flight of the Earls” in the early seventeenth century, Sir Frederick Hamilton build Manorhamilton Castle in what has since become the modern town of Manorhamilton. The ruins of the stronghold dominate the picturesque town and can be experienced at the castle heritage centre.
43) Crystallise your Leitrim memories
Call into Leitrim Crystal in Carrick on Shannon and bring home a handmade piece of crystal to remember your Leitrim adventure by. In the Bridge St. location Ken and Sandra Cunningham will demonstrate first hand, various pieces being designed, cut and engraved by a master crystal glass cutter.
44) Origin Farmers Market
Held every Friday in Manorhamilton, the numerous stalls offer organic meat, fruit and vegetables as well as home baking, cheese and fresh fish. You can be sure your produce is as fresh as possible getting it direct from the source.
45) Party Central
It would be almost impossible to mention Leitrim and Carrick on Shannon without talking about the nightlife in the town. Especially at weekends, the number of hens, stag and other parties can see the population increase by thousands. The main attractions are Murtaghs, Dunnes Bar & Club 360.
46) Kinlough Folk Museum
Located on the main street of the north Leitrim town, the Folk Museum is dedicated to keeping alive the memory of the quaint rural lifestyle of an Irish village. This traditional old country house contains an original public house (bar), authentic kitchen with displays that contain farming tools, kitchen implements and other historic items.
47) Stay in an Irish Castle
The jewel in Leitrim’s crown of places to stay is Lough Rynn Castle Hotel, the 19thcentury home of Lord Leitrim. Secluded and set majestically on the shore of Lough Rynn, the walled garden and converted french stable yards provide a journey through history that can only be provided in such an environment. The John McGahern Library is located in the Castle. The library displays the celebrated works of one of Ireland’s finest fiction writers who was born in Co. Leitrim. Brian O’Driscoll & Amy Huberman chose the castle as a venue for their wedding in 2010. Nearby Kilronan Castle in Keadue, Co. Roscommon is a sister hotel to Lough Rynn.
48) Scented Meadows
Located in new premises like none other, Scented Meadows focuses on the healing qualities associated with the lavender plant, this store offers everything in a lavender theme from candles to body lotions, gels and oils available. They also provide hampers for every occasion and budget.
49) Relax in a Beer Garden
Whatever your choice of tipple, there is no experience like sitting in the beer garden at Ging’s in Carrick on Shannon. The beer garden stretches along the Roscommon bank south of the bridge with the pub itself overlooking the river and the world that’s just passing by as the ice melts in your glass. A little piece of heaven.
50) Lough Allen Adventure Centre
It’s hardly surprising that a county with so much focus on water has decided to claim back some of the property. Kayaking, windsurfing and hiking are just some of the activities on offer at Lough Allen Adventure Centre on the east shore of the first of the three large lakes on the River Shannon. Catering for children and adults through an extensive array of team building and summer camps as well as instructor courses for people who just can’t get enough of the great outdoors.
51) Workhouse Memorial
St. Georges, the local Church of Ireland in Carrick on Shannon is the location for the 3rd floor Attic Memorial which commemorates the role that workhouses played in Ireland from the early 19th century until famine times. It is presented in its original state. It is representative of hundreds of other such spaces across Ireland in which tens of thousands were forced to live.
52) Make Colourful Cocktails at the Black Mint Bar
Upstairs in the Landmark Hotel in Carrick on Shannon, The Black Mint Bar‘s resident mixologist will teach you a thing or two about creating cocktails. He will share the secrets of how you can make your favourite cocktail during their Cocktail Master Class.
53) Paddle along the Blueway
If you want to explore the waterways of Leitrim at a leisurely pace but feel the need to exert yourself in the process, why not check out the Shannon Blueway from a Stand Up Paddleboard with Leitrim Surf. Their fully qualified instructors will safely guide you along the river stopping for lunch along the way.
54) Arrest Your Appetite
Featured in the Bridgestone 100 best places to eat in Ireland, The Courthouse Restaurant in Kinlough offers a sublime dining experience. Mullaghmore lobster & duck ravioli are two of the highlights of the Irish and Italian speciality menu. Head Chef Piero Melis will make your mouth water with the vibrant flavours.
