You are here: HomeTourism News
  • Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands Call on People to Stop and Explore Print Page
  • In this section

    Word Media 230X100

    Access the latest press releases and download photographs from our image library.

    Visit our media centre

    Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands Call on People to Stop and Explore

    Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands Call on People to Stop and Explore

    New pop up signs appear across the Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands encouraging people to take time to Look, Listen and Enjoy the beauty of their surroundings.

    With so many people now seeking immersive and unique outdoor experiences to recharge and replenish from their hectic lifestyles, Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands is inviting people to break from routine and take a moment to stop, look, listen and enjoy all the region has to offer with the launch of new signage which popped up overnight in 9 key locations.

    Fáilte Ireland launched their latest brand, Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands in 2018, and now to reinforce this brand and put it firmly on the map, we are putting a number of installations, located at some of the region’s most beautiful and scenic destinations in Cavan, Leitrim, Roscommon, Longford, Westmeath, Clare, Galway, Tipperary and Offaly.  The signs are a fun reminder to slow down and take a moment to appreciate the beauty and tranquillity of the region, showcasing some of Ireland’s best kept secrets!

    At the very heart of Ireland, the region offers the perfect escape for those seeking hidden gems and active breaks in nature. Uncover a blend of land and water trails, undiscovered spots and beautiful landscapes, in one of the most surprising and unspoilt parts of Ireland only 2 hours from main cities.

    For further information, visit:

    Follow Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands on;
    Instagram: @irelandshiddenheartlands
    Facebook: @irelandshiddenheartlands
    Twitter: @heartlandsirl

    The 9 signs are now located across Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands at the following destinations;

    Killykeen Forest Park lies on the shores of Lough Oughter which is renowned for coarse fishing and offers a variety of water activities including the option to paddle out to Clogh Oughter Castle, a round tower keep and the last outpost in the region to fall to Cromwell's armies in 1653.  The forest park offers a 10km network of trails acting as an inter-weaving lattice of waterways. Pack a picnic to enjoy under the forest’s leafy shade and take the afternoon to enjoy the walk, cycle or canoe in the park. Clogh Oughter Castle, part of the historic Kingdom of Breifne, stands alone in Lough Oughter and can be reached and explored through a guided boat trip.

    Cruising and Carrick-on-Shannon are synonymous and the perfect place to relax and rewind. Emerald Star, Carrick Craft and Shannon Cultural Holidays have plenty of options, allowing you to experience panoramic views of the local countryside that simply cannot be accessed through any other form of transport.

    Cruise through the tree-lined river and take in the magical surroundings with both short and long terms hire options available.  When you’ve finished on the waters make sure to drop into one of Carrick-on Shannon’s charming pubs for a sup of whatever-you’re-having-yourself and a spot of live entertainment.

    Once you arrive, you won’t want to leave Lough Key Forest and Activity Park, a stunning 400-hectre park in Roscommon with lakes and forest trails and lots of outdoor activities. A unique way to explore the park is to glide along quietly and take in all the scenery on the Rockingham Roll Segway from Woodland Segway. While you're there, make sure to take a boat trip on the lake and check out the beautiful Castle Island in the middle of the parkland or get a bird’s eye view from the treetops on Ireland’s only Tree Canopy Walk.

    Longford has plenty to offer, from outdoor sporting activities to canoeing and leisurely canal cruising. Spend some time on The Royal Canal Way, a 140km walking and cycling corridor from Dublin to Clondra in Longford. This is a wonderful off-road trail that meanders along the bank of the Royal Canal right up to the River Shannon. En route, visit the Corlea Trackway Visitor Centre to see an actual Iron Age trackway built in the year 148 B.C. – the largest of its kind uncovered in Europe.

    Athlone, located at the heart of the River Shannon, the centre point between North Shannon and Lough Derg, is the perfect place to begin your Ireland’s Hidden adventure. Start with a visit to Athlone Castle and the visitor centre, which brings to life the stories of the town and its people from ancient through to modern times. Across the road form Athlone Castle is Luan Gallery, easily one of Ireland's best provincial art spaces. With floor-to-ceiling windows you can catch luminous views of the River Shannon while enjoying the works by national and local artists. Then make your way to an equally historic part of Athlone – Sean's Bar. The Guinness Book of Records has it down as Ireland's oldest pub: its documented history dates to 900AD!

    Killaloe, on the right bank of the River Shannon, is a network of charming narrow streets, flanked by old shops and houses, that climb up the steep hillside and look down over the 13th century cathedral. Take in the beautiful surroundings and enjoy the Ballycuggaran Loop which takes 1.5-2 hours, located in the homeland of the O'Cuggarans, an important family at the court of Brian Boru - while the area is steeped in history, it's the stunning views along the route that'll enthral you! The route starts from Killaloe and offers stunning views of Lough Derg, the Annacarriga valley and the hills from Caherhurley to Ogonnelloe.

    Enjoy a casual cycle around Portumna taking in Portumna Castle, located on the shores of Lough Derg on the River Shannon. The castle was gutted by fire in 1826, but the Castle is still a breath-taking example of Irish architecture of the early 17th Century. The ground floor houses an exhibition on the history and restoration of the building and the de Burgo family, who resided there for over 200 years. Continue your adventure and cycle to Portumna Abbey, Forest Park or relax at the recreational swimming area and take a moment to enjoy the beautiful Lough Derg and River Shannon.

    Shaded by castle ruins, the harbour in the quaint village of Garrykennedy is another popular dock when cruising the Shannon. Located on the eastern shore of Lough the village is known for its fishing and beautiful views, and is a perfect place to stop, relax and enjoy a picnic. Within the harbour you will find a pretty park dotted with picnic areas and barbeque facilities. There is a playground for the children and pony rides can be arranged from Newtown, located ten minutes away.

    Banagher, sitting on the banks of the River Shannon has a range of activities for visitors who are looking for an active and refreshing break. Mid Ireland Adventure located at Banagher Marina offer guided mountain bike & hiking tours in the Slieve Bloom mountains and the Offaly Way, archery and water-based activities including stand up paddle boarding and kayak safaris on the majestic River Shannon or the Grand Canal.

    Jump to top


    Keep up to date on tourism news

    Stay informed of all industry news with our fortnightly newsletter.

    Sign up for our e-newsletter