If there is one place in Ireland that is unjustifiable underrated, then it is the Midlands.
It is a true hidden gem in this sense with so much to offer regarding outdoor activities, countryside relaxation, stunning views, picturesque gardens and authentic rural Irish lifestyle in quaint villages. We have completely fallen for its charm!
The Irish Midlands, which encompasses the tourist route called Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands, is considerably less well known than the Wild Atlantic Way and Ireland’s Ancient East. It is therefore ideal for anyone wishing to avoid the hustle and bustle of the more popular destinations in Ireland, yet still experience a truly Irish vacation.
The Midlands region, roughly located in the center of Ireland, includes the following counties: Leitrim, Longford and Roscommon and parts of Cavan, Galway, North Tipperary, Offaly and Westmeath.
For those of you who enjoy long-distance hiking, then why don’t you check out the Beara Breifne Way. This interactive walking trail, which is Ireland’s longest national waymarked trail, follows the legendary 14-day march of the last independent ruler of the Gaelic clan O’Sullivan Beara and his thousand followers in 1603.
Other walking trails are for example the 68 km (42 miles) long Lough Derg Way along the River Shannon or the Miner’s Way and Historical Trail, which is a beautiful 118 km (73 miles) circular route in County Roscommon. The Miner’s Way trails along paths that were used by coal miners, who once worked in the Arigna coal mines.
Water sports enthusiasts will be spoilt for choice with a range of exciting canoeing and kayaking options. A relaxing boat cruise holiday on the River Shannon is another refreshing way to spend your holiday.
If you like to go fishing, then the right choice of location would be County Cavan. The lakes are an angler’s paradise with about 365 in total and are particularly famous for coarse and pike fishing.
Among some of the many superb castles in this area that you should visit is Birr Castle, Gardens and Science Centre located in County Offaly. At the Science Centre, you can learn all about the many discoveries made in astronomy at this very site and view the enormous telescope built in the 1840s.
Our tip: Check out the Lough Boora Discovery Park, which connects outdoor activities (including cycling and walking) with culture, as there are cool sculptures throughout the park. The Lough Key Forest Park is also fun for all the family with nature and activities to suit everyone.
You can easily travel to the Midlands from Dublin or anywhere else in Ireland given its central location.
The Irish Midlands is definitely worth exploring!
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