Check out all that Athlone has to offer
Athlone is in the middle of Ireland and it’s surrounded by history. Here are some of the greatest things to see and do in Athlone throughout the year.
The tough fortress that is Athlone Castle was built to protect a crossing point on the River Shannon. You can visit the castle and step back in time by taking the tour offered around the impressive fortress.
There were a lot of bloody battles fought over the walls of Athlone Castle and it’s definitely something not to be missed.
Discover the amazing views at the second largest lake on the River Shannon. Surrounded by stunning scenery, Lough Ree is the perfect location for bird watching or for taking a nice hike.
Church of Saints Peter and Paul
Another unmissable sight in Athlone is the church of Saint Peter and Paul. It’s a beautiful landmark to see and is just in from the west bank of the River Shannon.
It’s a fantastic piece of neo-Baroque architecture and it holds several stained glass windows by the painter Harry Clarke.
Inside the church, there are replicas of Michelangelo’s Moses and Pietà and a mosaic by the Fratelli Alinari.
If you travel down the River Shannon you’ll soon come to a ruined monastic settlement. Clonmacnoise is a national monument of Ireland and has since been known as a hub of learning and religious life.
At Clonmacnoise, you’ll be able to see the remains of a once impressive cathedral, several churches, three high crosses and various grave slabs that date to the early years of Irish Christianity.
Derryglad Heritage and Visitor Centre
Derryglad Heritage and Visitor Centre have been collecting artefacts for over four decades and some of them date back to the 18th century. With more than 6,000 artefacts in the folk museum, it’s definitely a sight not to be missed.
You can visit the heritage centre and examine various tools from old-time trades. You can also take a look at older horse-drawn machinery, tractors and household items.
Dean Crowe Theatre
If you’re in the mood for some live entertainment check the listings at the Dean Crowe Theatre on Athlone’s left bank.
At the start of May the RTÉ All Ireland Drama Festival takes place at the theatre, but there are plays, stand-up comedy shows, music performances, and more available all year round.
Shannon Banks Nature Trail
Starting from behind Athlone Castle, this looped path is five kilometres and will take you along the Shannon banks to the old Athlone canal.
On the trail, you’ll be able to see a lot of different ecosystems and habitats. There is even a wooden footbridge to take you across the marshland. If you want to know more about the nature in the area there are a few information boards describing the wildlife you might see on your walk.
Looking to play a round of golf while visiting Athlone? There are two golf courses to choose from:
- Lough Ree: Athlone Golf Club
- Glasson Hotel and Golf Club
The Athlone golf club is highly rated and the fees are reasonable too. Green fees are never more than €35 on weekdays and €40 on the weekend.
The Glasson golf club is around €65 during the week and €70 on weekends. The views along the waterside are beautiful and the course itself is a pleasure to play.
Glendeer Pet Farm
If you have smaller children with you then you should definitely visit the Glendeer pet farm.
At the pet farm, you’ll be able to visit pigs, horses, cows, sheep, donkeys and goats but there are also some animals you might not expect on a farm.
At Glendeer your children can meet parrots, emus, wallabies, monkeys, raccoons, meerkats and alpacas.
You’ll be able to feed and pet some of the animals and there’s even a play area, obstacle course, and sandbox for your children to play in. The perfect way to distract your kids while you grab yourself that much-needed cup of coffee.
For more information on what you can do in Athlone check out the Athlone website for everything, you need to know.