Shannon Weekend Breaks

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Weekend Breaks to Shannon

Planning a short break to Shannon? Check out Travel Library's recommended Top 10 Things To Do in Shannon. It's a perfect companion for weekend city breaks to Shannon. Once you've been you can add your own tips and suggestions to help other visitors.

Portumna Castle

Off N65, Portumna in Lower Shannon. This amazing castle on the northern shores of Lough Derg was built in 1609 by Earl Richard Burke. This is one of the best 17th century manor houses in Ireland and is not to be missed when in Shannon.

The castle is surrounded by a beautiful garden, which is also worth a visit. Currently it is being restored, so public access is a bit limited.

The castle is open every day from 08h00 - 16h00. Admission is $2.90 for adults; $1.15 for seniors and children under 12. Admission to the garden is free.

Battle of Aughrim Interpretative Centre

Galway-Dublin road, Aughrim in Middle Shannon. This high-tech centre uses three-dimensional audiovisual presentation to portray the Battle of Aughrim, on July 12, 1691. The centre is in Aughrim village, which is next to the actual Aughrim battlefield. The centre also has a bookshop; craft shop; and cafe. A visit to the centre should be on every tourists to do list. The centre is open June to August Tuesday to Saturday from 10h00 - 18h00; and Sunday from 14h00 - 18h00. Admission is $4 for adults; $2.90 for seniors and students; and $8.05 for a family ticket.

Boyle Abbey

N4, Boyle in Upper Shannon. The Boyle Abbey was founded in 1161, and today it is the best survivor of the early Irish Cistercian settlements of the late 12th century. There is a interpretive center, which is housed in the restored gatehouse depicts the serene and violent aspects of the abbey's history. This is one of the main attractions of the Shannon region. The Abbey is open April to October everyday from 09h30 - 18h30. Admission is $2.30 for adults; $1.40 for seniors; $1.15 for children and students; and $6.30 for a family ticket.

Lough Key Forest Park

Dublin-Sligo road, east of Boyle in Upper Shannon. This is one the best places to take your children to have fun amongst nature, while taking a break from all the sightseeing. The park covers 336 hectares along the banks of Lough Key, and it consuists of mixed woodlands; a lake; and over a dozen islands. Facilities in the park include nature walks; ancient monuments; ring forts; a central viewing tower; picnic grounds; a cafe; and a shop. The park is open all year round from sunrise to sunset. Admission is $5.75 per car, and is only charged in Apriil to September.

Slieve Russell Hotel

Ballyconnell, in Upper Shannon. This resort hotel is one of the most popular accomodations in the region, and it is located on 160 hectares of parklands and gardens, including 20 hectares of lakes and ponds. The charming and elegant hotel offers a range of facilities and services, including two restaurants; two bars; an indoor swimming pool; an 18-hole championship golf course; four tennis courts; an exercise room; a Jacuzzi; a sauna/steam room; a children's playroom; a salon; room service; two squash courts; and walking trails. The comfortable and stylish rooms all have TV; minibar; tea and coffee maker; hair dryer; and a full bathroom.

For more information visit:

Cavan Crystal Craft & Design Centre

Dublin road, Cavan in Upper Shannon. This centre is run by one of Ireland's top three crystal companies, and it is famous for its delicate glassware; mouth-blown and hand-cut by skilled craftsmen. Visitors to the centre can watch skilled master blowers fashion the molten crystal into intricate shapes and designs, which is followed by the precision work of the master cutters. The centre also has a shop that sells the glassware and a restaurant. The centre is open Monday to Friday from 09h30 - 18h00; Saturday from 10h00 - 17h00; and Sunday from 12h00 - 17h00. Admission is free.

For more information visit:

Clonalis House

On the N60 west of Castlerea, in Upper Shannon. This is one of Ireland's great houses and is situated on land that has belonged to the O'Conors for over 1,500 years. The house was built in 1880 and it's architecture is a combination of Victorian; Italianate; and Queen Anne, with Louis XV-style furnishings; antique lace; horse-drawn farm machinery; as well as other memorabilia. The house serves as a museum of the O'Conor family, displaying portraits; documents; and genealogical tracts that date back 2,000 years. The house is open June to September Monday to Saturday from 11h00 - 17h00. Admission is $6.30 for adults; $5.20 for seniors; $4.60 for students; and $2.90 for children up to 12.

Temple Country House & Spa

Horseleap, in Middle Shannon. This 250 year old manor is one of the most popular hotels in Ireland, and is the perfect place to go if you want to relax and take a break. The prices include all meals and spa treatments. The hotel offers a range of services, including a sauna/steam room; a salon; aromatherapy; bicycle rental; a hydrotherapy bath; massage and reflexology treatments; and sitting room. The comfortable and elegant rooms all have TV; telephone; and a full bathroom.

For more information visit:

Bog Train Tours

Bord na Mona, Shannonbridge in middle Shannon. This is one activity not to be missed out on, and Bogland discoveries are the main focus of this tour through the heart of the Irish midlands. The tour is a 8km circular ride around the Blackwater bog, along the Clonmacnois and West Offaly Railway. A tour guide explains how the bogland was formed and became a vital source of fuel. The tour includes a look at turf cutting; stacking; drying; and bog plants and wildlife. The tours run April to October everyday from 10h00 - 17h00, and tours start every hour on the hour. The tours cost $6.70 for adults; $5.60 for seniors and students; $4.50 for children; and $21 for a family ticket.

Athlone Castle

Located in Athlone on the river banks, Middle Shannon. This huge stone fortress is located on the banks of the river Shannon, and was built in 1210 for King John of England. The castle was recently restored to be used as a visitor centre, and it now also has a museum; gallery; and tearoom.

The castle's original medieval walls have been preserved, as well as two cannons that date back to the reign of George II; and a pair of 10-inch mortars, which were cast in 1856.

The castle is open May to mid October everyday from 09h30 - 17h00. Admission is $5.75 for adults; $3.45 for seniors and students; $1.70 for children; and $14 for a family ticket.

User Suggestions

Clonmacnoise - Cultural Attraction

Feel the history when you visit the ancient celtic monastic site of Clonmacnoise. Its a different world, 1500 years of ancient learning. Visit the local village of Shannonbridge with its great pubs, restaurants and marina. Unique experience which gives you the real sense of Ireland.

Holy Island Monastic site on Lough Derg - Tourist Attraction

It is one of the most famous monastic sites in Ireland. It includes a well preserved Round Tower, the ruins of six churches, a Holy Well and much more


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