55) Don’t Fall Fowl of Nature
Close to the village of Rossinver in North Leitrim one of the best-kept secrets of the area cascades through the valley. Fowley’s Falls exists where the Glenanniff river has eroded the blue limestone to form a deep river valley. The series of drops over the exposed bedrock finally ends up in Lough Melvin. There is a lovely walkway following the river with amazing views of the waterfalls. The walk is about 3km in length but beware it’s out and back rather than circular meaning a return journey of equal distance.
56) Play Soldier at Battlebridge
Just over the Shannon into Roscommon, you’ll find a gaming experience that no other facility can match. The army and outdoor adventure experience enable Battlebridge Paintball to create and maintain a GameZone with a military authenticity that is second to none.
57) Carrick Carnival
Usually held in early July, Carrick Carnival, the ten-day festival goes from strength to strength including music, dancing, sports & activities for kids of all ages. From kid’s fun days, bike and aeroplane exhibitions to watersports and fireworks. With most businesses, community groups and sports clubs involved in some form it’s a fantastic way to get a taste of Carrick on Shannon in a short visit.
58) Birthplace of Sean Mac Diarmada
One of the seven signatories of the 1916 Irish Proclamation, Sean Mac Diarmadawas born near Kiltyclogher in North Leitrim. His birthplace is the sole intact family home of any of the 1916 proclamation signatories. Admission to the house is free, but booking in advance is advised.
59) Raise Your Glass at An Tóstal
An annual festival held in Drumshanbo in late June / early July each year since 1953. Featuring some of Ireland’s top talent from the world of music, entertainment and food. Features activities for all ages.
60) Leitrim Sculpture Centre
The Leitrim Sculpture Centre provides one of the most comprehensive visual arts resources in Ireland, situated in Manorhamilton within a rich and diverse rural landscape. Space and technology can be flexibly resourced at affordable rates for artists, local communities and international practitioners. The programme includes exhibitions, residencies, workshops, training, research, masterclasses & talks.
61) Two Wheels Bad, Four Wheels Good
Set on over 100 acres of fantastic Irish countryside the off-road motor-powered adventure at Carrick Quads is perfect for all levels, from the novice to the experienced. Everyone will have an amazing time regardless of the weather. Due to demand advance booking is essential. All safety equipment is provided including body armour and helmets and a safety briefing.
62) Where The Locals Party
While Carrick might be known as a great party spot, there are a few hidden gems around town where you can still have a quiet drink, enjoy good music and catch up with the locals without a blowup doll or tacky costume in sight. Percy Whelan’s is fast becoming the best venue in the town for quality entertainment.
A three-day festival featuring inspirational and motivating speakers from across Leitrim, Ireland and the entire world. Cloud9 is in early September at the Dock in Carrick on Shannon. Previous speakers include Eurovision Song Contest winners, award-winning film producers, social entrepreneurs, best-selling authors, elite athletes, international TEDx speakers.
64) Drumkeerin Heritage Centre
Experience the beautifully reconstructed Irish cottage and farmyard which draws inspiration from the magnificent rugged landscape, surrounding mountains, lakes and woods. Drumkeerin Heritage Centre includes a traditional sweat house, pig sty, old style garden, agricultural machinery, old artifacts, a craft shop and coffee shop. Free admission.
65) MacNean House
One of Ireland’s favourite TV Chef’s Award Winning Neven Maguire provides the best food and hospitality Ireland has to offer at his award-winning MacNean House & Restaurant. Nestled in the foothills of the Cuilcagh Mountains just a few kilometres from the Leitrim border at Glenfarne.
66) O’Rourke Castle, Leitrim Village
After the battle of Kinsale in 1602, and the subsequent winter march of Donal Cam O’Sullivan Beare from Glengarriff looking for safe harbour, the only safe place was O’Rourke’s Castle in Leitrim Village. Subsequently, it would become the last Irish castle to fall to the English. All that remains is a single ruined wall marked with a plaque, beside the modern marina on the Shannon-Erne Waterway.
67) Joe Mooney Summer School
A week long festival of traditional Irish music, song and dance named after the man who did so much to promote the cause of Leitrim and the town of Drumshanbo. In addition to the classes and workshops at the Joe Mooney Summer School, there are recitals, ceilithe, lectures and open air music events.
68) The Shed Distillery
Nestled in the Food Hub overlooking Lough Allen lies the Shed Distillery which has become well known for it’s first product, Gunpowder Gin, making waves in the thriving Irish drinks industry.
