6 incredible ways to enjoy the adventures and stunning scenery of Ireland's Hidden Heartlands this autumn 2 weeks ago

6 incredible ways to enjoy the adventures and stunning scenery of Ireland's Hidden Heartlands this autumn

Brought to you by Discover Ireland

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From wet and wild activities to slow adventures, endless walks to heritage centres, there are many wonderful ways to experience the hidden gems of Ireland's Hidden Heartlands.

The Organic Centre, Rossinver, North Leitrim

Are you a proud plant parent? Do you want to learn about living more sustainably? Then pop into the Organic Centre and take part in the informative workshops on organic gardening, horticulture and sustainable living.

Whilst there, explore the glorious gardens filled with secluded spots where you can relax and bask in nature. For something a bit more active, follow the beautiful butterfly trail or take part in a wild bug hunt. There's also a cosy cafe with indoor and outdoor seating where you can curl up with a gardening book whilst tucking into fresh, flavourful food.

The Miner's Way and Historical Trail, Arigna, North Roscommon

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Looking for a walk filled with stories and stunning scenery? Then tackle part of the 118km Miner's Way and Historical Trail, which starts and ends in Arigna. Once a bustling coal-mining village, Arigna is now home to Ireland's first mining museum. During the Arigna Mining Experience, you can go underground into an actual mine and follow in the footsteps of the miners. The Miner's Way wriggles through this incredibly interesting and scenic area. It is a great trail for those looking to experience the true essence of Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands.

Cavan Adventure Centre, Inishmore, County Cavan

Revel in the region's famed lakeland scenery by renting a boat, bike or kayak at the Cavan Adventure Centre and navigating your way to Killykeen Forest Park. Located on the shores of Lough Oughter in the southern reaches of the Cuilcagh Lakelands Geopark, here you'll find serene fishing and picnic spots and exciting adventures like cave exploration.

However, one of the best experiences in this region at this time of year is witnessing the thousands of waterbirds, including Whooper Swans, wintering in the wetlands. It really is a sensational spectacle of nature.

 

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The National Famine Way, Strokestown, County Roscommon

The National Famine Way commemorates the 1,490 people who, at the height of the famine, walked from Strokestown Park Estate in Roscommon to Custom House Quay in Dublin from where they emigrated. You can walk or cycle this 165km trail, which mostly follows off-road paths along the Royal Canal. It is waymarked with over 30 pairs of 19th-century bronze shoe sculptures. En route, you can collect 27 stage stamps in a special passport, which can be ordered online.

For a shorter walk, wander the wonderful walled gardens of Strokestown Park and enjoy the restored croquet lawn and summer house as well as the pleasure garden, fruit and vegetable garden and the gorgeous Victorian rose garden as they bask in glorious autumnal colours.

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McKernan Woollen Mills, Tuamgraney, County Clare

In Tuamgraney, on the shores of Lough Derg, lies the McKernan Woollen Mills, where Irish/German couple Eugene and Anke McKernan weave together the past and present. On a visit, you'll see the fascinating design process in the atmospheric workshop. This is where handcrafters use traditional methods and materials to create modern scarves and shawls. It's a wonderful glimpse of a craft that has changed very little in over a century. 

 

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Cruise the River Shannon

On a River Shannon cruise, you'll visit some of the country's most beautiful destinations. Rent a cruiser in Banagher marina in County Offaly from Carrickcraft or Silverline Cruisers or from Emerald Star in Carrick-on-Shannon. You don't need a boat licence and you'll get all the training needed to take the helm of your holiday and navigate your way along the Shannon and Erne waterways. As you cruise, lush green landscapes provide the backdrop. You'll also pass plenty of sites of interest including castles, forts, vast estates and monastic settlements. This truly is a journey through the heart and history of Ireland and there's still time before the cruising season closes at the end of October.

So, come on! Let’s go to Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands and take the helm of your holiday. Whether you're a foodie, history buff, adventure-lover or all of the above, you'll find an incredible variety of experiences in this part of the country.

Capacity restrictions may be in place at visitor attractions, sites and restaurants so you are encouraged to book ahead to avoid disappointment. The Leave No Trace principles help us make as little an impact as possible on the incredible Irish landscape as we explore the outdoors this autumn and beyond. Keep outdoor areas safe, clean and free from waste/hazards, and help protect the natural environment. Love this place, leave no trace.

Brought to you by Discover Ireland