Roscommon County – Fun, Food & Fantastic CountrysideJuly 8, 2019
A visit to Roscommon will take you far from the madding crowd and every visit reveals another area of undiscovered rugged beauty. For nature lovers and walkers, Roscommon should be right up there on your bucket list. Here are some of the natural wonders that await you in this beautiful Irish county:
Arigna Miners Way
These paths follow the original paths that miners took when they worked in the Arigna Mines. The Miners Way path links up with the Historical Trail across the Curlew, Bricklieve and Arigna Mountain ranges. You’ll discover fascinating sights along the way, including sequoia trees, the Carrowkeel megalithic tombs, wind farms and Labby Rock. For stunning panoramic views and unspoilt wild landscapes, these walking routes will tick all the right boxes. Travel here with Irish Airports such as https://irelandwestairport.com/
Lough Key Forest Park
There are many different trails and walks that traverse Lough Key Forest Park and it’s bursting with both natural and historical sites, bridges, canals and forests galore. There’s plenty of family fun on offer in this beautiful landscape too, including an Adventure Kingdom playground, orienteering, accessible wheelchair orienteering, cycle routes, Segway trails, ziplines and electric bike hire.
Over 750 years ago, the King of Connacht, Felim O Conor founded the Abbey of Roscommon on the outskirts of the town. Now in ruins, there are still fascinating highlights to see, including a king’s effigy dressed in robes. The abbey experienced a dramatic history, with a fire in the 13th century and lightning strike in the 14th, it remains an interesting place of historical significance to visit on your trip to the county.
Constructed in 1269 by Robert de Ufford from land seized from an Augustinian Priory. The castle is an imposing sight with a history that saw it pass from Irish to English ownership countless times over the centuries. It was returned to Irish hands in 1645, only to be partially destroyed in an explosion set by Cromwell’s ‘Ironsides’. It was eventually burnt down in 1690 and fell into a state of disrepair and decay. Visiting today, there is a wildlife conservation area, wildflower meadow, lakes, playgrounds and decking provided for visitor viewing.
Taking to the River Shannon is a wonderful way to see the county, but why not find out about the Viking invasion at the same time? The Shannon is the main artery running through the country and as the Vikings arrived by boat, they must have sailed up the Shannon. They arrived in 842 at Clonmacnoise, the site of a monastery. The Lough Ree Cruise will take you up to Hodson Bay before returning.
Foodies will be in culinary heaven when they come to Roscommon County. A county famed for its farmers, you can be confident that the local produce you find at the lively markets is going to be absolutely top-notch. Think organic meat, homemade bread, organic fruit and veg, herbs, craft butchers, rare-breed pork and local honey. You’ll find several markets like the Boyle Farmers Market and ones at Ballaghaderreen and Roscommon town. Roscommon is famed for its sheep farming and the Roscommon Lamb Festival takes place every May Bank Holiday.