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Athlone can truly claim to being at the centre of it all. The perfect regional base, the biggest town on the Shannon straddles the borders of Westmeath and Roscommon right in the heart of Ireland, on the main N6. It really is a gateway to just about anywhere on the island.
Arguably Ireland’s most exceptional monastic site, Clonmacnoise developed into Ireland’s centre of learning after it was established by St. Ciaran in the 6th century. It produced such fine manuscripts as the 11th-century Annals of Tighernach and the 12th-century Book of the Dun Cow. Today you can see three high crosses, a cathedral, seven churches, and two round towers.
Athlone is something of a boater’s paradise, with an 87-berth marina situated between the town bridge and the railway bridge. Athlone Marina is centrally located and well equipped with a range of facilities for all boat users
The oldest distillery in the world lies just 36 km from Athlone, in Kilbeggan. Kilbeggan Distillery showcases the art of Irish whiskey distilling and gives visitors the opportunity to sample the finished product.
Lavishly refurbished, the cutting-edge interactive visitor centre at Athlone Castle features eight galleries, illustrating different aspects of life in Athlone down through history. Built for King John of England by his Irish Justiciar Bishop John De Gray of Norwich, Athlone Castle retains elements of its 1210 origins, as well as various additions introduced as warfare techniques advanced.
Athlone's cultural image has been boosted with the new Luan Gallery, housed in a state-of-the-art facility incorporating the sympathetically restored Fr Mathew Hall. It focuses on the visual arts, catering largely for local audiences' needs.
Belvedere House & Gardens centre on a magnificent early 18th century stately home surrounded by 160 acres of parkland on the shores of Lough Ennell. This meticulously restored estate designed by acclaimed German architect Richard Castle was once home to Robert Rochfort, Earl of Belvedere, and an accompanying walled garden contains some of Ireland’s finest collections of rare plants.
The Goldsmith International Literary Festival is one of the oldest events of its type in Ireland. Recently updated to become more relevant, this June bank holiday weekend event addresses some of the most topical and hotly-debated issues facing contemporary Ireland.
Ireland’s top nine amateur drama groups compete for the highly sought-after All-Ireland Drama Festival festival trophy and the honour of becoming national champions. The festival attracts hundreds of visitors to view the cream of Irish amateur theatre, and it also offers a lively fringe, featuring workshops, art exhibitions, and other theatrical performances.
Housing more than 5,000 items from Irish farm and folk life, the family-run Derryglad Folk Museum showcases life in Ireland from the 18th century to the recent past. Items on show include restored horse-drawn machinery, butter-making equipment, and laundry memorabilia. The museum is in Curraghboy, County Roscommon, 14 km from Athlone.
Kilbeggan Races are run on a unique course, making for a great spectacle. This is the only racecourse in the country where races are over jumps under national hunt rules, making for an entertaining experience that brings the skill and courage of both jockey and horse close to the viewer.
5.1km from Athlone
Stay at this charming three-star cottage in a scenic rural setting near Athlone in County Westmeath.
The beautifully restored country cottage includes three bedrooms, with accommodation for six people in two single beds and two double beds. One bedroom is en suite. There are gardens front and rear, as well as a patio with a barbecue for you to enjoy.
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5.6km from Athlone
This wonderful development of 4 star holiday homes is located on the shores of Lough Ree in Athlone, County Westmeath. Nestled in the private old walled orchard of the local golf and country club, the beautiful holiday homes are ideal for a relaxing break, surrounded by lush green woodland and the wonderful scenery of the shores of Lough Ree. The holiday homes are just 8km from Athlone town, which offers a wide range of sports, leisure, and cultural activities. Boating and cruising can also be enjoyed locally.
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7.7km from Athlone
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