Destination Ireland: AthloneSituated near the shore of Lough Ree, divided in two by the River Shannon, Athlone is at the very heart of Ireland.
Things to see and do
Athlone’s enviable location has meant it has been a strategically important town in Ireland for most of its history. Dating from the thirteenth century, Athlone Castle is evidence of this importance and is a stunning example of medieval architecture and the Keep has been designated a National Monument. A recently renovated visitor centre is a must see attraction in the town complete with 3D maps, audio-visual installations and illustrations helping visitors immerse themselves in the history of the place.
The rich rural life of Athlone is celebrated at Derryglad Folk Museum with over 6,000 items chronicling the past 200 years of farm and folk life in Ireland. The rich collection includes restored horse drawn machinery and farm equipment as well as domestic items from a bygone era and an extensive photographic room dating from 1948.
The River Shannon has played an important role in the town, and a trip on a replica Viking boat brings home the rich history of the surrounding area, and is bound to be popular with children. Alternatively there are plenty more luxurious crafts available for private hire to explore the extensive waterways and nearby Lough Ree. The lough is home to a variety of watersports including Baysports Waterpark that lays claim to having the tallest inflatable water slide in the world!
Read more in the May issue…