69) Tawnylust Lodge
The perfect retreat to just come and observe the natural world. The tranquil location is ideal for writers, artists or anyone wishing to take time out and enjoy nature in a peaceful eco-friendly haven. Tawnylust Lodge boasts passive solar heating, solar panels, energy efficient appliances and many extra environmental measures.
70) Riversdale Holidays
Operating from Riversdale Guesthouse, the Thomas family offers rental of barges to enjoy the Shannon-Erne Waterway along with both rivers, with a choice of 2 to 8 berth wide beam barges available. The guesthouse has spacious and comfortable rooms with a delightful breakfast of your choice in the morning. The facilities also include an indoor heated swimming pool, gym, table tennis and beauty treatments.
71) Crossroads Dancing
Each Midsummer evening, the strains of traditional music and the foot tapping of Irish dancers can be heard from the Crossroads Dance in Effernagh. The brain child of local sean nos dancing teacher Edwina Guckian, people come from far and wide to relive the experience of the highlight of the social calendar in the Irish 1920’s and 30’s.
72) Sliabh an Iarainn Visitor Centre
Audio-visual displays about the Arigna and the Sliabh an Iarainn mountains area with special emphasis on the railway, the canal, lakes, iron and coal mining which formed a huge part of the history of the whole area are the main focus of the Sliabh an Iarainn Visitor Centre in Drumshanbo.
73) Carrig Brewing Company
Another success story from the Food Hub in Drumshanbo, the homegrown craft beer brewery Carrig Brewing Company. Husband and wife team Sinead O’Connell and Martie Deegan established the brewery in 2011 after a lifetime of passionate involvement in the Irish brewing and hospitality industries.
74) Teapot Lane
On the Sligo / Leitrim border, close to Leitrim’s extensive coastline, you’ll find Teapot Lane Glamping. Swing in a hammock, read a book, sip a glass of wine by the fire while you spend your evenings relaxing in your tree house, luxury yurt or country cottage.
75) The Rainbow Ballroom of Romance
Completely refurbished in 2013, the famous Ballroom of Romance is still providing an entertainment venue to the people of Glenfarne in north Leitrim. Having hosted the biggest names in Irish show business, including Joe Dolan, Big Tom, Brendan Bowyer, Dickie Rock, since it was first opened in 1934, it has also been the subject of many books and a feature film.
76) Ballinamore Annual Drama Festival
Every March the local and national amateur drama scene bursts into life at the Ballinamore Annual Drama Festival which is now entering its 36th year.
77) Catch River Mania while you Adventure Gently
Spend some time on the river in a Canoe or Kayak. Adventure Gently offer guided tours on the waterways of the region in Canadian Canoes. As the name suggests it’s a relaxed, gentle, enjoyable experience with a flavour of excitement and achievement. If that’s all a little too relaxed for you, take to the water in a single kayak or even with a high-speed adrenaline rush on a banana boat with River Mania.
78) Tuck into a Whopping Steak
Cox’s Steakhouse in Dromod will satisfy even the hungriest visitor with a selection of dishes to suit all tastes, not just the carnivorous diners. Other locations to get a good steak in the county include The Barge Restaurant and Steakhouse & Leitrim Marina Hotel, both in Leitrim Village
79) Leaf through a Rare Read
Trinity Rare Books is hidden just off Bridge St. in Carrick on Shannon where over 20,000 antique and second-hand books are waiting to be perused. Across the road, The Reading Room caters for new reads. With an excellent range and knowledge, Orla can be guaranteed to recommend exactly the right book to suit your interests.
80) Carrick Water Music Festival
Five days of musical and artistic discovery come to Carrick on Shannon every July since 2005 for the Carrick Water Music Festival. Experience Fine Art Exhibitions, Literary Events, Children’s Art Workshops and a musical trail through the town. Recent editions have featured Lisa Hannigan, Donal Lunny and other musical luminaries.
81) The Oarsman Restaurant
Multi award winning, The Oarsman Gastro Pub has offered a high-end dining experience since opening it’s doors in 2002. Brother’s Conor and Ronan Maher’s family have been in the hospitality trade for generations and they bring all that heritage to the table with every serving. Early booking is advised for weekend bookings and they are open Tuesday to Saturday.
