County Leitrim Information
Leitrim is located in the north-west of Ireland, in the province of Connacht, and is bordered by Sligo, Roscommon, Longford, Cavan, Fermanagh and Donegal. The Irish version of Leitrim, 'Liath Druim' means grey ridge, and the country takes its name from a village of the same name, located on the River Shannon.
Leitrim had strong strategic importance in medieval times, and was severely affected by the great famine (the Great Famine Garden of Rememberance is located in Carrick-On-Shannon). Leitrim is pretty and unspoilt, with a strong historic and creative heritage, and it is also a centre of eco-tourism. Parkes Castle on Lough Gill has been beautifully restored and is worth a visit.
It may have the smallest coastline in the country, but water is one of Leitrim’s greatest draws. The Shannon-Erne Waterway (Europe’s longest navigable inland waterway) weaves through the county and along with Leitrim’s many lakes, provides great angling and cruising opportunities.
Leitrim’s accommodation ranges from the luxurious five star Lough Rynn Castle to simple homestays and self-catering cottages. Carrick-on-Shannon is its largest town, lively with plenty of pubs and nightlife in summer and its riverside location makes it a great place to start a journey along Ireland’s waterways.
Leitrim’s Top Five
Glencar Waterfall - Glencar Waterfall is located outside Manorhamilton in a scenic woodland area, by Glencar Lough, with picnic facilites onsite. Its setting and charm inspired W.B. Yeats in the poem ‘The Stolen Child’. The waterfall is around 50 feet high, and it is particularly pretty after heavy rainfall, and there are lovely wooded walks in the vicinity.
Cruising on the River Shannon - The Shannon-Erne Waterway links two of Ireland’s most important rivers, and was restored in the 1990s to provide 750km of cruising waterway. Carrick-On-Shannon is Leitrim’s county town and the most northerly point on the Shannon to hire a boat. It has a lively and modern marina area with plenty of pubs and music sessions in the town to entertain visitors. Heading south, the waterway passes through the scenic villages of Dromod, Rooskey and Drumsna, and mooring points are available at Dromod, Drumsna and Jamestown. It is possible to either avail of a guided cruise or to hire a boat, and cruise along the scenic waterway by day and stopping off at different towns and villages at night.
The Organic Centre - Located in Rossinver, The Organic Centre promotes organic gardening and sustainable living responding to the strong and growing interest in the topic. It runs training days and courses in diverse areas such as cheese making, bee keeping and rug, basket and natural cosmetic making.
Lough Allen - Lough Allen is one of Ireland's top angling spots, with fish stocks including bream, roach and trout. The Lough Allen Adventure Centre offers wind-surfing, kayaking and wilderness and survival skills in an eco friendly building.
Manorhamilton Castle - The recently restored Manorhamilton Castle has been turned into a compelling historic attraction. The imposing castle was built in the 1600s, and was the stronghold of Sir Frederick Hamilton, who seized the lands of the native O’Rourke chieftans and quelled their numerous rebellions fiercely. There are guided tours of the castle available and a permanent exhibition outlining its turbulent history.
A Taste of Leitrim’s Festivals
An Tostal has been running since 1953 in Drumshambo and celebrates traditional Irish life and culture. The Ballinmore Family Festival is another long-running festival with family friendly activites ranging from musical entertainment to outdoor games to agricultural exhibits and takes place in August each summer.The Sliabh an Iarainn Music & Arts Festival is held in Drumshambo in August drawing national and international musical artists, showcasing traditional storytelling and providing various musical workshops. The Carrick Water Music Festival takes place in Carrick-On-Shannon in July, celebrating classical music and opera in particular.
The Michael Shanley Traditional Weekend is held in Kiltyclogher, on the border with Fermanagh, in August and celebrates Irish traditional music with workshops, a feis and lots of sessions.The New Roots Film Festival takes place in a number of Leitrim towns, during three weekends in February, bringing Irish, independent and world cinema to rural areas via a 100 seater mobile cinema. The Free Fringe Festival is a new festival in Ballinmore, gathering as many musicians, dancers and artists as possible to showcase their talents in an inclusive and fun festival. The Wise Woman Weekend takes place in May and celebrates the knowledge, skills, talents of women, and honours Celtic heritage and traditions, taking place in Dromohair. The Dromohair Demons music festival takes place in mid-June, and it features a colourful parade, great music and celebrates the cultural, historical and mythical heritage of the village.
The Jamestown Show & Heritage Festival is a three day festival celebrating the heritage of Jamestown and providing presentations in mobile cinema. The Joe Mooney Summer School of Traditional Music is a week-long musical summer school providing workshops in set dancing, traditional singing, button accordion, concertina, fiddle, flute and uilleann pipes, held in Drumshambo every July. The Green Festival takes place in lovely Dromohair and celebrates heritage, ecology and environment, promoting sustainable living.
William St. Limerick
Lough Tay (Wicklow)
A Wicklow evening
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Swans in Bray Harbour (Wicklow...
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