A county to put a smile on your face, and a story to take ... Downloads/ros tourism...

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    A county to put a smile on your face, and a story to take home.

    Culture & heritage

    lakelands on it, in it!

    famous faces

    taste of Roscommon

    rossie sayings

    the rossies

    great times together

  • 2 | www.roscommon.ie

    Famous FacesChris ODowd, Actor & Comedian

    Everything about Roscommon is home to me. Theres nowhere like it. Its untouched by the cynicism of modernity, and has remained true to its identity through bubbles and dips. Its no coincidence that it lies in the heart of Ireland, either. I love walking down to the Doon Shore in Boyle on summer mornings. And Stephens Day, when hot toddies are served up during the treasure hunt at Lough Key, remains my favourite time of my year.

    RoscommonA county to put a smile on your face, and a story to take home.

    Welcome to Ireland under-the-radar. Welcome to sweet scenery and constant surprises. To fun and passionate people youll greet as strangers but leave as friends.

    Welcome to striking scenery and enough visitor attractions to warrant our title as the Playground of the West!

    Pay a fl ying visit. Stay for weeks. Whizz down a zip-line Go fi shing Cruise the Shannon Walk ancient paths Eat lamb Lose yourself in a local

    conversation

    Theres no shortage of things to do. Or you could simply do nothing at all

    Did you know?

    That natives include Percy French and Irelands fi rst President, Douglas Hyde?

    Roscommon is almost entirely surrounded by water.

    12Culture and Heritage

  • The Official Guide to Roscommon | 3

    Famous FacesChris ODowd, Actor & Comedian

    Everything about Roscommon is home to me. Theres nowhere like it. Its untouched by the cynicism of modernity, and has remained true to its identity through bubbles and dips. Its no coincidence that it lies in the heart of Ireland, either. I love walking down to the Doon Shore in Boyle on summer mornings. And Stephens Day, when hot toddies are served up during the treasure hunt at Lough Key, remains my favourite time of my year.

    Looking for adventure? In Roscommon, youve come to the right place.

    Theres no lamb in Ireland like Roscommon lamb. Forget Michelin Stars. This is food to put a smile on your face.

    Lakelands,On it, In It!

    contents

    Taste Of Roscommon

    8

    16

    Welcome to Roscommon

    Whatever you do, for however long you stay, youll find Roscommon easy to get to and hard to leave. True characters and community spirit are just part of the Rossie DNA.

    A county to put a smile on your face, and a story to take home.

    Great Times Together 4

    Lakelands, On it - In it! 8

    Into Nature 10

    Culture and Heritage 12

    Historic Houses 14

    Taste Of Roscommon 16

    Ceol & Craic 18

    Crafts & Shopping 20

    Towns & Villages 22

    Local Heroes 24

    Community Tourism Centres 25

    Roscommon GAA 26

    Rossie Sayings 27

    Map Of Roscommon 29

  • 4 | www.roscommon.ie

    Why not meet the native and exotic animals at Glendeer visitor farm near Athlone or Tullyboy Farm near Boyle, where kids can kick back in the playground while Mum and Dad collapse into a cup of tea?

    What about a family day out at Roscommon Racecourse, or a fishing trip on our abundant rivers and lakes?

    Horse-riding, soft play centres, watersports on numerous lakes and cycling trails are some of the family-friendly options in a county just waiting to be your playground.

    great times together

    Roscommon is not only easy to get to

    from all over Ireland; its easy to have fun once you get here!

  • The Official Guide to Roscommon | 5

    Local Voices Phil OConnellGlendeer Pet Farm

    Eamonn and I opened Glendeer 21 years ago, and like many parts of the countryside here, its lovely and peaceful in the evening as the animals wind down after a busy days petting and feeding. Its then that I love to stroll amongst them, listening to the different sounds of birds, insects and animals including monkeys, wallabies, and Rio the Parrot! Im so lucky to have it all on my doorstep.

    Try on a chieftains cloak or write with a quill at King HouseIn Roscommon, you can tour the Arigna Mines in the company of a miner who made his living squeezing into gashes in the rock. You can try on a chieftains cloak or write with a quill at King House - onetime barracks for the Connaught Rangers in Boyle.

    You can swing on Tarzan ropes at Zipit, Lough Keys aerial adventure centre. And did you know Boyle was the birthplace of Maureen OSullivan, the Hollywood actress famous for playing Jane alongside Johnny Weissmullers Tarzan?

    Did you know...

    exhilarating

    Add 350 hectares of woodland, braided with hiking trails. Throw in a tree canopy walk, old servants tunnels and an adventure playground.

