County Roscommon Information
County Roscommon takes its name from Ros (wooded, gentle height) and Comán, which is the name of a local saint. A recent survey named Roscommon as the Irish county where people had the longest life expectancy. They say that looking at beautiful things all your life can be an advantage; the news is no wonder then, as Roscommon has beauty to spare.
Though Roscommon is an inland county without the benefit of a coastline, the panoramic Lough Key, with its numerous islands, endows it with a certain marine feel.
Roscommon is about 90 miles from both Shannon and Dublin airports and about 50 from Galway Airport. By train, you can take the Dublin-Sligo line to Boyle or the Dublin- Westport/Ballina line to Roscommon Town. Finally, Bus Éireann connects County Roscommon with Dublin, Sligo and Galway, among other counties.
Roscommon's Main Attractions
One of the top local attractions, the Arigna Mining Experience, in the town of the same name, consists of a visit to an old coal mine, usually guided by a former miner who shares dramatic stories about mining and miners in Ireland, while you explore the mine´s facilities.
A well-preserved and majestic Georgian mansion is, rather incongruously, home to the Famine Museum in Strokestown. The Museum´s beautiful walled garden features a variety of botanical species and a charming Victorian rose garden. The permanent exhibition tells the dramatic and fascinating story of the Irish potato famine, at the height of which the landlord of the property was assassinated.
Famous for its thirty islands, Lough Key is best experienced by visiting the Lough Key Forest Park, a delight for anyone interested in wildlife, breathtaking vistas, historical architecture and Irish heritage. Activity choices at the park are varied; you can take the Tree Canopy Walk, or explore the 19th Century Tunnels, hike around one of many nature trails, visit the Bog Gardens or just enjoy a charming walk by the beautiful lake.
Roscommon Castle and Friary is another popular point of interest. The Norman Castle built in the XIII century, changed hands many times through Ireland´s violent past. It is a marvel of architecture, featuring towered gates, rounded bastions and more recent mullioned windows. The impressive Friary was built by the Dominican order, also in the mid 1200s.
When it comes to Roscommon towns, Boyle is one of the most prominent. Located at the foot of the beautiful Curlew Mountains, the spot is a favorite with fishermen. Roscommon Town offers an interesting city life as well as many historical buildings. Finally, Castlerea on the banks of the river Suck is famous for its busy market life.
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