Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands

Discover secret trails and quiet waterways off the beaten track and into Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands. Cruise the Shannon from Leitrim to Lough Derg.  Explore the green heartlands of Ireland’s natural beauty, where activity and relaxation are centred around rural communities.

The Hidden Heartlands lifestyle can be discovered across a lattice work of land and water trails, showcased by the iconic River Shannon. Ireland’s hidden Heartlands is close to all the main cities of Ireland, yet feels far away from it all. Dip your toe into not only the lakes of this region but also the culture, immense historical significance and most importantly the spectacular nature on offer.

Things to Do:

Around Carrick on Shannon

  • Intriguing castles, lakeside trails and endless blueways—the delights around Lough Allen are yours to uncover.
  • Cruising and Carrick-on-Shannon are synonymous allowing you to experience panoramic view of the local countryside that simply cannot be accessed through any other form of transport.
  • Just ninety minutes or under from Dublin lies Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands, a region packed with beautiful places, but so undiscovered it’s easy to see why it’s considered a “hidden treasure”.
  • If you are looking for a short getaway out in nature but close to home, the waterways of Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands are a haven of tranquility—brimming with wildlife and choice of outdoor adventures. Uncover the rich history of this beautiful landscape, starting bright and early underground in the quaint village of Arigna.

Around Athlone

  • You don’t have to travel very far in Ireland for truly breath-taking sights and scenery, secret places full of life and bursting with charm.
  • Hidden landscapes, a ‘subtropical paradise’, captivating stories and vibrant towns the central area of Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands is ready to uncover.
  • The number of heritage and cultural sites dotted around Athlone as well as the beauty of its waterways keep visitors coming back to this historic town.
  • Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands is close to all the main cities of Ireland; yet feels far away from it all. Dip your toe into not only the lakes of this region but also the culture, immense historical significance and, most importantly, the spectacular nature on offer.
  • Did you know that when you are in at Athlone you are at the centre of Ireland, the very heart of the Island? Athlone, yours to uncover.

Around Lough Derg

  • Take to the shores of Lough Derg dotted with picturesque villages, the chance to unwind on a spectacular boat trip and soak up all the area has to offer. The gentle shrug of water across the surface of Lough Derg makes you want to put down anchor and just float for a few hours. The legendary lake kisses the sides of Clare, Galway and Tipperary before it spills into the Shannon, so it’s easy to find a solitary spot to lap up the quiet, cast out a line, or unbuckle your picnic basket for a lazy lunch.
  • This is Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands and the key to it all is the Shannon itself. For millennia it has been the traditional boundary between ‘the West’ and the rest of Ireland. The waterways of Ireland’s midlands aren’t always the most obvious choice for tourists, and that’s part of their enduring charm. You may only be 90 minutes from the country’s main cities, but once you connect to the serene and scenic network of lakes and rivers, you could be a million miles away.
  • Rural roads wind their way around stone-walled pastures, bogs and woodlands, historic towns, and seat of Ireland’s most notorious High King—all this and more awaits around spectacular Lough Derg.
  • The lakeshore is dotted with picturesque villages offering boat hire, mooring and leisure facilities and an excellent variety of restaurants and pubs, many with live traditional music sessions. Whatever you choose, a visit to the magical Lough Derg will leave you relaxed, inspired and re-energised!

Discover more on Ireland’s Hidden Hearlands Website: