Leitrim, the county with the smallest coastline and the biggest welcome is truly one of Ireland’s hidden gems. Hike soaring cliffs between visits to stunning waterfalls at Glencar and Fowley’s falls in the Leitrim Glens. Lose your sense of time in Parke’s and Hamilton’s castles. View the “Prowler”, the Atlantic ocean’s shortest shoreline. Step inland from the Wild Atlantic Way and discover Leitrim’s ancient past in its magnificent, untouched archaeology sites. Take a walk totally ‘off the beaten track’ with Leitrim Landscapes Guided Walks. Their expert guides will bring you to places only they can find and you will never forget; where you are totally immersed in nature and Leitrims ancient past. For more information visit www.irishecotourism.com. For Slow Adventure on the Wild Atlantic Way, Leitrim Landscapes Guided Walks have teamed up with two other activity providers to bring you Big Days Out in Leitrim. Find out more on www.bigdayoutinleitrim.com.
In the county town Carrick on Shannon, the gentle expanse of Ireland’s longest river sets the tone. Take a river cruise or relax on the waters for a few days as you explore the life of this ancient Irish waterway or enjoy a spot of angling here. With quality restaurants, The Dock Contemporary Arts centre and many exciting cultural events, Leitrim’s hub has something for everyone. A unique experience awaits at Arigna Mining where Ireland’s energy and mining heritage come alive.
As this is Ireland’s least populated county, it is no surprise that Leitrim is a perfect destination to retreat, escape and unwind. The pace of life is indeed a little gentler here, perhaps the effect of the meandering Shannon. Here you can enjoy numerous scenic walks and perhaps begin to explore the landscape in new ways – as artist Seamus Dunbar shares with us in this section. The looped walk at Derrycarne Wood is situated on the banks of Lough Boderg south east of Carrick-on-shannon. This is a very pleasing walk that brings you along forested path and shore. Explore the abandonded railway line walk between Cloverhill and Ballinamore or for another conveniently looped walk, park at the Mountain Tavern, about 5Km from Drumshanbo to explore the Sliabh an Iarainn Loop. If you wish to travel a little faster but still want that nature exposure you can rent an electric bike in Leitrim Village. There’s no excuse, in Leitrim you can take to the hills.
Glencar waterfall is an essential stopping point, 11km west of Manorhamilton. As you reach Glencar on the border between counties Sligo and Leitrim with its dramatic steep cliffs, you will notice a series of waterfalls cascading from the heights. Glencar waterfall is perhaps the most dramatic descending from a 50ft rocky headland into a deep pool below in a haze of white spray. From forest trails to green ways Leitrim offers an array of options enticing off the beaten track.
As a county of abundant natural beauty, in recent years Leitrim has been at the forefront of eco-tourism initiatives. The Organic Centre at Rossinver would be your first port of call to delve into the world of living green. Visit the award winning ecologically designed building with its grass roof and take a look at the gardens and organic shop. In the realm of architecture, Leitrim’s Living Architecture centre is a worldwide authority on low cost eco building and also runs a variety of hands on courses. The Leitrim landscape sets the tone for a wonderful cultural variety in the county. At Manorhamilton Sculpture centre you can visit exhibitions or partake of hands on courses from stone carving to print. The Glens Centre here also provides an action-packed programme of events. Manorhamilton Castle has a visitors centre too, so you can learn all about the heritage of this region and the characters who have made it their home.
For craft beer enthusiasts will want to check out the Carraig Brewing Company who both offer tours and tastings at their premises in Drumshambo. If you are looking for value, Leitrim also has a reputation as the most cost effective county in Ireland to visit, you’ll be glad you did.