    Or what about climbing a cargo net or riding a BMX bike through Irelands first aerial trail activity course?

    Now youre talking. If you sat a family down and asked them to design the perfect place to revive, refresh and rewind, the result would look a lot like Lough Key Forest Park.

    Imagine one of the most beautiful lakes in Ireland.

    Local Voices Louise FitzpatrickLough Key Forest & Activity Park

    Roscommon is a gem of a county that has managed to upgrade itself into the 21st Century while still retaining all the loveable attributes of Old Ireland. Its a place that would fulfil any foreign tourists image of what Ireland is about.

  • 6 | www.roscommon.ie

    In Roscommon, youve come to the right place.

    Within minutes of arriving here, you could be windsurfing on Lough Ree, cycling the Suck Valley Way, or fishing some of the feistiest pike in the midlands.

    Looking for adventure?

    great times together

    Lakes and RiversAnglers will have a field day on Roscommons rivers and lakes and theres golf, horse-racing, watersports in Rooskey and power boating on Lough Ree. Phew!

    Like Horses?Then youll love the riding lessons at Roscommon Equestrian Centre just outside Roscommon Town, or hacking out from Lough Gara Stables, Boyle.

    And More ?There is clay shooting, archery, falconry and a nature treasure hunt at Lough Gara too...

    Fancy a Walk? The Arigna Miners Way is a 62km trail following a network of paths once used by workers in the Arigna coal mines.

    You can hike for days through towns like Keadue and Ballyfarnon, stopping off at friendly B&B accommodation along the way, or simply dip into one of the shorter stretches along the route whatever takes your fancy.

    Into Wildlife?Or what about a gentler meander through St. Johns Wood and guided visits to Rindoon?

  • The Official Guide to Roscommon | 7

    If youre cruising, sailing or kayaking around Lough Ree, watch out for Hodsons Pillar,

    on a tiny islet in Hodson Bay. Its said to mark the

    geographical centre of Ireland.

    Cut local voice Ben and replace with XXXXXX

    Lakes and RiversAnglers will have a field day on Roscommons rivers and lakes and theres golf, horse-racing, watersports in Rooskey and power boating on Lough Ree. Phew!

    Like Horses?Then youll love the riding lessons at Roscommon Equestrian Centre just outside Roscommon Town, or hacking out from Lough Gara Stables, Boyle.

    And More ?There is clay shooting, archery, falconry and a nature treasure hunt at Lough Gara too...

    Did you know...

    explore

    Local Voices

    Richie O HaraBaysports

    Lough Ree, the Shannon and the miles of county Roscommon shoreline provide the most beautiful setting for invigorating and exhilarating watersports! I have the pleasure of working in and enjoying Roscommons natural amenities on a daily basis and am delighted to help all adventurers share in this enjoyment.

    Looking for an adrenaline

    rush?If its adrenaline youre after, try kayaking, sailing, raft-building at Baysports on Lough Ree.

    Hurl yourself off a water trampoline, or go old-school and learn to row a currach.

  • 8 | www.roscommon.ie

    For a landlocked county, Roscommon certainly has its fair share of water.

    Bordering the River Shannon to the east, following the flow of the River Suck in the south-west, and spotted throughout with pleasure lakes, it is three-quarters bounded by water.

    The result is one of Irish anglings best-kept secrets. The Suck is renowned for its coarse fishing, with bream and roach plentiful in the 30 mile corridor linking Roscommon and Galway: The Suck Valley.

    Irish pike fight hard too, and theres no shortage of them in this river. How about fly-fishing for wild brown trout, casting off for rudd and tench in the River Boyle, setting up shop on the reedy shores of the Shannon, or dipping into the dozens of lakes surrounding Strokestown and Tulsk? The lakes dont stop there, either.

    lakelands on it, in it!

    Did you know... Roscommon is almost entirely surrounded by

    water.

  • The Official Guide to Roscommon | 9

    Think of Errit, a secret spot where locals have boated and fished for generations. Or Lough Key, lapping up against a forest park on the old Rockingham family estate, itself festooned with forest trails, camping pitches, a play kingdom and aerial trekking course.

    Lough Ree is known for its coarse angling, but also for its boat tours, watersports

    and heritage hot-spots. Think of Hare Island, where

    Viking gold was found in 1802; Inchcleraun, where legend has it that Queen Maeve was killed; or Rindoon Castle built by Normans to shore

    up the invasion of Connaught, and today

    home to an intriguing deserted town.

    Hire a CruiserWhy not hi