82) Hit the Gym
Boasting Leitrim’s only 25-metre swimming pool, Aura Leisure Centre in Carrick on Shannon caters for all your gym and sports requirements. Two 5-a-side Astro playing pitches, playground, jacuzzi, sauna & steam room are available alongside the fitness studio and fully kitted out gym.
83) The Greenbox
Ireland’s first ecotourism destination, the Greenbox has undertaken the task of creating a tourism business in the north-west which highlights the best of what the region has to offer. A network of close to 100 members who all subscribe to the principles of ecotourism including health and wellness, activity centres, accommodation providers, restaurant and visitor attractions.
84) Have an Awesome Adventure
Based from the old boathouse at Glencar Lake, let Awesome Adventures show you around the scenic area on foot, kayak, canoe, raft or on two wheels by bike. A range of activities for all ages and abilities, with an emphasis on a safe, enjoyable and educational experience.
85) Fenagh Visitor Centre
Fenagh is steeped in history. With two abbeys to the various and very significant archaeological sites in the surrounding fields. Explanations, descriptions and maps can be viewed in the Heritage Centre. The Book of Fenagh and the Bell of Fenagh are two of the highlighted artefacts. Guided tours of the abbey are available while the kids will be right at home in the Monk’s Den, a soft play area. You can all refuel at the Dolmen Cafe with a selection of food and drinks available.
86) Cowboys and Heroes Americana and Country Music Festival
Drumcoura City on the June bank holiday weekend has become a mecca for everything Country & Bluegrass Music at the Cowboys and Heroes Festival. All the top Irish country stars feature including Nathan Carter, Derek Ryan, Lisa McHugh, Mike Denver and Robert Mizzell. With entertainment included for fans of all ages it’s a hit for the entire family.
87) Ballinamore Family Festival
Ballinamore comes alive every August with the streets filled with music, dancing, sports, arts and crafts workshops, historical events & tours of the town. The kids are well catered for with fancy dress, the teddy bear’s picnic and plenty of other events too.
88) Hike O’Rourke’s Table
Near Dromahair, close to Lough Gill lies the hill known locally as O’Rourke’s Table. It’s a very enjoyable walk which is signposted from the main Dromahair – Sligo road. The view from the top of the hill out across Lough Gill is one of the most amazing views in the county.
89) Kingfisher Cycle Trail
A series of well signposted Cycle Trails through the counties of Leitrim, Cavan & Fermanagh offers a great opportunity to see the beautiful countryside and even get a work out in at the same time. Two of the routes take in part of Leitrim with the Sliabh an Iarainn Route through Ballinaglera, Ballinamore and Drumshanbo, while Carrick on Shannon, Leitrim Village, Dowra, Ballinamore, Fenagh and Drumshanbo are included in the longer version.
90) Pamper Yourself
There are any number of great places to treat yourself to a good pampering session. Beauty by the Shannon in Carrick and Dromod will cater for your every need and whim.
91) Enjoy a Round of Golf
Whether you want to release your inner Rory McIlroy and attempt a hole in one or you see the game as a good walk spoiled and just want the scenic views of the Boyle River you can happily spend hours in Carrick on Shannon Golf Club. Ballinamore Golf Club is a 9 hole alternative in the county.
92) Enjoy a Pint
Just want to relax and enjoy a few drinks in a fantastic atmosphere and with great company there are multiple options in every single town in the county. An honourable mention to The Barrelstore, Carthy’s Lock 17 in Leitrim Village, Gerties in Keshcarrigan, The Market Bar in Manorhamilton and the counties newest pub Carrick on Shannon’s The Tipsy Tailor.
93) By George!
The newest eating option in Carrick on Shannon mixes Elegant dining with creative cuisine at St. George’s Terrace. A converted bank the recently opened restaurant features a selection of intimate and understated dining rooms, an elegant bar with terrace and a dedicated cookery school. Their ethos is “to use the finest, freshest local and Irish produce to create a modern Irish menu with French influences.”
94) Woodland Segway
Why not enjoy the Rockingham Roll, just get on your segway and head off through the woodlands of Lough Key Forest Park with Woodland Segway to enjoy the self balancing electric scooter. It’s easy to use, quirky, cool and so much fun. All groups and ages catered for from birthday parties to corporate team building days.